Tamari soy sauce has a mellow and nuanced flavor making it an excellent addition to many recipes.
But what if you don’t have tamari available? I’ve found 13 great substitutes you can use instead of tamari soy sauce. Here they are!
Tamari Soy Sauce Substitute (13 Alternatives To Use)
1. Coconut Aminos
If you don’t have tamari soy sauce and you’re sensitive to soy and gluten, coconut aminos is an excellent option.
Coconut aminos tastes a lot like tamari soy sauce because they both have similarities to milder soy sauces.
You can use coconut aminos in an equal ratio to tamari but you may want to add salt if you think it lacks flavor.
2. Liquid Aminos
Liquid aminos is another excellent gluten-free option if you want a delicious alternative to tamari.
Liquid aminos is made from soy. Moreover, it is salty and savory, making it very similar to soy sauce.
However, you may want to use less liquid aminos than your regular amount of tamari soy sauce in a recipe because it is fairly salty.
3. Regular Soy Sauce
If you have no issue with eating gluten, you can try out other types of soy sauce like regular soy sauce as a tamari soy sauce alternative.
Regular soy sauce will be a bit saltier than tamari but it will still have the same other flavors that you want from tamari soy sauce.
Depending on your soy sauce’s brand, you can use regular soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio as tamari soy sauce.
4. Light Soy Sauce
Light soy sauce can be a quick replacement but it will have a much milder and saltier flavor than tamari.
You can use tamari soy sauce and light soy sauce almost interchangeably but you may need to slightly adjust the amount to control the saltiness.
5. Dark Soy Sauce
Dark soy sauce is sweeter and bolder than tamari soy sauce but it can make a decent alternative when you don’t have any tamari available.
If you want to use dark soy sauce instead of tamari, use only a little at a time to prevent it from overpowering your dish’s color and taste.
6. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is made from fermented fish with salt, creating a strong, salty, and fishy sauce.
Fish sauce can replace tamari soy sauce if you need a salty seasoning for your recipe but it has a distinct fishy flavor and smell.
Moreover, you will want to add very little fish sauce because it can easily overpower a recipe. It can work in most Asian recipes but it isn’t the perfect alternative.
While it may seem strange, anchovies can make an excellent substitute for tamari soy sauce when done properly.
Anchovies can make up for the lack of salt in a recipe if you don’t have tamari and they can also add a bit of umami.
You need to pick a few small anchovies and chop them up finely until they’re nearly a paste, then you can blend them into thick stews and sauces such as curry.
Shiro soy sauce or white soy sauce is lighter in taste and appearance than most soy sauces and can work as an excellent tamari substitute.
You can use shiro soy sauce and tamari soy sauce almost interchangeably because they both have mellow flavors.
However, you will not get the same color that tamari can offer since shiro is much lighter. As a result, your food may lack a bit of color with this substitute.
If all you need is a bit of saltiness in your dish, you can easily swap your tamari soy sauce for some table salt.
However, salt is not the ideal replacement for tamari because it is only one of the main flavors of tamari. It doesn’t come with the umami flavors that tamari soy sauce has to offer.
10. Miso Paste
Miso is a by-product of soybeans so it has a similar taste to tamari soy sauce.
However, miso paste has a much earthier taste than tamari soy sauce, so your dish may taste slightly different.
You can use miso paste as it is but it would be best to mix it with water first as it works best in recipes like soups.
11. Maggi Seasoning
Maggi seasoning is a liquid condiment that has a salty and rich flavor, making it an excellent tamari substitute if you are making dishes such as stir-fries.
Maggi seasoning is a bit darker than tamari soy sauce so you may notice that your dishes are darker when you add it.
Moreover, you may want to use a light hand when adding Maggi seasoning because it is a very concentrated sauce.
12. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented sauce with a salty and savory flavor, making it a good replacement for tamari sauce when you’re in a pinch.
Worcestershire sauce has a dark and distinct flavor so you can use it in marinades, stir-fries, and more.
If you want to use Worcestershire sauce, try to use a little at a time because its flavor can stand out in a recipe.
Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that helps foods taste salty and savory.
MSG can help you boost your dish’s flavor when you don’t have tamari. However, you should not add too much of it to your recipe as it can easily become too salty.
You may also want to add other types of seasonings as MSG only offers a bit of salt and umami. Since it is primarily a flavor enhancer, you need other ingredients to make it shine.
Tamari soy sauce is a mellow soy sauce that can easily be used as a dip or seasoning for many recipes.
If you don’t have tamari soy sauce in your pantry, you can easily substitute it with any of the alternatives listed above!