Ultra Low Sodium soy sauce, or making my own.
Even the “low sodium” varieties of soy sauce that I have found are still too high in sodium for me (300 mg/tsp).
Does anyone know of a commercial brand that would be lower? Less than 100 mg/tsp would be great.
Failing that, does anyone have a recipe to make your own soy sauce? I have a no-sodium salt substitute that I use in place of salt in recipes, so if the recipe calls for salt, that’s OK.
Unfortunately (a) "mak[ing] your own" is not as simple as a recipe, it's a fairly big deal fermentation process. (b) I don't know for sure, but I doubt potassium chloride will get you anywhere in a fermented product - except maybe a vat full of rotten, not fermenting - soybeans. For that matter, I think what they do is actually remove sodium from the low sodium soy sauce post-fermentation, not simply use less to begin with, like they do to make de-alcoholized wine.
The Bragg's aminos sounds like an option - if you can't get by with less or diluted soy sauce - or maybe look around on a health food store's shelves in the vicinty of the soy sauce for similar products.
There is an extremely low sodium product called Shirakiku Saltless Shoyu with only 10 mg of Na per Tbsp. I haven't tried it myself, but according to reviews on the Web it tastes awful.
If you want something with decent taste try Yamasa Less Salt Soy Sauce (510 mg per Tbsp) or Kimlan Lower Sodium Soy Sauce (506 mg/Tbsp).
Making your own soy sauce is a rather involved process
and I don't think you could safety reduce the salt content.
I skip soy sauce entirely and use a blend of different sauces and spices. I use rice vinegar (unseasoned!), molasses, sesame oil and fresh ginger. Sometimes I add a touch of one or more of the following: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, ground ginger, pepper, peanut butter (unsalted), minced fresh garlic, orange flower water. It isn't the same but it is darn good and satisfies. Oh, and sometimes chopped chives or scallions or even minced onion.
Here is a recipe for very low-sodium soy sauce substitute.
2 T Sodium Free Beef Bouillon
2 t Red Wine Vinegar
1 t Molasses
1/8 t Ground Ginger
dash Black Pepper
dash Garlic Powder
3/4 c Water
In small sauce pan, combine and boil gently uncovered about 5 minutes or til mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Store in refrigerator. Stir before using.
Yield: 8 Servings
I LOVE this recipe. I find it gives dishes to which I add it the umami taste taste dishes get with real soy sauce. You may already know the meaning of umami, but for those who don't, this is a Japanese word for "savory" or "meaty".
paulj is correct. Umami is found in other fermented and aged foods - and even unfermented foods - not just soy sauce: parmesan and Roquefort cheeses, fish sauce, walnuts, grapes, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.
Try a good fortified wine, such as sherry, Marsasa, Madeira in place of soy sauce. Yes, the taste is different, but if you have to do without salt, these are worth a try.
I recently tried Coconut aminos. They're not too bad and have a decently umami-soy sauce flavor, although they are quite sweet, which needs to be balanced for for in recipes. It is 113mg per teaspoon, which is pretty low. It has that fermented caramel-y flavor that is very evocative of soy sauce.
I like the coconut aminos because I find a lot of the sodium-free beef broth-based soy sauce recipes to be too bitter for me to use, so I'd rather go sweet than bitter. But if you aren't as sensitive to the bitterness, then you will probably do quite well with the low sodium soy sauce recipes out there (or posted above by bobjfs).
The Shirakiku does taste awful. Better to follow the suggestions above and just dilute a better-tasting low sodium soy sauce (or use less).
I never understood the point of low sodium soy sauces. They're just soy sauce with fillers and artificial color added to thin them out. I would rather just use 1/2 the amount of soy sauce in a recipe than a "lite" one that has 50% less sodium.
Perhaps substitute other ingredients, such as mushrooms or condensed mushroom broth. They have an "umami" quality to them much like soy sauce does.
I use Chinatown Soy Sauce from the online store Healthy Heart Market. It has 145 mg per Tbsp. and is very dark and hearty without a watered down taste. I think it tastes amazing and you do not need twice as much for the flavor.
I use it when I make chinese food, because I surely cannot eat the sodium laden food served at restaurants. My family, including extended, say that the fried rice I make with this soy sauce is better than the local restaurants. It does cost $5 per bottle, but I feel it is comparable with good quality soy sauce.
I've found that Raw Coconut Aminos (113 mg sodium per teaspoon), works well as a soy sauce sub. I'm going to try making my own though!