Soy Sauce Substitute – MSG Free

I'm looking for something that can be substituted for soy sauce in Chines e recipes. I'm allergic to msg so it would have to be msg-free. Thanks!

Charise - April 10, 2011

I’m unable to eat soy and I substitute Vietnamese fish sauce for soy sauce in recipes. It works pretty well, although it does slightly change the flavor. The fish sauce I buy is just made from anchovies, so no msg.

    sarah - November 1, 2012

    be careful, fish sauce can be loaded with MSG

Annie - April 10, 2011

You could try using Fish Sauce instead. It has the salty, ‘body’ flavour that soy sauce does and despite the name it doesn’t taste fishy. You could also try Tamari, a type of Japanese soy sauce that is generally additive free and organically brewed.

Michelle - April 13, 2011

The following recipe is a Soy Sauce Substitute recipe designed for a low sodium diet.
(via Better Homes & Gardens Low Sodium Cookbook)

2 tbsp beef bouillion (sodium free or regular if you’re not salt sensitive)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp molasses
1/8 tsp ground ginger
dash black pepper
dash garlic powder
3/4 cup water

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and boil gently, uncovered for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Store in the refrigerator. Stir before using.

I’ve made this & it’s pretty close to the real thing!

    Mel - December 19, 2011

    beef boullion has MSG!!!!!

      Liz - January 15, 2012

      HerBox brand beef bouillon is MSG free!!!

        M Reich - March 1, 2012

        “Better than Bouillon” is MSG free, also. Available at King soopers and Natural grocers.

          Sheila - August 3, 2012

          Better than Bouillon is not MSG free. Autolyzed Yeast Extract is a form of MSG, from what I have read.

Dorothy E - April 13, 2011

It was unclear to me as to whether you had a soy allergy or not. If not, try Bragg Amino Acids which you can get at a healthfood store and often regular groceries stores will carry it in the healthfood section.
I cannot have msg or anything that says “natural flavors”, autolyzed yeast etc.. and this product works great for me.

    julien - August 14, 2012

    Bragg’s amino acids has MSG in it. Not intentionally(I hope not), but it is created as a by-product of the process they use to create this product.

Cher - April 13, 2011

We use Braggs Liquid Aminos…..tastes just like soy sauce but healthier!

Mrs Koehn - April 20, 2011

Either brags or San J Tamari Sauce. :)

Mat Burford - April 23, 2011

I agree that Tamari is a good option if you can eat Soy.
Obviously they range in quality, but the typical ingredients are water, soy beans, sea salt, a. oryzae (for fermentation)

su - May 18, 2011

I’m allergic to msg.. I’m also Korean.. I don’t know what soy sauce has msg in it.. there are other spices used in oriental cooking that contain msg but usually soy sauce doesn’t…#Ijs

L. Vilneff - June 3, 2011

Here’s one I found awhile back

Faux Soy Sauce

Tastes like soy sauce but without the Soy! Create for those with Soy allergies- or those in the middle of a recipe but have run out of SS.
Combine the following items in a sm. saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

* 4 Tbs. beef bouillon
* 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
* 2 tsp dark molasses
* 1/4 tsp ground ginger
* 1/8 tsp pepper
* 1 pinch garlic powder
* 1 1/2 cups water

Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. (Simmer uncovered, as you want this to reduce to about a cup)

Stacey - August 1, 2011

Yuppers what the above said. I have used Braggs Amino Acids for years instead of soy sauce. It is not produced via the fermentation process that soy sauce is, and is much healthier for you. You can even dredge your extra-firm tofu in it, before lightly browning it in oil; before adding it to the rest of your recipe.

Margarethe Smith - September 17, 2011

I am very exited that i found this side, my question is for the making of Soy sauce substitute, whis using Beef Boulion wich in most cases contains MSG. Is there a beef bullion around that is MSG free.?

Pene - January 4, 2012

We use both the chicken and beef “Better than Bouillon” brand. It does not have the MSG. It is usually on the top shelf in the stock/bouillon area in a glass jar. It is a paste. Sometimes Costco and Sam’s carry it.

    TK - January 25, 2012

    I think Better Than Boullion brand does have MSG in it which I hate because it’s my favorite boullion to use. I’ve learned that you must look for the ‘other’ names used for MSG. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is MSG as is Natural Flavoring. If you look on the website associated with this product, they DO NOT indicate their product is MSG free…some products (vegetable boullion for example) might say no MSG added but that doesn’t mean it’s MSG free. Just wanted to clarify.

Joanne Peterson - January 4, 2012

Better than Bouillon brand is a paste that comes in a jar and is msg free and has real ingredients. In my area, all of the grocery stores carry it.

    Gretchen - January 4, 2012

    Better than Boullion does have MSG. Check the ingredients. Whenever “natural flavoring” is listed, that’s actually MSG. I still have not found broth/boullion/stock without MSG. The only way to guarantee it is to make your own.

Carol Marsh - October 23, 2012

Searches including Hidden Names & Symptoms of MSG Poisoning will give additional information about the many, many other names for MSG.

c. k. knope - January 10, 2013

To set the record straight on MSG. You can’t be allergic to it, it is a natural product. However it is an excito-toxin. which over excited brain cells, witch causes the headache. Or, in my husband’s case, instant seizure activity. As for soy sauce, the process of making it causes free glutimates to bind with sodium to form monosodium glutimate. Thus all soy sauce has msg in some amount, Brags amino acids has glutamic acid, the business end of msg in it. It is better to avoid. And yes, autolyzed yeast extract is another name for msg. My husband’s reaction is so instant and severe, that we have no problem locating the source. It happens with the first bite. Also be aware that some live virus vaccines contain msg as a preservative, as do some medications. it is truly everywhere.

    The Hillbilly Housewife - January 11, 2013

    Thank you for your very informative comment, c. k.

    The word ‘allergic’ can be tricky. A person may not test positive for an allergen but may in fact be so sensitive to it that they cannot tolerate it at all in or on their body.

    And I’m sure there will be comments coming denouncing the thought that you can’t be allergic to a “natural” product. Grass and flowers are both natural products and cause allergic reactions for many people.

    Thanks again for your detailed description of the msg debate.

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