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  3. 10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed 1
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  • 10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed 3
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed 4
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed 5

10 Best Soy Sauces 2023 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed

In a world of artisanal ingredients and gourmet cuisine, it doesn't feel like enough these days to just buy the cheapest bottle labelled 'soy sauce'. Recipes can differ greatly from requiring a thick and sweet soy to a light, clear distillation depending on the country or region, and it's important to consider production processes such as natural brewing too. You may also have some personal specifications to keep in mind, such as low salt, organic, vegan, or gluten-free.


Choosing the right soy sauce can make a huge difference to the authenticity (and success) of your dish, be it a dipping sauce for sushi, dim sum, or dumplings, or as a seasoning for fried rice. Thankfully, we've done the research to determine the best options available online from Amazon, eBay, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose including top producers like Kikkoman, Clearspring and Lee Kum Kee. It's time to find the perfect umami match for your creations!

Last updated 30/01/2023
Emily Hyland
Expert
Nutritionist
Emily Hyland

Emily is a registered integrative, naturopathic nutritionist trained in the principles of functional medicine, biomedicine and human sciences, and she has a Master’s Degree in nutrition. She has extensive clinical experience in both private practice and the public health and wellbeing sector. Her work embraces the interplay between nutrition, bio-individuality and mindset, educating and empowering clients to make lasting changes wherever they are on their health journey.

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Table of Contents

With Specialist Consultation From Nutritionist Emily Hyland

With Specialist Consultation From Nutritionist Emily Hyland

Emily is a registered integrative, naturopathic nutritionist and has a Master’s Degree in nutrition. Her work embraces the interplay between nutrition, bio-individuality and mindset, educating and empowering clients to make lasting changes wherever they are on their health journey. You can check out her work from her Instagram account and website.

How to Choose a Soy Sauce in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Consider Your Desired Type of Shoyu for Japanese Dishes
  2. Go for a Chinese Soy Sauce for an All-Rounded Option
  3. Explore Sweet Varieties That Can Double Up as a Condiment
  4. Keep an Eye Out for Sodium Content and Calorie Value for Healthier Options
  5. Examine the Ingredients and Manufacturing for a High-Quality Soy Sauce
1

For Japanese Food and Delicate Dishes, Choose Your Preferred Type of Shoyu

For Japanese Food and Delicate Dishes, Choose Your Preferred Type of Shoyu

Usukuchi Is Ideal for Soup, Koikuchi Works in Most Savoury Dishes and Saishikomi Goes Great With Sashimi

The most widely available shoyu is koikuchi, which is a dark soy sauce with a deep, salty umami flavour. Roughly equal parts soybeans and wheat, koikuchi makes for an excellent all-purpose option that no Japanese pantry should be without!


Then there is usukuchi, or light soy sauce, which is lighter in colour than koikuchi but not lighter in taste. Usukuchi is saltier than regular soy sauce, making it ideal for soups and stocks.


If you prefer a sweeter, rounder flavour profile you might want to try saishikomi. Meaning "twice-brewed", saishikomi is double-fermented, giving it a stronger umami taste, more natural sweetness and less saltiness than other types. You're less likely to find these shoyu variations in British supermarkets, so look for authentic artisanal Japanese brands online if you'd like to sample them. 

Emily Hyland
Nutritionist Emily Hyland

Soy sauce is known for being high in sodium, which, when paired together with chloride, forms a salt. Too much sodium has been shown to potentially contribute to an increase in blood pressure, but soy sauce actually has less sodium than table salt, and because of the deep, rich flavour of soy sauce, you don’t tend to need massive amounts, so this usually isn’t too much of a problem.

Tamari Is Gluten-Free and Has a Rich, Dark Flavour Profile That's Perfect for Sushi

As tamari is made with little to no wheat, it is the closest of the shoyu varieties to the original Chinese soy sauce. It's well-known throughout the world for being a gluten-free soy sauce, so it's great for those with allergies or intolerances. Be aware it can still contain traces and is not necessarily 100% free of gluten unless the label directly advertises this. 


Tamari is a darker, thicker and richer soy sauce with a stronger flavour than other Japanese soy sauces. It is often used to make stir-fries, soups, sauces, or marinades, but it can also be used on its own as the best match for sushi and other dipping purposes. 

Emily Hyland
Nutritionist Emily Hyland

Tamari contains less sodium than soy sauce, with around 90 milligrams of sodium per serving, nearly double the amount of protein, and is less likely to contain added preservatives and additives that may impact health. In fact, tamari ingredients tend to be minimal, usually just water, soybeans, and salt.

