Best Tamari Substitute08 Aug, 2020
Tamari is a unique kind of soy sauce commonly used in Japan. While there are plenty of similarities with regular soy sauce and Tamari especially when it comes to consistency, color, and taste, the latter has a more balanced taste (less salty) and comes with a richer flavor.
The traditional Tamari was made with miso paste. Nowadays, they are made with the same fermented soybeans as regular ones; with the only key difference – Tamari contains little to no wheat. – perfect for people with gluten allergies. If a recipe calls for Tamari and there’s none around, there are known substitutes that can be used to make up for the missing ingredient.
Arguably the closest thing to Tamari, soy sauce shares the same flavor profile of Tamari, albeit in a more raw and unfiltered kind of way. Using a darker type of soy sauce may provide a closer match in terms of taste.
Another good option to substitute (or mix with soy sauce) is fish sauce. This condiment of Southeast Asian roots is another sauce capable of enhancing the umami of dishes. While the smell may not be pleasant for some people, the savory flavors alone can greatly help the bland dishes.
Since the traditional Tamari is a byproduct of miso paste, it can give a similar taste that you can only get with authentic Tamari. Do take note though that miso paste is not liquid, so adding stock or other liquids is necessary.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is another common umami-enhancer. Mostly used as an addition for Tamari substitutes. Combined with regular soy sauce and/or fish sauce, the combination of these can be the best alternative to the Japanese soy sauce.
For people avoiding soy products in general, coconut amino is the best alternative available, to date. This sauce is made from the sap of coconut trees and then fermented for at least 10 days. Once done, the final product will look very similar to light soy sauce, both in color and consistency.