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Coconut aminos and soy sauce are often used interchangeably depending on the recipe and need – but how similar are they really? Is one “better” than the other? Wonder no more!

Overhead view of a bowl of soy sauce on a plate with smoked salmon sushi.

Salty. Savory. Full of flavor. Coconut aminos and soy sauce are similar in a lot of ways, but are they identical? When should you use one over the other?

The Breakdown

Soy Sauce

Popular in Asian cooking especially, this dark, thin sauce is known for its saltiness – even the low sodium versions. You’ll find it in the ingredients lists for a number of marinades, sauces, dressings, stir-fries, soups, and glazes. It’s made from fermented soybeans and wheat, so it won’t fit in your Whole30 or paleo lifestyle, and you’ll need to take care to pick up a gluten-free soy sauce if you’re gluten-averse.

Coconut Aminos

If you’re in need of a gluten-free, soy-free alternative to soy sauce, look no further than coconut aminos. They’re a common substitute, but the flavor isn’t quite the same. It’s less salty than soy sauce, and a little sweeter. Don’t let the name fool you, though – even though it’s made from coconut palm sap, it doesn’t taste like coconut.

Are They Really Interchangeable?

Basically, yes! You can substitute coconut aminos in recipes that call for soy sauce, and soy sauce in recipes that call for coconut aminos.

Like I mentioned above, the flavor profiles are slightly different between the two. In general, I recommend using slightly less than the recipe calls for when you sub soy sauce for coconut aminos. When you sub coconut aminos for soy sauce, you might add a little salt to make up for what the aminos lack.

Our Favorite Recipes Using Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce

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