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Aug 6, 2011 07:52 PM

"Lite" Soy Sauce

While he didn't put me on an "official low sodium diet," my doctor suggested I "watch my sodium intake." For the most part this isn't too hard for me, because I don't use much salt when I cook and don't buy much prepared foods.

Soy sauce is different. I am partial to Wan Ja Shan but my local Asian store doesn't carry their "Lite" version. Any one have any comments/suggestions on a good lower-sodium soy sauce?

Conversely, is there a way to make regular soy sauce less salty? [Didn't think so. : >) ]

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  1. Welcome to the club. I use ponzu instead of soy sauce. It's about half the sodium. I don't get to use much.

    Stay away from Dijon mustard and cottage cheese - they are loaded.

    1. Low sodium soy sauce is a pet peeve of mine. I made sushi for a long time. 95% of Americans used the low sodium soy sauce. I will not even speculate as to why they would rather have something filled with chemical preservatives rather than salt other that they thought they were being healthier, but low sodium soy sauce is still really high in sodium. The thing that got me was that they always used so much of it more of it than anyone using regular soy sauce used. There is still no good salt substitute that I know of. Low salt soy sauce is like low-salt salt. Try it in almost any recipe and you will need to increase the amount of soy sauce in almost exactly the same proportion as the sodium has been reduced to get the same flavor. As someone who uses gallons of soy sauce every day, my suggestion is to find something that is well made and use less if you have to. Good quality soy sauce has many other organic compounds in it besides salt that make your food taste good, and it's not filled with preservatives. It is more expensive to produce because more soy and wheat have to be used to make it, but in my experience you will need much less to make your food taste good than you will need if you use cheap low-sodium soy sauce. Also, darker soy sauce tends to have lower salt:soy-sauce-flavor ratio, so something like tamari soy sauce typically has more flavor with the same amount of salt. So if you were asking me for a recommendation for Japanese soy sauce I would tell you to try and find a good quality tamari that has salt levels that aren't really high.

      1. I think the San-J Reduced Sodium Tamari is a decent choice. I don't find you need to use more than regular to achieve the same (albeit less salty) taste, and there are no weird chemicals added to compensate. As LA2Tokyo points out, though, reduced sodium soy sauce is only about 25% lower in sodium. Still has about 700mg per tablespoon.

        1. al...
          wife buys the Trader Joe's brand of lite soy sauce in green capped bottle and I find it's fine for cooking.
          I've taken to mixing soy sauce served at the table to 2 parts soy sauce, 2 parts water and 1 part rice wine vinegar and serve in a cruet, Has an acceptable color and taste and lower sodium. Just cutting with water left something lacking and the little zing from the vinegar works fine, especially on sushi

          1. my parents just recommended the bragg's liquid amino to me. i haven't tried it yet, but they said it had fantastic flavor and really added the soy-sauce element to their stir fry. it only has 160mg of sodium, compared to the lite soy sauce which has 575mg.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jamieeats

              The problem with food labels is the inconsistent serving sizes.

              If you read the fine print, you'll note Bragg's is 160 mg sodium per *1/2 tsp (2.5 ml)*. That equals 960 per Tbs (15 ml), more than Wan Ja Shan Aged Soy Sauce at 910 mg. (All soy sauces use 1 Tbs (15 ml) as a serving size.)


              1. re: jamieeats

                Yes, I use Bragg's a lot in place of soy sauce, in many cases. Tastes good.