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5:2 Cookery Discussion, Tips & Ideas

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Anyone have any ideas for a good substitute for soy sauce?

On pretty much every fast day I have a veggie stir fry for dinner, which I cook with a set of seasonings that make it really flavoursome without adding many calories: Chinese five spice, garlic powder, chilli flakes, black pepper, nutritional yeast, and a very generous amount of soy sauce.

However, by eating this twice a week I’m getting excessive amounts of sodium from the soy sauce, so I want to eliminate that ingredient without adding extra calories or making the dish too bland or dry. It doesn’t have to taste the same – as long as it tastes good!

After a bit of googling I’m wondering whether some sort of vinegar is the answer. I know there are low-sodium soy sauces available but I understand they’re still pretty high in sodium, so I’m not really interested in this option.

Thanks for any suggestions!
It's that 'umami' taste, isn't it? Are you logging it on My Fitness Pal? Remember that the sodium is in milligrams, so intake probably isn't 'excessive', though I don't know how much you use, of course!!

Try something like Umami paste - widely available - but I don't know what its sodium content is.

Otherwise, why not go occasionally down the Thai route and add lemongrass, lime leaves (can buy them frozen at any Asian grocers), coriander leaves (and roots too) etc.
How about stir frying using sesame oil? Tastes lovely ! X
You tend to become salt-depleted on fast days, especially if you stick to a low carb meal, so I would suggest sticking to standard soy sauce! The link between salt intake and disease only applies when you eat a high carb diet as high carbs tend to cause salt retention while low carb and fasting causes salt to be lost from the body.
Thanks for that caro...yet more reason to go low carb!
I must say on fast days,what keeps me going is the salty boost from my slimmasoup at 4pm. It really gets me thru til mealtime x
Your stir fry sounds tasty.

I use Japanese tamari, the proper stuff should be fermented with less or no wheat and is a bit less salty. 3 tsp should I think give you your daily salt allowance.

Depends what you eat the rest of the time too, processed food is loaded with salt so if you eat a lot of that then sodium might be an issue, I don't eat much processed stuff so I never worry about it.
Thanks to all for the replies so far.

Looking at MyFitnessPal I seem to be consistently coming in well below the sodium target they suggest - it's just that I am seeing a lot of weight fluctuation recently which I can only explain as water weight, and I understand that sodium causes this. I'm simply not eating enough to cause that gain, and I only do cardio exercise, nothing that would cause significant muscle gain.

Plus, the amount of soy sauce I'm going through sets off my 'everything in moderation' alarm bells.

Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree - I'm just getting frustrated with the weight fluctuation and want to find the culprit.
Have you looked at fibre? I se MFP to record my daily fibre intake and, even with daily veg, I still don't have 'enough', so I add pulses (but watch the carbs!) and 'Eat water', or shirataki, noodles, plus some quorn occasionally.
Carbohydrates cause water retention especially when eaten following a fast. During fasting glycogen stores are used by the body to supply glucose for energy. Glycogen is 4 parts water to 1 part glucose so you lose a lot of water. When you eat carbs again next day the glucose derived from the carbs is combined with water to replenish glycogen stores so you regain the water lost during fasting. This explains a lot of the variation. Then there's the food or lack of passing through your system.
Paleo people use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, don't know it's as salty but it's an alternative.
If you are still looking for an alternative to soy sauce try Braggs amino acids. It is what those of us who are gluten free use. In fact a lot of chefs use it in cooking schools too. It has less than half the sodium of low salt soy sauce and I venture to say no one will be able to tell the difference in any recipe. ... roduct_top
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