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Dark Sweet Soy Sauce Substitute

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Soy sauce has long been a pantry staple in many families. If you like Asian cuisine, you’ll understand why this spicy spice is used in so many Chinese and other Asian cuisines.

As the name suggests, dark soy sauce is a dark-colored sauce used in Chinese cuisine. It is sweeter, darker, and thicker than light soy sauce and is used to add color and umami flavor to savory meals like noodles and fried rice. This ingredient lends a black, glossy tint to marinades.


But what if you don’t have this miraculous ingredient? What is the finest dark soy sauce replacement? Dark soy sauce may be replaced with similar-tasting salty or oriental sauces. Try light soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or oyster sauce if you require an ingredient that tastes as near to dark soy sauce as feasible.

Despite the fact that it is a staple in Asian cooking, many Western houses do not keep it in their pantry. If you are unable or unable to utilize black soy sauce in your next dish, a substitution will be required. We’ve produced a list of eight fantastic substitutes made using everyday products. Let’s get this party started.

Here are the Top Substitutes for Dark Sweet Soy Sauce

Dark Sweet Soy Sauce Substitute

1. Light Soy Sauce

Umami is a flavor characteristic that is present in all forms of soy sauce. This Japanese phrase is often used in Asian cookery.

Umami is best defined as a savory flavor found in rich broths and fermented dishes such as fish sauce.

If you use dark soy sauce in a recipe, the primary purpose is most likely to add umami as well as color to your food. As a consequence, the most effective replacement will be a different sort of soy sauce, such as light soy sauce.

Both light and dark soy sauce may be used in the same quantity. The same salty, umami flavor will be present. However, since it is not as sweet as black soy sauce, other components in your recipe may need to be adjusted correspondingly.

The color of your food will not alter as much if you use light soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce. Choose a different replacement if you want both the dark color and the flavor.

2. Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is created from oyster extract but does not taste fishy. It’s produced using caramelized oyster juice concentrate, salt, and sugar.

Some oyster sauces include soy sauce and are perhaps thickened with cornstarch.

Oyster sauce has a flavor that is earthy, sweet, and salty, akin to dark soy sauce. It’s also quite dark, so it’ll produce the same exquisite caramelization that your recipe calls for.

When swapping oyster sauce for dark soy sauce, be in mind that the flavor might be significantly sweeter! As a consequence, you should start with half the amount to assess how sweet it is.

It may also be significantly thicker than black soy sauce, depending on the brand. As a consequence, you may need to dilute the oyster sauce with water to prevent it from burning.

3. Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is a tasty, straightforward sauce. The key components are soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and either sake or mirin. Mirin is a lower-alcohol substitute for sake.

Garlic flavors may be found in certain teriyaki sauces. It has the texture and color of dark soy sauce.

The umami, salty, and sweet flavors of teriyaki sauce make it a good alternative for dark soy sauce. It is a smooth and glossy sauce that will provide a glossy touch to your dish.

When substituting teriyaki sauce, bear in mind that it will include additional ingredients such as ginger and garlic. If your recipe asks for certain items, you may want to use less of them.

4. Molasses

A splash of molasses can occasionally enough as a basic black soy sauce alternative.

Molasses is a rich, bitter-sweet byproduct of the sugar producing process. Its intense sweetness makes it popular in recipes like barbecue sauce.

The lack of salt is the primary flavor distinction between molasses and dark soy sauce. As a result, you may need to increase the amount of salt in your recipe to compensate.

Molasses is the same color as dark soy sauce but thicker in texture. This syrupy sauce should not be applied to dishes until they are nearly ready to serve since it burns quickly.

5. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a delicious sauce often used to glaze meat or add richness to stir-fries. It’s also great as a dipping sauce.

Hoisin sauce is made out of fermented soybean paste, fennel, chili, and garlic. Some brands additionally contain vinegar, sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder.

Hoisin sauce, like black soy sauce, has a sweet, umami, and salty flavor profile. It looks like black soy sauce and will darken your recipe in the same manner.

Keep in mind, however, that hoisin sauce includes certain ingredients that black soy sauce does not.

Examine your recipe carefully and make any necessary adjustments to the seasonings. Flavors like fennel or Chinese five-spice may conflict with your dish.

6. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a frequent condiment used to enhance umami to Asian cookery. This sauce has a snappy and powerful flavor that is comparable to black soy sauce in many aspects. It is prepared by fermenting fish in salt for up to two years.

This may be a great substitution for dark soy sauce in shellfish and fish meals. However, the fish flavor may overshadow other meats and poultry, therefore it is best avoided for them.

