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Sans-Soy sauce

Friday, 15 December 2017 23:18:41 -0800
Soy sauce is troublesome for at least three reasons. First and foremost it's very salty, even the "low salt" varieties are absurdly high in sodium. Soy products are also high in oxalates for those who have that issue. And of course a significant number of people are allergic to soybeans and must avoid soy products at all costs.

OTOH the flavor of soy sauce is notoriously difficult to recreate—convincing substitutes are vanishingly rare. Through determined experimentation our "Sans-Soy" version was developed over many months. While it doesn't exactly replace the real thing, we think it's pretty tasty stuff that goes some distance to fill a big gap in the low-sodium world.

Have some fun with it, heighten the illusion by putting it in a soy sauce dispenser—it just might make a difference! In any case, it's easy to make so well worth a try.


  • Chinese rice wine 8 oz
  • salt 2½ tsp
  • molasses 1 tbsp
  • rice wine vinegar 1/2 tsp
  • citric acid 5% 1/4 tsp
  • nori flakes 1 tsp
  • mushroom powder 1/2 tsp
  • nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp
  • sumac, ground ~1/16 tsp
  1. Place ingredients in a saucepan. Stir well to dissolve salt and molasses.
  2. Heat contents until boiling. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes until volume reduced to 5 to 5½ ounces.
  3. Let cool. Filter through strainer into storage container.
  4. Can be used immediately. Will last for several days in refrigerator.
Pure citric acid is sold in many "upscale" groceries. (It's used in cheesemaking and also widely used in middle-east cuisines.) If it's unavailable you can use lime juice instead. For nori flakes and mushroom powder see umami enhancers. Nutritional yeast is a yellow powder also sold in upscale markets and health food stores. Sumac is a spice prominent in middle-east cooking. You can find it in herb shops and online.
It's important to use the right wine. Chinese rice wine (called "yellow wine" in China) can be hard to find in the US. Look in large Asian markets, often supply is limited. Don't use sake, it's a very different flavor. Also don't use "cooking wine", it's loaded with salt. Chinese rice wine usually works best, but if not available dry or very dry Spanish sherry wine can have a similar effect. (Shaoxing is the best known type of Chinese wine, with many brands on the market. Other regions produce similar wines that are occasionally available in the US.)
categories: seasonings, Asian

About Thinair Recipes

Recipes developed specifically for low-sodium diets—so easy to use! Here's a quick guide. Ingredients are in boxes:

  • garlic, chopped 3 cloves

Recipes can have several ingredient boxes showing stuff needed for numbered step-by-step instrucions:

  1. Saute garlic in oil until soft.
  2. Add chicken stock to pan...

Not too complicated!

BTW when "salt" is an ingredient, it refers to KCl or "salt substitute", not NaCl in any form! Ask your doctor if that's OK, KCl may not be healthy for some people.