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The difference between coconut aminos vs soy sauce? Is one healthier? Here’s the breakdown on these similar ingredients.

Coconut Aminos vs Soy Sauce
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Coconut aminos vs soy sauce: what’s the difference? Is one healthier? There are a few major differences between these two condiments: though they have a very similar flavor and are both used to add salty, savory umami to dishes. Here’s what to know about when to use them and whether to choose one over the other.

See also: Tamari vs Soy Sauce

Coconut aminos vs soy sauce: the differences

What’s the difference between these salty sauces? Here’s a breakdown:

  • What is soy sauce? Soy sauce is a common ingredient in Asian cooking and beyond: it’s salty and contains loads of umami (savory flavor). Soy sauce is Chinese in origin and made from a fermented paste of soybeans and grains. It’s used many cuisines to add a salty, savory component to sauces, marinades, stir fries, and more.
  • What is coconut aminos? Coconut aminos is a common substitute for soy sauce that is both gluten-free and soy free! It’s made from the sap of the coconut palm. But it doesn’t taste like coconut: it’s like a milder version of soy sauce that is less salty. It has lots of umami and easily mimics soy sauce in recipes.

Bottom line: Coconut aminos is a gluten-free and soy-free substitute for soy sauce made from the sap of the coconut palm.

You can substitute one for the other

Soy sauce and coconut aminos work as substitutes for each other! Here’s what to know about using them in recipes:

  • Coconut aminos is a little less salty than soy sauce and a little sweeter. When you use it as a soy sauce substitute, add a bit more or a pinch or two of kosher salt. You can do this to taste: it doesn’t need to be an exact ratio.
  • Soy sauce is a little saltier than coconut aminos, with a slightly more complex and developed flavor. When you use it as a coconut aminos substitute, use a little less than the recipe calls for.

Coconut aminos vs soy sauce: which is healthier?

Some media claim that coconut aminos has health benefits vs soy sauce. Is it true? Here’s what to know:

  • There is no research that backs up any health benefits of coconut aminos (source: Healthline).
  • Coconut aminos is not rich in nutrients and should not be considered a health food. It is simply a condiment in the same way that soy sauce is a condiment.
  • Coconut aminos does have less sodium than soy sauce, and is free from soy and gluten.

Bottom line: You can enjoy both soy sauce or coconut aminos in moderation in a healthy diet.

Recipes with soy sauce and coconut aminos

There are lots of healthy recipes where you can use soy sauce or coconut aminos as a seasoning! Here are a few to get you started:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Patty Poston says:

    My caregiver has introduced me to coconut aminos. I am gluten-, free, and allergic to soy, so this allows some flavor back into my diet that I have been missing. We all make choices. Mine was to give up many things that were making me ill. It will be nice to have a similar flavor back in my diet. Ketchup doesn’t go on everything!

  2. Toni Jones says:

    Thanks for posting the excellent information about coconut aminos versus soy sauce. I had never heard of coconut aminos until I read a recipe on your website. You explained what they were, and how they were used in a marinade.