2

Chinese Soy Sauce Is a Reliable All-Purpose Option That’s Available in Light and Dark Varieties

Chinese Soy Sauce Is a Reliable All-Purpose Option That’s Available in Light and Dark Varieties

Light Soy Sauce Is Used to Enhance the Flavours of the Other Ingredients in a Recipe, but Avoid Those With Artificial Additives

Thin and savoury, light soy sauce is used to enhance the flavours of the other ingredients in a recipe. Light Chinese soy sauce is what we in the West think of as regular soy sauce, as it is extremely widespread and popular throughout the world. 


Some cheaper Chinese soy sauces are made by hydrolysing soy protein and combining it with other flavourings and colourings such as corn syrup, caramel and E numbers. The resulting flavour is far removed from that of traditionally fermented soy sauces, so if you try to avoid additives check out the ingredients list before buying.


Discover some of our favourite fish sauces here!

Emily Hyland
Nutritionist Emily Hyland

The chemically produced varieties of soy sauce – often flavoured and coloured with corn syrup, caramel, and salt – are much easier to make and take less time, but they have shown to pose the most health risks, so it’s best to opt for naturally-brewed varieties with as few ingredients as possible.

Dark and Double-Dark Sauces Are Thicker and Sweeter, so They’ll Add Colour, Richness and Flavour to Your Cooking

Chinese dark soy sauces are darker in colour and thicker in texture, but tend to be lighter in saltiness which makes them somewhat similar to dark Japanese styles. They are generally fermented longer than thinner options, have a sweet-salty taste and are mainly used for cooking.


Double-dark soy sauce (as you can probably guess) is even thicker, darker, and sweeter than dark soy and is often used to add colour and rich, sweet flavour to dishes. It's making us hungry just thinking about it!

Emily Hyland
Nutritionist Emily Hyland

You might be surprised to learn that not only is soy sauce delicious, but there is also some research to indicate it may have some health benefits too! Research suggests that soy sauce may help support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, supporting digestion and immunity.


Consumption of soy sauce has also been linked to helping individuals suffering from seasonal allergies.

3

Searching for a Sauce to Double up as a Condiment? Try Sweet Thai Varieties or Indonesian Kecap Manis

Searching for a Sauce to Double up as a Condiment? Try Sweet Thai Varieties or Indonesian Kecap Manis

The Indonesian answer to soy sauce, otherwise known as kecap manis, is made from around 10-15% liquid soy sauce along with a mixture of sugar and water. This gives it its signature sweetness and syrupy consistency, which sometimes has spices added to it as well. 


The combination of sugar and soy sauce gives it a deep, dark colour and opacity, and the use of palm sugar creates smoky, savoury undertones and caramel notes. More sweet than salty, it's often used alongside regular soy sauce, fish sauce and salt in Indonesian cooking and is great as an all-purpose condiment for the table. 


Looking for a spicy kick, explore our best hot sauces!

4

Check the Sodium Content and Calories if You’re Trying to Cook Healthy Dishes

Check the Sodium Content and Calories if You’re Trying to Cook Healthy Dishes

Some soy sauces have high sodium (salt) content and calorific value, which may not be suitable for certain diets. If you are on a low-salt or low-calorie diet, make sure to check the nutritional value before purchasing. Low sodium alternatives are also a good option for those watching their salt intake. 

5

Look Out for the Ingredients and the Processing Method to Find a High Quality Soy Sauce

Look Out for the Ingredients and the Processing Method to Find a High Quality Soy Sauce

The Best Soy Sauce Is Naturally Brewed, Organic and Made From Four Ingredients: Water, Salt, Soybeans and Wheat Flour

Traditionally, making soy sauce involves soaking the soybeans and roasting and crushing the wheat, mixing them with a culturing mold such as Aspergillus oryzae and other related micro-organisms and yeasts (this mixture is called "koji" in Japan) and leaving this for a few days to develop. 


Next, water and salt are added, and the mixture is left to ferment for five to eight months. This skilled process is always used for high-quality soy sauce, and these varieties are often labelled as 'naturally brewed'. If the label does not state this, it may have been made using a chemical method of production which makes it far less attractive in terms of taste and aroma. 


Non-naturally brewed sauces usually have extra flavouring, colouring and salt added, plus the process produces some undesirable compounds including some carcinogens. Therefore, ingredients-wise, most soy sauce aficionados recommend sticking to a recipe as close to the original four ingredients of water, salt, soybeans and wheat flour as possible.

Emily Hyland
Nutritionist Emily Hyland

In addition to the potential health risks of non-natural brewed soy sauce, there is also concern over soy consumption due to the huge amount of GMO soy crops that are frequently sprayed with toxic herbicides. Always try to go for as natural a soy sauce as you can.

Most Soy Sauce Is Vegan, but Look Out for Non Plant-Based Ingredients Like E631 and E627

Although soy sauce comes in a variety of (often regional) varieties, the basic recipe has stayed relatively similar throughout the years. Nevertheless, vegan-friendly substitutes have been developed for soy sauce lovers who follow a plant-based diet. 


