Tamari is a good gluten-free soy sauce various. However what’s tamari? And the way does it differ from soy sauce and coconut aminos by way of manufacturing and taste. Is all tamari gluten-free? Let’s dive in and I’ll clarify.
Once I went gluten-free a number of years in the past, I nonetheless bear in mind being shocked at how gluten managed to sneak into so many unsuspecting meals. Soups, teas, chewing gum….and sushi? Say what?
As an avid sushi-lover, it broke my coronary heart to study that gluten was certainly in my soy sauce. And in reality, there’s fairly a little bit of it. However after a little bit on-line sleuthing I quickly found tamari and coconut aminos – my sushi saviors and “go-to’s” for Asian-inspired meals.
However as these meals merchandise had been new to me (they usually could also be for you), let’s break down how they’re completely different, beginning with the one you’re doubtless most aware of.
What’s Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is a condiment continuously utilized in Chinese language and Japanese delicacies. It’s darkish brown shade is punctuated with a salty, savory, umami taste and most folk realize it from consuming sushi, although it’s utilized in quite a few Asian sauces and marinades as properly.
The flavour of soy sauce comes from fermented soybeans, together with roasted grains (wheat), salt, water and a mould or yeast tradition.
Curiously sufficient, there isn’t only one sort of soy sauce. In truth, there are a whole lot of variations of this primary condiment. Within the US, we most continuously discover a mild soy sauce (the commonest sort), a darkish soy sauce (with added caramel shade or molasses to thicken and sweeten it) and a low-sodium soy sauce (which makes use of much less salt within the manufacturing course of).
So now that you understand what soy sauce is, let’s chat about tamari. In essentially the most primary sense, tamari is soy sauce made with out the roasted grains (wheat). Sadly, nothing is ever fairly that simple.
Whereas most tamari merchandise within the US from main manufacturers reminiscent of San-J and Eden Natural are 100% gluten-free, you do want to look at labels as some tamari sauce manufacturers might use simply “much less wheat” – which might nonetheless be enormously problematic for those who’re celiac like I’m. As all the time, learn your ingredient labels.
As a result of tamari is created from extra soybeans (and I prefer to suppose, much less “filler”) I discover that it has a bolder, stronger taste than soy sauce. However it’s a taste that I’ve come to like.
What are Coconut Aminos?
Coconut aminos are a soy-free various to soy sauce. Comprised of simply two substances – coconut tree sap and salt – coconut aminos are well-liked within the paleo neighborhood and for many who are avoiding soy for well being causes.
Coconut aminos are nonetheless darkish in shade and have that salty, umami taste, although comprise far much less sodium and have a extra gentle, barely sweeter and maybe extra diluted taste.
They’re undoubtedly not as robust in taste as tamari, however are an amazing soy sauce various.
Which is Higher – Soy Sauce, Tamari or Coconut Aminos?
After all, the reply to that is extremely particular person and nuanced. As a celiac, I merely can’t eat soy sauce anymore, in order that’s off the desk for me. However for those who don’t have an issue with gluten and also you’d prefer to take pleasure in soy sauce, I’d advocate all the time buying natural soy sauce. Soybeans are one of many high GMO and pesticide-laden crops, so it’s value spending the additional cash on natural.
I take pleasure in each natural tamari and coconut aminos and swap issues up based mostly on what I’m consuming. As a result of I keep away from soy in nearly all different capacities (and guarantee it’s not an added ingredient in bought meals merchandise), I’m tremendous splurging on natural tamari when having fun with sushi a few times a month. I personally love the stronger taste.
However coconut aminos are nothing to brush below the rug both and I exploit them continuously in sauces, marinades or different recipes which will already embrace savory substances and salt. Moreover, for those who’re paleo or following an AIP or Whole30 weight loss program or avoiding soy for a wide range of causes, coconut aminos will likely be your most popular alternative.
A Few Extra Gluten-Free Tamari Ideas
- All the time learn ingredient labels to make sure your bottle of tamari is 100% gluten-free
- Keep in mind that it’s extraordinarily tough to differentiate between soy sauce, tamari and coconut aminos based mostly on seems alone. Poured right into a glass jar, all of them look the identical.
- If consuming out, bear in mind to not solely request to see the bottle of gluten-free tamari, but additionally confirm that soy sauce or different sauces (reminiscent of ponzu, which can also be created from soy sauce) weren’t used as a marinade for any substances in your meal.
- If consuming sushi, bear in mind to all the time confirm that the rice is gluten-free. Many sushi eating places will use malt vinegar when cooking the rice, which isn’t gluten-free.
- That is the model of tamari and coconut aminos that I personally purchase.
Take pleasure in these Tamari Recipes
When you’d like some recipe inspiration, I’ve received you coated. I like Asian meals and these are a number of of my favourite recipes that use tamari. However bear in mind, you possibly can all the time substitute coconut aminos in any of those recipes.
Submit initially revealed January 2018, however up to date to incorporate new data.