Soy Sauce Substitute With Very Low Sodium

"I tagged this for cooking for a parent with congestive heart failure, for whom sodium must be kept to a minimum. The recipe came from Don Gazzaniga's "The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook". I broke into gales of laughter at Whole Foods when I read the label for a commercial "low sodium" soy sauce: 400 mg sodium! Rather than give up on soy sauce completely, I would use this recipe, as I have had good luck with other recipes by Gazzaniga. Suggested brands of molasses and onion powder are low in salt. Mastercook says 29 mg sodium in entire recipe!"
photo by mersaydees photo by mersaydees
photo by mersaydees
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by teresas photo by teresas
Ready In:
1 cup




  • Heat vinegar slightly.
  • Pour over peeled and sliced garlic cloves to taste.
  • Let stand overnight, strain and discard garlic.
  • In a glass jar, combine 3/4 cup garlic vinegar with molasses and onion powder.
  • Refrigerate and use as needed.
  • Warm and shake well before using.
  • Lasts about 1 month refrigerated.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Marsha B.
    I was wondering what type of vinegar to use for this recipe? I was thinking about using White Balsamic Vinegar, but there is sugar in that (due to the grapes), so I decided against that choice since my husband has Diabetes. I also thought about using Rice Vinegar, or just Apple Cider Vinegar - both have zero sugar.


  1. Annacia
    This isn't bad. I made a 1/4 recipe as a test and I'm pleased with the result. It's not soy sauce but it doesn't have all of that salt either. The best I can do to describe the taste is a sweet and sour .......sorta, lol. To be honest I wasn't in love with the spoon taste but when used on a veggie stir fry on rice it was a very respectable soy sub and a whole lot healthier. It's not at all difficult to make but does require the sitting time. I suspect that it could be started early in the morning and finished just before dinner and be just fine. :D
  2. Chef Charlee
    Not really a copycat recipe since it tastes different than soy sauce, but because it's healthier and low in sodium it's a pretty good substitute. I used it to complete a Beef Stirfry and really enjoyed it!
  3. mersaydees
    I think this has great flavor akin to soy sauce. We are on a low-sodium diet so this really intrigued me and I'm so glad I tried it. Thanks, KateL! Made for PAC Fall 2012.
  4. Goody2shz
    This does NOT taste anything like soy sauce but it's still pretty darn good. I use it generously to make a sort of hot and sour ramen noodle soup, using the Oriental Ramen Seasoning Copycat recipe from this site (throw the spice packet that comes with the noodles away) , a few drops of sesame oil and a 1/4 cup of frozen peas. Delish!
  5. I'mPat
    I cut this back to a 1/4 cup and tried a blind test with the DM (she is a salt freak but not allowed to due to heart and kidney problems). I defrosted and baked recipe #244979 and let her have some of these trying out our regular soy and the substitute, she preferred the substitute and so did I but then I am not a huge salt fan and don't normally add salt to my cooking or at the table, so you can guess what the DM will have in future though for dipping I'll stick to a sweet chilli. Thanks KateL for a great recipe (will make full version next time - got use up that molasses), made for Please Review My Recipe.


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