Soy-Free "Soy" Sauce, An Allergy-Friendly Alternative
Updated: Aug 9
We are diving into the world of allergy-friendly cooking by turning this Asian cuisine staple into a safe ingredient for you to use.
For those of us with a soy allergy, enjoying traditional soy sauce is not an option. There is coconut amino sauce for those who aren't also allergic to coconut. However, if you are the lucky ones who are allergic to both soy and coconut...WELCOME ABOARD! I'm Amanda, your captain for this blog post. Together, we will embark on this flavorful journey of my simple and delicious solution that captures the essence of soy sauce without a hint of soy.
Being a huge sushi lover, it can sometimes be challenging to explain to restaurants why not to use soy sauce for my rolls. I have even had people comment to me that they don't know how I can eat sushi without soy sauce. The stereotypical response of "I could never!" when that person learns you have to do something different. Trust me, person, you could do it if you knew how it feels to have an allergic reaction.
Understanding Soy Allergies
Soy allergy is one of the most common food allergies, particularly in children. It's an immune response to proteins found in soybeans. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including hives, stomach discomfort, difficulty breathing, or even anaphylaxis.
I didn't develop my soy allergy until I was 25 years old. Growing up with a dairy allergy, we relied heavily on soy products, such as soy milk and tofu-based alternatives for cream cheese, cheese, and ice cream. My mom and sister were also vegetarians, so we would have a lot of meat alternatives that included soy.
Getting diagnosed with any type of food allergy can be a shock, and no exception was made to my feelings when I learned soy was no longer an option for me. Already dealing with a lifetime of having a dairy allergy, and the past ~6 years of having a corn and coconut allergy, I have learned some tricks when it comes to making my own substitutes.
Soy-Free "Soy" Sauce
An Allergy-Friendly Alternative
Disclaimer: This soy-free soy sauce will have a slightly different flavor profile than traditional soy sauce but works well as a replacement in various dishes.
2 cups broth: bone broth, chicken broth, or mushroom broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients: broth, the vinegars, molasses, and spices.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.
Remove the saucepan from heat and let the soy-free soy sauce cool.
Once cooled, transfer the soy-free soy sauce to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Use your homemade soy-free soy sauce as a substitute in your favorite recipes that call for traditional soy sauce.