Soy Sauce Substitute
Ooh, aah… Yep, it pretty much just looks like soy(less) sauce.
I’m sure God made soy for a good reason, but currently, when soy has taken the form of a ninja, sneaking into our food in disguise while we’re not looking, and GMO soy is becoming more and more common, and an overabundance of soy in our diets is being blamed for all kinds of hormone imbalances, I’d really prefer not to intentionally sprinkle even more soy on my food as flavoring.
This is problem if you really like Chinese food, which we do, and even more of a problem if you’re trying to make your own Chinese food at home, which is pretty much just how I operate. If I like it, sooner or later I have to try to make it myself, and probably add more garlic because then it will be even better!
Enter this recipe. No soy, mostly basic ingredients (at least, after I tweaked it to ingredients I have around, as I always do with recipes I come across), and if not identical in flavor to soy sauce, does still provide a similar flavor base to work from. I was an instant fan.
You can also try using this sauce in place of a worcestershire sauce or, in a pinch, liquid smoke. It won’t taste quite the same as either of these, but it will provide a similar background flavor profile to help fill the gap left by skipping those sauces (and the chemicals in them).
The original recipe suggests storing the sauce for up to a week in the refrigerator. While you obviously break any official food safety guidelines at your own risk, I see no reason why it shouldn’t last at least a couple of weeks in the fridge, and mine always lasts at least that long before I use it up. If you want to store it much longer than that, or are particularly concerned about the safety of storing it in the fridge, you can try freezing it into ice cubes and throwing a few into any dish in need of soyless sauce.
Healthiness Rating: Healthy
Not only is this recipe free of any harmful ingredients, but it’s one more way to sneak chicken stock into your diet. Not much at a time, granted, but I’ll take every little bit I can get when it comes to eating more chicken stock.
Yumminess Rating: Yummy
I wouldn’t quite eat it straight but it definitely gives the flavor boost that’s wanted in a soy sauce substitute. I’ve used it as a base in a lot of recipes we really like.
3 cups chicken stock (or whatever kind of stock you have on hand–I used fish stock the first time I made this)
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP molasses
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
dash of pepper
1 TBSP salt, or to taste
Mix all ingredients except salt in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced to two cups. (You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry, the flavor of the sauce will just be less concentrated.) Add 1 tsp of salt at a time until the sauce is as salty as you like. 1-2 tsp will give you a flavorful, lower sodium sauce; a full TBSP (3 tsp) will be more similar to the saltiness of standard soy sauce.
Refrigerate and shake before use.