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Coconut Aminos and Soy Sauce: What Are They?
Soy sauce! A pantry staple and a cook's favourite condiment, this brown sauce adds saltiness and richness to any dish! The same goes with a bottle of coconut aminos, but with an additional flavour - its signature umami taste also brings a touch of sweetness.
Why use coconut aminos and soy sauce instead of table salt? Well, salt just brings saltiness. That’s it. If you take a bottle of coconut aminos or soy sauce and add a splash or two to your recipes, you’ll find that its taste gets more deep. Yes, saltiness is there. But it’s more well-rounded and rich.
Coconut aminos and organic soy sauce look similar in that they're both dark coloured sauces. They have similar flavour profiles, too. So, it's easy to switch one for the other if the need arises.
What's that need to switch for, you might wonder? Well, for those who can't have gluten and soy, a bottle of organic coconut aminos is just the answer. Just because you need something soy-free and gluten-free doesn't mean you have to skip on the flavour!
That said, there’s no harm in having a bottle of both handy. Some kitchens have both light and dark soy sauce handy - so why not have both coconut aminos and soy sauce in your kitchen cabinet?
What’s The Difference?
Soy sauce, as one can easily guess, is made from soybeans. Traditionally, soy sauce is made by mixing cooked or roasted soy beans with grains and a culture to help it ferment. This mixture is then brewed, pressed, and pasteurised. What results is soy sauce that can either be bottled and sold or left to age for a bit more time.
Aged soy sauce does tend to be pricier, but they bring more complex and deeper flavours. If you're just using soy sauce as regular dipping sauces and cooking, you won't necessarily need to get the aged bottle. Non-aged soy sauce will do just fine.
Let’s shift our attention to coconut aminos now. Coconut aminos are not made of soy and grains. It's not made with the coconuts themselves, either! Coconut aminos are made with the sap of the coconut plant (aka coconut blossom or coconut palm).
Once the sap is extracted, salt is added and then the whole mixture is left to naturally ferment over time. The natural fermentation is only possible because of the sap's sugars. After all that fermentation is done, you get your rich and flavourful bottle of coconut aminos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do coconut aminos have lower salt content than soy sauce?
Generally speaking, yes. Organic coconut aminos do tend to have lower sodium content than organic soy sauce. So not only is coconut aminos a great option for low-sodium diets, but it is also perfect for people on gluten-free and soy-free diets as well.
If the salt or sodium content is what worries you, you can also opt to get low-sodium soy sauces. Check out our Coconut Aminos & Soy Sauce page to see our full range! We’re always on the lookout for great vegan products so the list updates frequently!
Is there such a thing as gluten-free soy sauce?
Yes, there are actually gluten-free soy sauce variants out there! Gluten-free soy sauce doesn’t have the grains or the wheat that’s traditionally been used to make the rich and dark sauce. Instead, some alternatives like rice are used to make gluten-free soy sauce.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free soy sauce, we recommend this bottle from Clearspring. Clearspring’s Organic Shoyu Soya Sauce is available in two sizes - one small and one bigger. You can get a bottle in a bigger size that suits your cooking needs or get a smaller one to have ready on the table for whenever you want to add some umami flavour to your meals.
I can’t find coconut aminos and I’m trying to cut back on the sodium. What else can I use?
If you can’t find coconut aminos and don’t have sensitivities to gluten or soy, you can still get soy sauce! Only this time, look for low-sodium or low-salt soy sauce. A lot of manufacturers make both a regular as well as a low-sodium variant these days, and they should be easy to find.
You can simply control how much soy sauce to add in general, too. You’d be surprised how much a drop of soy sauce can add to your meal. Just taste as you go and don’t get too excited when adding your seasoning!
Do coconut aminos have a coconutty taste?
They don’t! Coconut aminos are made from the coconut palm and not the coconut itself. So, it does not have the coconut taste. While it does taste similar to soy sauce and has that umami flavour, coconut aminos do have a slightly sweet taste to it. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet - it’s a complementary sweetness to its salty flavours.
Check out Coconut Company’s Organic Coconut Amino Sauces. They have an all-purpose sauce for all kinds of cooking and a teriyaki variant for more specific applications.
So, if you plan to get coconut aminos as your seasoning staple, you can get a bigger bottle like Cocofina - Organic Coconut Aminos - that’s helpful if you find yourself cooking a lot!
Can I replace soy sauce with coconut aminos? How about the other way around?
Definitely. You can swap out one for the other as they have similar flavour profiles. The ratio is usually 1:1.
Not all soy sauce and coconut aminos are made the same, though. You might find some soy sauce to be saltier like Clearspring's Organic Double Strength Tamari Soya Sauce, so do keep in mind that you might need to make some adjustments.
That’s why your most important tool is your set of taste buds! When it comes to seasoning, try adding a bit and tasting before you add any more. Remember, it’s easier to add more saltiness than to take it out!