Fish sauce may be used with veggie meals, but no vegetarians should be present!

Fish sauce has a strong and powerful flavor that is quite salty. We suggest beginning with half of the recipe quantity and modifying to taste.

7. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a rich and savory sauce that originated in the United Kingdom and is beloved by the British!

Despite its Asian roots, Worcestershire sauce has many characteristics with its Asian equivalents.

The major components in this wonderful sauce are fermented onions, fermented garlic, vinegar, molasses, tamarind paste, cured anchovies, salt, and sugar.

Among other spices and ingredients, it includes mustard seeds, coriander, cloves, citrus peel, and pepper.

Worcestershire sauce tastes savory, tangy, and salty. Because it is not as sweet as black soy sauce, it may need the addition of a sweetener such as sugar or honey.

Worcestershire sauce is also rather potent, so use half the amount as dark soy sauce. It has a thin, watery texture that makes it unsuitable for sticky, caramelized glazes.

8. Tamari

Soy sauce is known as tamaari in Japanese. It’s prepared in the same manner, but without wheat and gluten. It tastes and looks like a cross between light and dark soy sauce.

Try this black soy sauce alternative if you’re seeking for a gluten-free soy sauce substitute. It has a salt concentration comparable to black soy sauce but is not as sweet.

Despite the paler color, your dish will still deepen and caramelize.

9. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar as a dark soy sauce alternative is a last option, but it may be done with a little imagination!

Balsamic vinegar is a classic Italian condiment created by fermenting and condensing freshly harvested grape juice.

Due to the powerful and rich flavor of balsamic vinegar, a tiny quantity will serve to provide color and depth of flavor to your meal. It has a sweet and sour flavor, but it is highly acidic, so it will need some sugar to balance it out.

Because this condiment is intense, it is best to dilute it with water before using it in a dish.

10. Double Black Soy Sauce

If you like the flavor and texture of dark soy sauce but don’t have any on hand, double black sauce is an excellent replacement. It’s a dark soy sauce, but the added molasses makes it sweeter, darker, and thicker.

Use this substitution sauce sparingly since the increased sweetness may upset the balance of the meal.

Although double dark soy sauce might be higher on our list, many western kitchens do not have it, therefore we added it farther down.

11. Mushroom Flavoured Dark Soy

As one may assume, mushroom-flavored dark soy will lend a mushroom flavor to dishes. This is an excellent alternative if you don’t mind giving your dish a distinct flavor. It has the texture and color of dark soy and is suitable for use in any savory cuisine.

Is it Possible to Make Dark Soy Sauce at Home?

Dark Sweet Soy Sauce Substitute

You may be wondering whether it is possible to manufacture black soy sauce at home. Making any form of soy sauce from scratch is challenging, but when it comes to black soy sauce, we can cheat!

  • But first, you’ll need some light soy sauce.
  • In a saucepan, add 1 cup light soy sauce, 2 cups dark brown sugar, and half a cup water to produce dark soy sauce. Stir well to dissolve as much sugar as possible before placing the pan over low heat.
  • Continue to whisk until the sugar has fully dissolved and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of syrup.
  • Turn off the heat and put the pan aside to cool fully. Keep your homemade dark soy sauce in a firmly sealed jar in the refrigerator.
  • Your sauce should keep for many weeks, providing you with lots of possibilities to make great Asian-inspired foods!

What are Some Recipes Where we can Use Dark Sweet Soy Sauce?

Here weve mentioned some recipes, so take a look!

Easy Fried Rice with Chicken and Broccolini

A simple orange-soy sauce adds acidity, sweetness, and umami to this vegetable-packed chicken and rice meal.

Pork Shoulder With Pineapple and Sesame Broccoli

This pork steak dinner’s glossy sauce is produced with a soy-and-balsamic glaze and pineapple.

Killer Chocolate Cake

This dark chocolate fudgyThe buttermilk cake is frosted with butter, powdered sugar, melted chocolate, vanilla essence, and, yes, soy sauce. Is it delicious? Sure, why not?

Soy-Basted Chicken Kebabs with Sesame-Citrus Sprinkle

These sweet and sour chicken kebabs are sprinkled with a sesame-citrus sprinkling for extra flavor and crunch.

Parsnip-Wrapped Devils on Horseback

With soy sauce, smoked paprika, and smoked almonds, this vegetarian version of the popular appetizer packs so much savory flavor that no one will miss the usual bacon. Use Gorgonzola dolce for a softer blue cheese flavor.

How is Light Soy Sauce Made from Dark Soy Sauce?

If you only have black soy sauce, can you exchange it for light soy sauce? Or can it be modified in any manner to make it lighter?

