Discover the Best Substitute for Tamari: Healthy Options

Food FAQs

In the realm of umami-rich, savory flavors, tamari holds a cherished place.

But what if you find yourself in need of a substitute?

Fear not, for a world of delicious possibilities lies within reach.

From soy sauce to miso paste, let’s explore the tantalizing alternatives that will elevate your dishes to new heights.

Prepare your taste buds for an epic journey of flavor!

substitute for tamari

The closest and widely available substitute for tamari is soy sauce.

It has a similar flavor profile and can be used in recipes that call for tamari.

Other potential substitutes include fish sauce, salt, miso paste, coconut aminos, and finely chopped anchovies.

These alternatives may not have the exact same taste as tamari, but they can provide similar umami flavors.

When it comes to flavor pairings, tamari goes well with chicken, fish, chili, ginger, garlic, rice, roast nuts, and green onions.

Key Points:

  • Soy sauce is the closest and widely available substitute for tamari.
  • Soy sauce has a similar flavor profile and can be used in recipes that call for tamari.
  • Other potential substitutes for tamari include fish sauce, salt, miso paste, coconut aminos, and finely chopped anchovies.
  • These alternatives may not have the exact same taste, but they can provide similar umami flavors.
  • Tamari pairs well with chicken, fish, chili, ginger, garlic, rice, roast nuts, and green onions in terms of flavor pairings.

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Pro Tips:

1. Did you know that coconut aminos can be a fantastic substitute for tamari? In addition to being gluten-free and soy-free, coconut aminos have a unique sweet and savory taste that adds a delightful twist to your dishes.

2. Back in the 1600s, Japanese monks discovered a way to make their own soy sauce, which eventually evolved into tamari. This gluten-free alternative gained popularity due to its rich, umami flavor, and it’s still widely enjoyed today!

3. If you’re looking for a low-sodium alternative to tamari, you might want to try liquid aminos. Made from soybeans, this option is significantly lower in sodium content and contains essential amino acids that are beneficial for your health.

4. Have you ever heard of Bragg Liquid Aminos? Created by a health advocate named Paul C. Bragg, this soy sauce alternative gained popularity due to its supposed health benefits. Although it may not be a traditional substitute for tamari, it’s certainly an interesting and unique option to consider!

5. For those seeking a fermented flavor in their dishes, miso paste can serve as an intriguing substitute for tamari. Made from soybeans or other grains like rice or barley, this Japanese staple adds a complex and tangy taste to a variety of recipes.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is the closest and most widely available substitute for tamari. It shares many similarities in terms of flavor and consistency, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative to tamari.

Both tamari and soy sauce are made from fermented soybeans. However, tamari is usually gluten-free, while traditional soy sauce contains wheat. Nevertheless, there are gluten-free soy sauces available, making soy sauce a suitable substitute for individuals with dietary restrictions.

Soy sauce provides a savory, umami flavor and can easily replace tamari in various recipes. However, it’s important to consider the sodium content when using soy sauce as a substitute. Soy sauce tends to have a higher sodium content compared to tamari, so it is advisable to use it in moderation, especially for those monitoring their sodium intake.

Overall, soy sauce remains the go-to substitute for tamari due to its similar taste and wide availability.

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce can be used as a substitute for tamari in certain dishes. It adds a unique salty and savory taste, although it may not provide the exact umami flavor. Fish sauce is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisines and is derived from fermented fish. It contains a high concentration of glutamate, which contributes to its distinct flavor. When substituting tamari with fish sauce, it’s important to adjust the quantity based on personal preference to maintain a balanced flavor.


While salt can be used as a substitute for tamari to season food, it cannot completely replicate the complex umami flavor that tamari provides. Salt adds a basic salty taste and enhances the flavors in a dish. However, to truly substitute tamari, it is important to supplement salt with other ingredients that can replace the umami and savory notes.

Miso Paste

Miso paste is an excellent alternative to tamari. Made from fermented soybeans, it offers a rich, salty, and umami flavor. To achieve a similar taste to tamari, mix miso paste with water. This not only adds depth to your dish but also enhances its overall flavor. Keep in mind that the intensity of miso flavor may vary depending on the type of miso used. Therefore, it is best to taste and adjust the amount as needed. Miso paste is widely used in Japanese cuisine and can be easily found in most grocery stores.

Coconut Aminos

For individuals seeking a soy-free alternative to tamari, coconut aminos are an excellent choice. Made from the sap of coconut blossoms, they offer a sweet and slightly salty flavor. What sets coconut aminos apart is that they are not only gluten-free and soy-free but also low in sodium, making them ideal for those with specific dietary requirements. When used in recipes that call for tamari, coconut aminos provide a similar balance of flavor. However, it should be noted that they have a slightly different taste profile, so slight adjustments may be required to achieve the desired flavor.