The majority of soy sauce available on the market are vegan-friendly, but there are occasionally some non-vegan components that aren't always as obvious. The best way to check if a soy sauce is vegan is to go through the ingredients list and watch out for non plant-based ingredients or E numbers (codes for substances used as food additives). 


For instance, E641 and E627 are common additives used in soy sauce. The first is usually made from pigs or fish, though tapioca starch can also be used. The latter is frequently made with sardines. So, unless the sauce is clearly labeled as vegan, it's probably a good idea to double-check with the retailer or producer.

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10 Best Soy Sauces in the UK

mybest UK product recommendations are reviewed and curated by our writers in-house. We focus on in-depth research and analysis of product reviews to carefully select the best products available for the best prices.
Popularity
Products
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Key features
1

Kishibori Shoyu

Premium Artisinal Japanese Soy Sauce

Kishibori Shoyu Premium Artisinal Japanese Soy Sauce 1枚目

The Best Barrel-Aged Soy Sauce You'll Come Across

2

Shibanuma

Shoyu Jozo Shiho no Shizuku

Shibanuma  Shoyu Jozo Shiho no Shizuku  1枚目

An Artisanal Japanese Option With Woody Undertones

3

Clearspring

Organic Japanese Shoyu Soya Sauce

Clearspring  Organic Japanese Shoyu Soya Sauce 1枚目

Organic, All-Purpose Koikuchi Shoyu

4

Kikkoman

Soy Sauce

Kikkoman Soy Sauce  1枚目

A Naturally Brewed, Mellow Soy Sauce

5

Clearspring

Organic Japanese Tamari Soya Sauce

Clearspring Organic Japanese Tamari Soya Sauce 1枚目

Gluten-Free and Made With Organic Soya Beans

6

Habhal

Kicap Manis Sweet Soy

Habhal Kicap Manis Sweet Soy 1枚目

A Caramel-Sweet Sauce for Creating Tasty Malaysian Meals

7

Pearl River Bridge

Light Soy Sauce

Pearl River Bridge Light Soy Sauce 1枚目

Authentic Chinese Sauce With a Thick Consistency

8

Kikkoman

Less Salt Soy Sauce

Kikkoman  Less Salt Soy Sauce 1枚目

A Healthier Option for Those Who Want to Consume Less Salt

9

Lee Kum Kee

Premium Light Soy Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce 1枚目

Traditionally Brewed Chinese-Style Sauce

10

Healthy Boy

Sweet Soy Sauce

Healthy Boy Sweet Soy Sauce 1枚目

A Thick, Sweet Soy Sauce From Thailand

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Kishibori ShoyuPremium Artisinal Japanese Soy Sauce

Premium Artisinal Japanese Soy Sauce Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£36.99
Reference price
£36.99

The Best Barrel-Aged Soy Sauce You'll Come Across

Our number one choice is this unbeatable artisanal soy sauce by Kishibori Shoyu. It is crafted with an incredible amount of care and skill, resulting in the most piquant and perfect umami and complexity of flavour. It contains only high-quality whole soybeans, wheat and sun-dried sea salt, and has no additives or preservatives whatsoever. 


Not only is this extremely highly-rated soy sauce made with the purest process, but the packaging is to die for and would make a perfect gift for a foodie. This is hands down the most exquisite soy sauce available anywhere!

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No.2

Shibanuma Shoyu Jozo Shiho no Shizuku

Reference price
£8.00

An Artisanal Japanese Option With Woody Undertones

An authentic Japanese soy sauce perfect for salads, vegetables, seafood and carpaccio, this one is a bit of a luxury. Produced using the traditional Japanese method which consists of fermenting the soybeans in wooden barrels, it contains soybeans, wheat and salt — and nothing else.


It has a mellow flavour with woody undertones, eschewing the sharp saltiness often experienced in less finely made soy sauces. Use in the same way as a standard soy sauce, but taste the difference for yourself.

No.3

Clearspring Organic Japanese Shoyu Soya Sauce

Organic Japanese Shoyu Soya Sauce Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£9.89
Reference price
£9.89

Organic, All-Purpose Koikuchi Shoyu

This is truly a shoyu of the finest quality. Made from selected soybeans and wheat flour, it has been naturally fermented in cedarwood kegs to give it a distinctive flavour. It will delicately enhance the balance of any dish, creating subtle flavours in soups, sauces, salads or accompanying grains and vegetables.


Created by an artisan producer, every aspect and ingredient of its recipe is of the finest quality. A few drops of this rich, savoury seasoning is all that's needed for a delectable dish!