Good news: light and dark soy sauces are practically similar. Many recipes use both sorts because they provide slightly distinct flavors to your food.

Even if you just have one of these components, your meal should still be tasty.

Add a splash of water and a sprinkle of salt to lessen the flavor of dark soy sauce.

Is Soy Sauce Nutritious?

Because we drink soy sauce in such little amounts, any health advantages or ill effects on our bodies are likely to be minimal. Should you worry about how much soy sauce you use if you like it?

Soy sauce is abundant in antioxidants, which may protect cells from free radical damage, according to study. Isoflavones, which are found in soy, have been demonstrated to decrease cholesterol and improve menopausal symptoms.

However, the negative downsides of soy sauce may exceed the health benefits.

Soy sauce contains so much salt that one tablespoon may provide up to 40% of our daily sodium requirements. High salt consumption may cause blood pressure to rise, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Soy Sauce Contains How Many Calories?

If you’re attempting to lose weight, you may be wondering how many calories are in soy sauce. With just 53 calories per 100 gram, this rich and savory condiment is low in calories.

Because soy sauce is used in such little quantities, a little goes a long way. Most recipes ask for around a tablespoon of soy sauce, which contains just 8 calories per tablespoon.

This means you may use as much soy sauce as you want without fear of dominating your food.

What is the Distinction Between Dark and Light Soy Sauce?

Dark soy sauce is a thick, dark-colored sauce with a salty and sweet flavor. It may be used as a marinade base, dipping sauce, or to season and color a variety of savory meals. Light soy sauce is a staple in many families throughout the globe. It has a thinner viscosity, less sweetness, and does not provide the same dark color to a dish as dark soy. Light soy sauce may be used in most applications that call for dark soy sauce.


In cooking, light soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or oyster sauce are excellent substitutes for dark soy sauce. You may manufacture your own dark soy if you have the time; it’s a fast and simple option.

Keep in mind that dark soy sauce is mostly used to color your cuisine. It’s totally OK to leave it out of recipes.


Is sweet soy sauce the same as dark soy sauce?

Black soy sauce (center) is darker and thicker, and sweet soy sauce (right) is extremely thick and syrupy. Thai mushroom light soy sauce resembles Thai thin soy sauce in appearance and consistency.

Can I substitute soy sauce with sweet soy sauce?

By volume, combine one part soy sauce (light or standard) with one part palm (or coconut) sugar. Take one tablespoon soy sauce and one tablespoon sugar, for example. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. If you don’t have time to boil and chill homemade sweet soy sauce, this is a fantastic substitute.

What is the difference between dark soy sauce and dark sweet soy sauce?

Both soy sauces have an umami taste, but ordinary soy sauce is heavier and has a stronger saltiness. Because of the fermenting process, dark soy sauce is sweeter. The first sauce made from the mash absorbs a lot of the salt, leaving less for the darker types.

Can you substitute dark soy sauce for soy sauce?

The three golden guidelines to remember are as follows:

In recipes, you may use both light soy sauce and all-purpose soy sauce; if a recipe just states “soy sauce,” use either all-purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce; and. Unless a recipe expressly asks for it, never use black soy sauce.

What is the closest thing to sweet soy sauce?

Sweet soy sauce may be substituted with coconut aminos, soy sauce and molasses, hoisin sauce, tamari sauce, and tianmian sauce.

Is tamari dark sweet soy sauce?

Same family, however tamari is a dark soy sauce used in Japanese cuisine, whilst the variety often found in China is a light soy sauce.

What is another name for sweet soy sauce?

Kecap manis (also known as ketjap manis) is an Indonesian condiment created by boiling together soy sauce and palm sugar. “Manis” is an Indonesian term that means “sweet,” hence this syrupy sauce also goes by the label “sweet soy sauce.” It’s viscous and molasses-like, with a sweet and salty taste.

Is hoisin sauce sweet soy sauce?

Hoisin sauce will be significantly thicker and sweeter in taste than soy sauce. What exactly is this? We utilize soy sauce in our hoisin sauce, but it also includes a variety of additional ingredients that contribute to its particular taste.

Is hoisin sauce similar to sweet soy sauce?

When you think of salty, sweet, and somewhat thick sauces, hoisin comes to mind. Hoisin, on the other hand, is thickened using cornstarch, while sweet soy sauce is naturally thickened by reducing soy sauce and sugar together.

Is hoisin sauce the same as dark soy sauce?

Hoisin sauce is thicker than black soy sauce and includes additional components, such as sesame seeds, garlic, and vinegar. Use it to season rice noodles and stir-fry dishes equally.

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