10 Light Soy Sauce Substitute (Chinese/ Japanese/Dark/Thai)

When you’re out of light soy sauce and in a hurry, what can you use as a substitute for light soy sauce? 

Some people might say to just use regular soy sauce, but that’s not the correct answer. 

Here’s a list of substitutes that will give your dish the same flavor as light soy sauce.

We will also provide instructions on how to carry out the substitution.

So, whether you are a foodie or an experienced chef, this article has something for you! Enjoy!

What is light soy?

Light soy sauce is a type of soy sauce that has been reduced in sodium content. 

It is prepared by fermenting soybeans with wheat and salt, then straining and blending.- This results in a thinner, lighter-colored sauce with a milder flavor than traditional soy sauce.

Light soy sauce is a common ingredient in East Asian cuisine. It adds flavor to dishes such as stir-fries, noodles, and rice. 

Light Soy sauce is also an excellent dipping sauce for sushi and other Japanese dishes.

It has a lower sodium content than traditional soy sauce.-This makes it a healthier choice for those who want to reduce their sodium intake.

Light Soy Sauce is also a good choice for those allergic to soy.

10 Light Soy Sauce Substitute 

1. Japanese Light Soy Sauce Substitute -TAMARI SAUCE

If you are looking for a soy sauce that is slightly different from light soy sauce and have access to it, I would recommend giving Tamari a try! 

Tamari can be noticed in most Japanese or Asian markets.

Tamari sauce is a thick Japanese soy sauce and has a more prosperous, slightly sweeter taste than light soy sauce. It is prepared from fermented wheat and soybeans. 

You can also apply Tamari sauce and its alternative in light soy sauce for recipes looking to substitute the Shoyu. Recipes such as Yakisoba, Stir-Fried Udon noodles, etc.

2. HOISIN SAUCE- Chinese Light Soy Sauce Substitute

Hoisin sauce is made from soybeans, garlic, sugar, and chilies. It is a thick, dark red sauce used in Chinese cuisine. 

hoisin sauce is a famous substitute for light soy sauce.

It has a fresh sweet, and sour flavor and a slightly smoky taste. Hoisin sauce is also gluten-free.

Hoisin sauce can be used to substitute light soy sauce in recipes. It has a similar flavor and can be used in the same way. 

Hoisin sauce is thicker than soy sauce, so you may need to add a little extra to a recipe that calls for light soy sauce.

Hoisin sauce can be used in many recipes that call for soy sauce, such as stir-fry dishes, dipping sauces, and marinades. It is also great for making sauces and glazes. 

When using hoisin sauce in place of light soy sauce in a recipe, add it toward the end of cooking so the flavor doesn’t change too much. 

You can use hoisin sauce to make an easy teriyaki-style glaze by combining it with pineapple juice.


The sauce is usually used to coat the meat before cooking, but it can also be used with vegetables or starches! 

teriyaki sauce is a japanese sauce and a popular alternative for light soy sauce.

There are many different recipes, so you can choose your own combinations. It doesn’t replace soy sauce in dishes with an essential ingredient, like stir-fried vegetables. 

But if the dish already has a strong flavor, such as a peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce can be used to lighten it up.

This famous Japanese sauce is made with soy sauce, sake, and sugar. It’s great on chicken, beef, or shrimp. Also, Try Teriyaki sauce substitutes.


Coconut aminos are a healthy and delicious alternative to Light soy sauce. They are made from the sap of coconut blossoms and are low in sodium and gluten-free. 

Coconut Aminos have a slightly sweet taste and a rich, nutty flavor.

Coconut aminos are an excellent choice for people who are allergic to soy. They also add a delicious flavor to marinades, dips, sauces, and dressings.


Miso sauce is a Japanese seasoning that is made from fermented soybean paste. The sauce is thick and has a salty, earthy taste. 

Miso is a popular condiment in Japan and is used to add flavor to soups, sauces, and spreads. Miso can also be used as a marinade for meat or fish.

Unlike light soy sauce, miso does not contain any wheat. Miso is also a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins B6 and K.

If you are looking for a gluten-free soy sauce alternative and high in nutrients, miso is a good choice. 

Try using miso in place of light soy sauce in marinades, sauces, dressings, and even soups.

Miso sauce can be purchased in most grocery stores. It is also easy to make at home.


Some people may prefer to use oyster sauce as a lighter soy sauce alternative for more flavor. 

Oyster sauce is made from oyster, which is a type of shellfish. It has a sweet and salty flavor and is thicker than soy sauce. 

Some brands also have a slightly spicy kick to them. Oyster sauce can be used in many of the same ways that soy sauce is used. (Source)

It is an excellent condiment for adding flavor to dishes like stir-fries, noodles, and rice. Oyster sauce can also be accepted as a marinade or dipping sauce.

