Soy sauce versus tamari sauce – what the heck is that darker cousin to our beloved go-to stir-fry sauce, anyway?
- Soy sauce: a salty, fermented sauce much used on fish and other dishes in the Orient, prepared from soybeans.
- Tamari: a rich, naturally fermented soybean sauce containing little or no wheat and thicker than soy sauce.
- Has many forms found throughout Asia.
- Contains wheat.
- Has a lighter color.
- Has a super salty flavor.
- Is not great as a dipping sauce.
- Is from Japan specifically.
- Can be, but isn’t always, gluten-free.
- Has a darker color.
- Has a richer, but more mellow, flavor.
- Is good as a dipping sauce.
The Reluctant Gourmet says, “When the sauce is going to be the star of the show, as for a dipping sauce for sushi or a quick and easy sauce for noodles, I’d choose tamari. When you just need to add some salty flavor to a stir-fry, reach for the bottle of soy sauce.”
While both soy sauce and tamari sauce are byproducts of fermented soybeans, tamari is thicker, darker, and has a milder flavor than soy.