No.4

KikkomanSoy Sauce

Reference price
£2.70

A Naturally Brewed, Mellow Soy Sauce

Similarly to its low-salt Kikkoman counterpart earlier in the list, this soy sauce is also naturally brewed with just soybeans, wheat, salt and water. It has a rich yet mellow flavour that comes from months of unhurried natural brewing, which is the traditional signature of this brand.


On the table of any worthy ramen or sushi restaurant, it's fantastic with Japanese cuisine. Although its well-balanced flavour makes it a great kitchen staple for everything from Asian-influenced dishes to a tasty addition to a classic shepherd's pie!

No.5

ClearspringOrganic Japanese Tamari Soya Sauce

Reference price
£9.99

Gluten-Free and Made With Organic Soya Beans

Clearspring Organic Tamari is a double-strength, gluten-free and organic soy sauce made using twice as many beans for each bottle as ordinary recipes. The higher proportion of soybeans results in a smoother and more balanced flavour.


Made to a 500-year-old Japanese recipe in which it is naturally fermented and aged, it has an award-winning flavour that's rich, full-bodied and complex but never overpowering. Its best as a dipping sauce to accompany sushi and sashimi and for salad dressings, marinades, sauces, or anything really!

No.6

HabhalKicap Manis Sweet Soy

Reference price
£7.40

A Caramel-Sweet Sauce for Creating Tasty Malaysian Meals

Habhal's Kicap Manis is a sweet, molasses-like sauce widely used in Malaysian cooking. It's slightly different from a standard soy sauce, as it's made using soybean extract, wheat flour, caramel, sugar, salt, and preservatives – not the healthiest but very tasty! 


This type of soy sauce is less common than the Japanese or Chinese varieties you may see at a supermarket; but is definitely worth the investment if you are planning on whipping up a feast of Southeast Asian dishes. 

No.7

Pearl River BridgeLight Soy Sauce

Reference price
£4.90

Authentic Chinese Sauce With a Thick Consistency

Pearl River Bridge has been the leading authentic Chinese soy sauce brand since 1958, so if you are looking for something trustworthy without paying over the odds, this might be the one for you.


Stronger-tasting, darker and slightly thicker than other 'light' competitors, you may prefer this one if you find light sauces don't stand out in cooking. It has a delicious flavour and colour; and it's ideal for seasoning all types of dishes, particularly Chinese cuisine, of course!

No.8

Kikkoman Less Salt Soy Sauce

Reference price
£6.90

A Healthier Option for Those Who Want to Consume Less Salt

Kikkoman soy sauce is made according to a traditional recipe and contains four simple ingredients: soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. Naturally brewed soy sauce with less salt is the ideal seasoning for rice, sushi, noodle dishes and as a dipping sauce for spring roll and dim sum.


Its deep brown colour and unique aroma provide a delicious spiciness whilst being delicate enough not to absorb the flavours of the main dish ingredients. Perfect for use on a low-salt diet or for those committed to a more natural, healthy approach.

No.9

Lee Kum KeePremium Light Soy Sauce

Reference price
£1.35

Traditionally Brewed Chinese-Style Sauce

This light soy sauce is naturally brewed with non-GM soybeans and doesn't contain any added MSG or preservatives, which is great for a budget soy sauce. Generally used for seasoning, its umami taste uplifts any dish.


It can be used as a marinade or as a dipping sauce, in a stir fry or as part of a dressing, or even instead of salt in Asian cooking. Light in colour and thin in consistency, this soy sauce is a flexible all-rounder, although true connoisseurs may be put off by the E numbers. 

No.10

Healthy BoySweet Soy Sauce

Sweet Soy Sauce Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£5.29
Reference price
£5.29

A Thick, Sweet Soy Sauce From Thailand

Healthy Boy's offering is a naturally fermented, sweet soy sauce which can be found in authentic Asian supermarkets. It is rich, thick and dark in colour, and is particularly good when used for making Thai food.


This sauce has a consistency similar to ketchup which makes it perfect for dipping shrimp crackers, and goes well with crispy duck and roast pork. However, due to this thickness, it's important not to purchase this if you are looking for a typically thinner soy sauce for everyday cooking, or something low in sugar!

10 Best Soy Sauces in the UK

mybest UK product recommendations are reviewed and curated by our writers in-house. We focus on in-depth research and analysis of product reviews to carefully select the best products available for the best prices.

Written and researched by Melanie McPhail

Top 5 Soy Sauces

No. 1: Kishibori ShoyuPremium Artisinal Japanese Soy Sauce

No. 2: Shibanuma Shoyu Jozo Shiho no Shizuku

No. 3: Clearspring Organic Japanese Shoyu Soya Sauce

No. 4: KikkomanSoy Sauce

No. 5: ClearspringOrganic Japanese Tamari Soya Sauce

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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