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Don’t have this special ingredient on hand? Here’s the best tamari substitute to use in recipes of all kinds.

Tamari substitute
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Making a recipe that calls for tamari and don’t have it? Tamari is a Japanese type of soy sauce. The biggest difference between soy sauce vs tamari is that tamari contains little to no wheat! Many brands of tamari are a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce, which contains wheat. In terms of taste, tamari has a richer, more savory flavor. Whether you’re working around an allergy or just can’t find it, here substitute ideas for this tasty ingredient.

Best tamari substitute

1. Soy sauce

The best tamari substitute? Soy sauce. If you can eat gluten and soy, go for straight up soy sauce! It’s possible that your recipe calls for tamari because it was adapted for a gluten-free. You can replace tamari with soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio. Soy sauce can taste slightly more salty than tamari, but it depends on the brand. If you’re worried about the salt content, start with ¾ the amount of soy sauce. Read more at Tamari vs Soy Sauce.

2. Coconut aminos (gluten free and soy free)

Working around a soy allergy? No problem. The best tamari substitute for an allergy is coconut aminos. Coconut aminos contains no soy and has a very similar flavor to tamari. Substitute coconut aminos for tamari in a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that coconut aminos is less salty, so you may need to add a little more to taste.

3. Liquid aminos (gluten free)

Another good tamari substitute? Unlike coconut aminos, liquid aminos contains soy. If you aren’t working around a soy allergy, it’s a great substitute! It has a similar flavor and is more like soy sauce in the level of saltiness, so you may need to use a little less than the recipe calls for.

4. Fish sauce

Another tamari substitute? Fish sauce. Fish sauce is a condiment made from fermented fish that’s used often in Southeast Asian cuisine like Thai food. It’s used to bring umami to recipes and has a funky, tangy, salty flavor that’s similar to miso paste. However, note that it’s much stronger than tamari. Use ½ teaspoon fish sauce for 1 tablespoon tamari.

Here are some recipes where you could use this coconut aminos substitution:

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. Faye Ansari says:

    Enjoyed your website and mission.
    I cook 99% of my meals using plain vegetables!
    I like videoing and presenting my results.
    I also love experimenting with color and texture.
    Best of luck!