This week I have chosen to write about another healthy ingredient that I often use in my cooking and you will see in my Healthy eBook. But this time I compare it to another product that you will find in almost every household that I have substituted it for. I now substitute soy sauce with tamari.

What is Tamari?
Tamari is a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce that contains no wheat meaning it is gluten free.

Although when you purchase tamari check the label to ensure it does not contain any wheat as some brands do use a small percentage of wheat during the fermentation process. Look for labels that say “gluten free” especially if you suffer from any gluten allergies or intolerances.

How does Tamari compare to Soy Sauce?
Both are a by-product of fermented soybeans however their differences are:

Soy Sauce Tamari
Thinner Thicker
More Salt Up to 30% Less Salt
Made with wheat Made with zero wheat
Not Gluten Free Gluten Free

What can it be used for?
Tamari can be used as a substitute to soy sauce in cooking to add flavour to your dishes. It is a gluten free option for dressings, dipping sauces, marinades, stir fry’s, pan frying or baking your chosen protein or vegetarian produce. My favourite recipe is a healthy version of Teriyaki Sauce (available at the healthy store) using tamari and other healthy ingredients.

How is Tamari made differently than regular Soy Sauce?
While regular soy sauce and tamari are both derived from fermented soybeans, the process in which it is made AND the by-product is much different.

Regular soy sauce is essentially made by cooking soybeans with roasted wheat and other grains (almost a 50/50 ratio) and adding it to a salty brine to brew, then sit for a period of time to ferment. This mixture is then pressed to extract the dark, brown liquid.

Tamari on the other hand, is made a bit different. It is known to be the liquid by-product that forms when making miso paste (a Japanese paste-like seasoning derived from fermented soybeans) – like the liquid sweat that forms on cheese (unlike the pressed version in regular soy sauce). When the soybeans are cooked down to ferment, zero wheat is added to the mixture, which makes it a great alternative for those that have gluten intolerances.

Where can you find it?
Tamari is generally stocked at your local store (supermarkets) now days and can be found either in the health food section or Asian section. When purchasing tamari organic does matter. Soybeans are one of the most genetically modified organisms (GMO) so whenever you buy anything soy, make the effort to look for the organic options.

So why not substitute soy sauce, a common pantry staple for tamari to make another simple, easy and healthy change to your lifestyle.