Anchovies, when finely chopped, can serve as a substitute for tamari by providing a savory and salty flavor. They can be used in sauces, dressings, or marinades to add depth and richness to the dish. Anchovies are commonly used in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines and offer a unique umami taste. When using anchovies as a substitute, it’s crucial to adjust the quantity to avoid overpowering the other flavors in the dish. Anchovies can be an excellent option for those who enjoy experimenting with bold and complex flavors.


Tamari is an excellent choice for enhancing the flavor of chicken. Its rich umami flavor perfectly complements the juiciness of the meat. Whether you use it as a marinade or a seasoning in stir-fries, tamari adds depth and enhances the overall taste of chicken dishes. Its ability to bring out the flavors of the poultry makes it a popular choice for creating delicious and vibrant chicken recipes.

  • Tamari pairs exceptionally well with chicken
  • It has a rich umami flavor
  • Use it as a marinade or seasoning
  • Enhances the taste of chicken dishes
  • Popular choice for flavorful chicken recipes


Fish and tamari are a perfect combination in the culinary world. The umami flavor of tamari wonderfully enhances the delicate taste of different fish species, bringing out their natural characteristics even more. Whether it is used as a marinade or glaze, tamari adds complexity and depth to fish dishes, elevating them to a whole new level of deliciousness. From grilled salmon to sushi rolls, tamari truly showcases the best of fish, making it an ideal flavor pairing.


Tamari is a versatile ingredient that enhances the flavor of chili. Its umami taste complements the spiciness, resulting in a more sophisticated and enjoyable palate. From chili-based sauces to chili con carne seasoning, tamari enriches the dish by adding depth and richness. The combination of tamari and chili creates a harmonious blend that chili enthusiasts will appreciate.

  • Tamari balances the spicy element of chili
  • Umami flavor of tamari enhances the taste
  • Adds depth and richness to chili-based dishes
  • Creates a harmonious blend of flavors

“Tamari provides an excellent balance to the spicy kick of chili. Its umami flavor helps to round out the heat, creating a more complex and satisfying taste.”


Ginger and tamari are two beloved ingredients in Asian cuisine that form a delightful flavor combination. The umami taste of tamari perfectly complements the aromatic and slightly spicy notes of ginger. Together, they bring depth and complexity to dishes like stir-fries, soups, and marinades. The harmonious balance created by the combination of tamari and ginger results in truly delicious and satisfying meals. These two ingredients are not only ideal for Asian-inspired recipes but also make a fantastic seasoning for various cuisines.

In conclusion, individuals looking for tamari substitutes have plenty of options to choose from. Soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, miso paste, coconut aminos, and anchovies can all provide unique flavor profiles and enhance different dishes. Whether it’s chicken, fish, chili, ginger, or any other ingredient, tamari substitutes offer a range of flavors to suit personal preferences and dietary needs. Incorporating these substitutes into your cooking allows for the creation of delicious and healthy meals.


You may need to know these questions about substitute for tamari

What is the closest thing to Tamari sauce?

Coconut aminos is another good alternative to tamari sauce. It is derived from the sap of the coconut tree and has a similar flavor profile to tamari, with a slightly sweeter taste. Coconut aminos also has a lower sodium content compared to both tamari and soy sauce, making it a healthier option. It can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for tamari sauce without compromising the overall taste of the dish.

What is the same as tamari?

Miso paste shares similarities with tamari. Like tamari, miso is also made from fermented soybeans and has a distinct salty taste. However, miso differs from tamari in texture and usage. While tamari is a liquid sauce, miso is a thick paste that is often used as a condiment or soup base. Additionally, miso has a deeper and more complex flavor compared to tamari, adding a unique depth to dishes.

What is difference between tamari and soy sauce?

The key difference between tamari and soy sauce lies in their flavors. Tamari offers a bolder and richer taste compared to soy sauce. Its longer fermentation process allows for a smoother and more well-incorporated combination of soy and salt, resulting in a deeper umami flavor. On the other hand, soy sauce tends to have a sharper flavor profile with a more pronounced bite. While both condiments are made from fermented soybeans, tamari stands out for its distinctive and mellow taste, while soy sauce brings a punchier and zestier flavor to the table.

How to make soy sauce taste like tamari?

To make soy sauce taste like tamari, start by reducing the amount of salt used in the recipe. Since tamari is made with just soybeans, water, and salt, the flavor is less salty compared to regular soy sauce. By adjusting the salt content, you can achieve a similar taste to tamari. Additionally, you can also try adding a small amount of soybean paste or miso to capture the richness and depth of flavor that tamari offers. These adjustments will help you create a soy sauce substitute that closely replicates the unique taste of tamari in your dish.

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