7 Coconut Aminos Substitutes

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Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD

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Although coconut aminos are already a substitute in and of themselves, as the condiment commonly replaces soy sauce, some people don’t like them or can’t find them in their regular grocery stores.  

If you’re cooking up a recipe that calls for coconut aminos and don’t have the condiment readily available, try out these seven coconut aminos alternatives to make sure you get dinner on the table in no time.

7 Coconut Aminos Substitutes
A comparison of the sodium and sugar content of coconut aminos substitutes.

Best Substitutes for Coconut Aminos

1. Soy Sauce

organic soy sauce
Soy Sauce

While many people substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce, it can also go the other way around. 

Soy sauce is a liquid condiment or dipping sauce traditionally made from fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt.

Although soy sauce originated in China over 2,000 years ago, it was introduced into Japanese culture shortly after, with the Japanese-style soy sauce often referred to as shoyu.

Coconut aminos have a sweeter flavor than soy sauce, which is better known for its salty taste. 

However, the salty flavor means that soy sauce is also extremely high in sodium—about 880mg per tablespoon, or 36% of your daily recommended intake—so opt for low-sodium soy sauce if sodium is a concern of yours. 

Soy sauce also contains wheat and soy, so it is not an option for people with allergies to these proteins. 

Most people replace coconut aminos with soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio, but if you’re using full-sodium soy sauce, you may want to have a little less soy sauce and adjust to taste to avoid an overly salty flavor. 

2. Liquid Aminos

bragg liquid aminos
Liquid Aminos

Although they have a similar name, liquid aminos are a bit different. 

Liquid aminos are a dark, salty sauce made by treating soybeans with an acidic solution that breaks down the soy protein into their smaller building blocks called free amino acids.

They have a similar sodium content as soy sauce, but unlike soy sauce, liquid aminos are a gluten-free option. 

The most popular brand of liquid aminos is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which many think is the most similar in flavor to coconut-derived aminos. 

You’ll probably want to use slightly less liquid aminos than coconut aminos in a recipe, as they contain 320mg of sodium per teaspoon, compared to 90mg per teaspoon in coconut aminos.

3. Tamari

san-j tamari
Tamari

Tamari is similar to soy sauce in that it’s also made from fermented soybeans, but tamari is a gluten-free version that originated in Japan.

Tamari is also slightly thicker, darker, and richer in umami flavor than soy sauce, making it ideal for dipping sauces. 

Keep in mind that some tamari sold in the United States may contain trace amounts of wheat, so look for versions that are clearly labeled as 100% gluten-free if you have an allergy or intolerance. 

As tamari is a saltier condiment, you may want to use slightly less tamari than you would coconut aminos.

4. Teriyaki Sauce

primal kitchen teriyaki sauce

Although not entirely the same as coconut aminos, teriyaki sauce can be used in a pinch in its place. 

Teriyaki sauce has a similar salty and umami flavor but is thicker and sweeter than coconut aminos, as it’s made out of soy sauce, sugar, mirin (Japanese rice wine) or sake, and ginger, garlic, or other spices. 

There are also some healthy, soy-free, and low-sugar teriyaki sauces on the market, like Primal Kitchen’s No Soy Teriyaki. 

It’s also commonly used as a marinade or dipping sauce, whereas coconut aminos are most utilized in condiment form. 

If you want to substitute teriyaki sauce in a 1:1 ratio for coconut aminos, you can add a small amount of water to make it more runny and pourable. 

5. Worcestershire Sauce

lea & perrin's worcestershire sauce

Despite how difficult it is to spell and say, Worcestershire sauce is an apt substitute for coconut aminos due to the combination of its vinegar base with sugar and rich flavors like molasses, tamarind, and anvchoies. 

Because of the anchovies in Worcestershire sauce, it has a similar flavor to fish sauce—another replacement for coconut-derived aminos.  

Worcestershire sauce was created by two chemists in Worcester, England, in 1837 and is now commonly used in steak marinades or sauces, bloody Marys, and Caesar dressing. 

It can also be used in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for coconut aminos. 

6. Fish Sauce

thai kitchen fish sauce

With its salty and umami flavor, fish sauce can be a solid coconut aminos replacement. 

Fish sauce is unsurprisingly made from fish—usually anchovies—that have been coated in salt and fermented for up to two years and is a staple condiment in Southeast Asian cuisine. 

Because of this process, fish sauce is incredibly high in sodium, clocking in at up to 1430mg per one-tablespoon serving—this is almost two-thirds of the recommended daily sodium intake.

Although fish sauce is more salty, it’s recommended to swap them in a 1:1 ratio.

7. Homemade Coconut Aminos

Lastly, you may have the ingredients on hand to whip up a homemade sauce similar to coconut-based aminos. 

The primary ingredients in homemade aminos are beef broth, balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, sea salt, and onion powder. 

These foods provide savory, umami, sweet, salty, and acidic flavors. 

What Are Coconut Aminos?

Coconut aminos are a condiment made from the sap (also known as coconut-blossom nectar) from coconut palms. 

The sap is fermented and blended with sea salt. 

Despite originating from coconuts, they do not have a coconut flavor—rather, the condiment provides a salty, umami, and slightly sweet taste. 

Many gluten- or soy-intolerant people use this condiment as a replacement for soy sauce or tamari. 

Others utilize coconut aminos because they have less sodium than soy sauce, containing 90mg of sodium per teaspoon, while soy sauce has 280mg for the same amount.

However, the sodium can still add up if you use more than a teaspoon—which most people do.

FAQs About Coconut Aminos Substitutes

Can I Use Worcestershire Sauce Instead of Coconut Aminos?

Worcestershire sauce is a suitable substitute, as it provides similar flavors and fermented qualities. 

Are Coconut Aminos Like Teriyaki Sauce?

They are not precisely like teriyaki sauce, but teriyaki sauce can replace them in a 1:1 ratio in recipes. 

However, teriyaki sauce tends to be thicker and sweeter, so thinning out the teriyaki with some water can be beneficial when replacing it in a recipe. 

What’s the Difference Between Coconut Aminos and Soy Sauce?

Coconut aminos and soy sauce have similar flavor profiles, but the former is made from fermented coconut tree sap, and the latter is created from fermented soybeans and wheat. 

Are Coconut Aminos Healthier Than Soy Sauce?

Coconut aminos are slightly healthier as they have 73% less sodium than soy sauce. 

Plus, they are much healthier for people with gluten or soy allergies or intolerances, as soy sauce contains both gluten and soy. 

What Do Coconut Aminos Taste Like?

They primarily have an umami flavor, with a slightly sweet and saltiness—although less salty and rich than soy sauce. 

Are Coconut Aminos Good for Weight Loss?

If you’re replacing soy sauce with coconut aminos, it’s possible you might see modest weight loss, as the high sodium content in soy sauce may cause your body to retain water and fat. 

One study found that high salt intake was significantly linked to higher body fat levels, with each 1-gram per day increase in sodium raising the risk of obesity by 26%.

However, this condiment still contain sodium, so it’s unlikely that consuming coconut aminos would support weight loss on their own, and there are no studies supporting this claim.

Key Takeaways

  • Coconut aminos are often used as a replacement for soy sauce—but what do you do when you need to substitute the coconut aminos? 
  • Seven suitable replacements for coconut aminos include soy sauce, liquid aminos, tamari, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, or a homemade version.

Ma Y, He FJ, MacGregor GA. High salt intake: an independent risk factor for obesity?. Hypertension. 2015;66(4):843-849. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.05948

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