Oyster sauce is available in most grocery stores and is relatively affordable. Give it a try the next time you are cooking up an Asian-inspired dish!

7. LIQUID AMINOS- Vegan Light Soy Sauce Alternative

We found a great new vegan alternative to light soy sauce, which is 100% plant-based and does not contain any chemical additives. 

It goes by the name “liquid aminos” or sometimes just “aminos.” You can get it from here.

A little goes a long way with liquid aminos, so start with a small amount until you know how much you like. 

Liquid Aminos have a salty taste somewhere between soy sauce and tamari, so it’s perfect for seasoning all kinds of dishes. 

You can apply it as a dipping sauce or add it to soups, dressings, and sauces.

Much better for you than the soy sauce alternatives made with wheat gluten (seitan). 

We like it because it is a complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids), tastes excellent, and is not cheap, unlike many other commercial products on the market. 

It’s also organic, which means no genetically manipulated organisms were used in the making.

We believe you’ll give it a try, especially if you are looking for a gluten-free soy sauce alternative. 

Read More10 White Soy Sauce Substitute


Light fish sauce is similar to light soy sauce, but both are different. You can use the light fish sauce to substitute for light soy sauce in cooking recipes. 

The taste is not too strong, and you won’t find any difference when you cook with it. This will depend on the particular dish you are cooking, so it is always a good idea to do a taste test before serving.

The light fish sauce is a newer product made from fermented fish. This is why the light fish sauce is also called fish sauce.

When you use light fish sauce instead of light soy sauce in cooking, the color of the dish will not be too dark. 

If you are cooking curries or stews, this is a good substitute. There is also no fish flavor in your food when you use it.


Worcestershire sauce (often abbreviated to Worcester sauce) is a dark, piquant sauce used to enhance food flavor.

The ingredients in Worcestershire sauce vary, but it typically contains vinegar, anchovies, tamarind extract, molasses, garlic, onion, and salt.

Worcestershire sauce is a condiment that can be used on meat, fish, or vegetable dishes. It can also be added to dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Worcestershire sauce is a flavorful addition to many different types of food. It has a long history of being used by chefs worldwide. 

Its unique flavor profile makes it a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs.

Some of the most popular Worcestershire sauce recipes include steak tacos, roasted Brussels sprouts, and blackened catfish.


Many home chefs reach for light soy sauce as their go-to condiment when it comes to Chinese cooking. 

But did you know that Lee Kum Kee Sauce is a great alternative? It has a thicker consistency and a richer flavor than light soy sauce, making it perfect for adding depth of flavor to your dishes.

Plus, Lee Kum Kee Sauce is made with high-quality ingredients, so you can be sure that your food will taste great. 

Whether you’re preparing a stir-fry, a noodle dish, or even just steamed vegetables, Lee Kum Kee Sauce is a delicious way to add flavor and complexity to your meal. 

Give it a try today!

Read MoreNon-alcoholic Substitute for Mirin

Wrap Up On Substitute for Light Soy Sauce

I hope this list of substitutes will help you stay sane while waiting for your soy sauce to arrive or if you have a soy allergy. 

If there is any other substitute we missed, please comment below and let us know! 

Thank you all for reading about the substitutes people can use when their light soy sauce runs out. 

FAQs Related To Light Soy Sauce & Its Alternatives

Q1. Can I use regular soy sauce instead of light soy sauce?

Yes, you can use regular soy sauce instead of light soy sauce. 
However, keep in mind that regular soy sauce is saltier than light soy sauce, so you may need to adjust the amount you use. 

Additionally, regular soy sauce is not as low in sodium as light soy sauce.

When it comes to soy sauce, there are various options to choose from, including light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and tamari. 

Q2. What is the difference between light soy sauce and dark soy sauce?

Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier than dark soy sauce. 

Light Soy sauce is made from a mixture of wheat, water, and soybeans and usually contains about 40% sodium chloride.

Dark soy sauce is denser and more flavorful than light soy sauce.

Dark soy sauce is made from a mixture of wheat, water, soybeans, and roasted malt and usually contains about 10% sodium chloride.

Q3. What brand is light soy sauce?

There are a few different brands of light soy sauce. Some popular brands are Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and Pearl River Bridge. 

They all have their own freakish flavors, so it’s best to try them all to see which one you like the best.

Q4. Is Lee Kum Kee soy sauce light or dark?

This is a question that has been asked by soy sauce lovers for years. And, the answer is it depends on the variety. 

For example, the Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce Light is light in color, while the Lee Kum Kee Dark Soy Sauce is dark in color. 

Both varieties are made with high-quality soybeans and wheat flour.

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