The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce

When it comes to Asian cuisine, dark soy sauce – which is also sometimes referred to as black soy sauce – is one of the best ways to enhance the unique flavors of each ingredient in a dish for an unforgettable eating experience.

Typically, it is traditional for black soy sauce to be made using fermented soybeans.

Naturally, some people do not like the flavor of the fermented beans or simply cannot eat it due to being allergic – which leads many people to wonder whether or not there are any alternatives.

The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce

So, if you can’t eat black soy sauce or you’re simply out of it and your recipe is calling for it = rest assured that you are in the right place.

Below, we are going to be breaking down some of the 5 best soy sauce alternatives that you can enjoy in place of black soy sauce. 

Read on! 

The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce

Black Soy Sauce, otherwise known as dark soy sauce, is essentially made by cooking soybeans until the desired color has been reached.

They are then allowed to become fermented in order to achieve the saltiness that is so distinctive to the soy sauce flavor.

Like we have already mentioned above, not everyone likes the taste of soy sauce – especially given the fact that soy sauce is made using fermented soy beans.

Along with this, there are some people who have allergies to soy in general, which makes soy sauce a no-go for them.

Whatever your reason for not using black soy sauce, the good news is that there are a variety of alternatives that you can use in its place.

Let’s take a look at some of the best black soy sauce alternatives below:

Coconut Aminos

1. Coconut Aminos

The first alternative that you can use in place of black soy sauce is something that is known as coconut aminos.

This is a plant-based alternative that contains no fermented soy beans and far less salt than traditional soy sauce contains.

Despite these differences, coconut aminos have a flavor profile much like that of black soy sauce.

It is also celebrated for its various health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and a lower risk of higher blood pressure due to the lower salt content.

All in all, this is a much healthier alternative to try if you wish to avoid the high salt content of black soy sauce.


2. Tamari

If you don’t have any coconut aminos to hand, another alternative to black soy sauce that you can try is tamari!

Similar to coconut aminos, tamari has a very similar flavor profile to that of black soy sauce and is celebrated for having a far lower salt content than soy sauce.

Thanks to this, it makes it a much healthier option to enjoy. Keep in mind, though, that tamari does contain fermented soy beans – although there is far less wheat and salt.

Light Soy Sauce

3. Light Soy Sauce

If you don’t happen to have any tamari or coconut aminos handy – then another alternative that you can consider using in place of black or dark soy sauce is light soy sauce!

Another fantastic alternative, light soy sauce is made in a similar way to dark soy sauce, the only difference is that it contains far less wheat.

As you might have guessed, light soy sauce does typically tend to contain a high salt content, so if you are planning to use it – just make sure that you are mindful of using it in moderation.

Teriyaki Sauce

4. Teriyaki Sauce

Another fantastic alternative to black soy sauce is teriyaki sauce! This can be used in just about any recipe that calls for black soy sauce, and the best part?

Teriyaki sauce actually contains a small amount of soy sauce – as the recipe used to make teriyaki sauce consists of mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar and garlic.

These ingredients are then thickened by simmering them in a pan until the consistency becomes a sauce.

If you don’t have any black soy sauce – consider using teriyaki sauce instead. It has far less salt and a hint of garlic that will be able to elevate any dish!

Oyster Sauce

5. Oyster Sauce

Last but certainly not least, the final black soy bean alternative that we have to share with you is oyster sauce!

Oyster sauce is known for having a very savory, versatile flavor that can be combined with a variety of different dishes – including popular dishes from Asian cuisine. 

While it does not have a flavor profile that is exactly like black soy sauce – oyster sauce bears a close resemblance to that of black soy sauce and can be enjoyed with a variety of different dishes.

On top of that, it is also worth noting that oyster sauce is especially popular in seafood dishes!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Black Soy Sauce?

Black soy sauce is essentially a type of soy sauce that contains soybeans that have been gently cooked until they have reached a certain level of darkness.

These soybeans are then allowed undergo a process of fermentation before creating the soy sauce, as this is what gives black soy sauce it’s salty and distinct taste.

To follow on, black soy sauce originates from China (see also our article on century eggs) and is often used in Asian cuisine.

Even though black soy sauce can be used to enhance the flavor of a variety of different dishes, black soy sauce is known for complementing meals that contain tofu, chicken and pork the most.

However, in recent times it has become increasingly more common to use black soy sauce in a variety of other Japanese and Chinese dishes, including sushi and more.

Why Is Black Soy Sauce So Salty?

This is a  great question, and one of the main reasons that many people seek alternatives!

Like we have already touched upon above in previous points, the main reason that black (or dark) soy sauce is known to be so salty is because of the way that it is made.

Black soy sauce contains a high amount of soybeans that have undergone a fermentation process, and this is the main reason why black soy sauce has such a high salt content.

Along with this, black soy sauce also contains high amounts of wheat, which is another contributor to its very salty taste.

Is Black Soy Sauce The Same As Dark Soy Sauce?

Yes! These two terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same type of soy sauce.

However, while these two terms are used to describe the same soy sauce, it is as important to note that there is also something that is known as double dark soy sauce – which is different from dark/black soy sauce.

Double dark soy sauce contains more fermented soybeans and wheat, which means that it is far more sweeter, saltier, darker and thicker.

The Bottom Line

There we have it! You have made it to the end of the article.

Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we are hoping that you now have a much better idea of what types of alternatives that you can choose from when your recipe calls for black (or dark) soy sauce and you don’t have any. 

The only question left to ask is, which alternative are you going to try first?

Even though all of these substitutes work fantastically well in place of black soy sauce, you might find that you prefer one more than the rest.

For this reason, we recommend that you taste test them all to see which one you like the most. Thank you for reading, and goodbye for now.

The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce

The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce

Recipe by Jenna

Does your recipe call for black soy sauce but you don’t have any to hand? Click through for 5 alternatives you can use in its place.

Course: SubstitutesDifficulty: Coconut Aminos, Tamari, Light Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Oyster Sauce
0 from 0 votes


  • Coconut Aminos

  • Tamari

  • Light Soy Sauce

  • Teriyaki Sauce

  • Oyster Sauce


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
Follow Me
Latest posts by Jenna (see all)