Is Soy Sauce Vinegar? (Differences + Similarities)

Soy sauce is a wonderful condiment that is very versatile in the kitchen as a seasoning, colorant, and dip.

There’s certainly a lot to this cook’s aid and there may be things you are wondering about it, such as whether soy sauce is vinegar. I looked into it and here’s what I found!

Is Soy Sauce Vinegar?

Soy sauce is not vinegar but is its own kind of condiment. While soy sauce and vinegar are both fermented liquids, they are not made from the same ingredients and do not have the same flavor profiles. Moreover, they both have different uses in cooking and are not substitutes for each other.

Are you still curious about the differences and similarities between soy sauce and vinegar? Keep reading this article to learn more!

Is Soy Sauce Vinegar Based?

Soy sauce is not vinegar-based because vinegar is not needed to create soy sauce.

Soy sauce goes through a process of fermentation and has a lot of salt, both of which help extend its shelf life. While vinegar works as a great preservative, it does not need to be added as a preservative in soy sauce.

What Is The Difference Between Soy Sauce And Vinegar?

Vinegar and soy sauce are both fermented liquids, but they have distinct differences that make them unique and separate from each other.

Vinegar is commonly used as a preservative to pickle foods because it raises acidity, removing microorganisms to prevent and delay spoilage.

This high acidity content also makes vinegar an excellent addition to marinades because it tenderizes meat, fish, and poultry.

On the other hand, soy sauce has a lot of salt in it that can potentially preserve food, but it will not work as well as vinegar and is primarily used only to add flavor and color to food.

What Do Soy Sauce And Vinegar Have In Common?

Soy sauce and vinegar are both fermented liquids but they go through different fermentation processes.

Additionally, both soy sauce and vinegar have alcohol in them. Soy sauce has 1-3% alcohol, while vinegar contains 4-8 % alcohol.

Both liquids can also last a long time. Soy sauce can be good for 2-3 years, while vinegar can last even longer. In particular, distilled white vinegar has an indefinite shelf life.

Can I Use Vinegar To Replace Soy Sauce?

Is Soy Sauce Vinegar?

Vinegar cannot replace soy sauce because it has a different flavor profile than soy sauce.

Soy sauce has umami, salty, and sweet flavors. In contrast, vinegar has a tart and briny flavor. As a result, vinegar cannot serve as a substitute for soy sauce.

What Is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce is a fermented liquid condiment that is usually made from wheat, soybeans, salt, and water. It has a nuanced flavor of umami and saltiness.

Soy sauce is basically fermented soybeans and sometimes wheat that gets pressed through filtration layers.

This condiment can easily season food to add or enhance flavors and the darker types of soy sauce can also add color to food.

There are many types of soy sauce from different countries and some examples include mushroom soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, and Kikkoman.

What Is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a fermented liquid that has a strong and sour taste. It can be almost briny and it has a pungent smell.

Vinegar is made from yeast fed on starches or sugars from plant foods like grains or fruits, which ferment into alcohol.

Manufacturers expose the alcohol to acetic acid bacteria and oxygen for a second fermentation process. The acetic acid bacteria is what gives vinegar its sour taste.

There are different kinds of vinegar that can range in consistency and flavor. Some popular examples include balsamic, apple cider, and red wine vinegar.

If you want to learn more about soy sauce, you can see our related posts on what soy sauce tastes like, how long soy sauce lasts, and whether soy sauce expires.


Soy sauce is not vinegar. While both soy sauce and vinegar undergo a fermentation process, they are made from different ingredients and have unique flavor profiles.

Moreover, vinegar and soy sauce cannot replace each other in recipes because they differ in taste and consistency.

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