5 Reasons To Use Tamari Instead Of Soy Sauce

mbg Food Contributor By Christina Liva
mbg Food Contributor
Christina Liva is a writer, recipe developer, and former mbg food editor. She founded Yay Lunch and is currently based in Virginia.

Your typical Asian soy sauce is generally made with as much wheat as soy and can sometimes include preservatives and or MSG. Here's why we're reaching for tamari instead:

1. It's wheat-free.

Tamari is a premium form of Japanese soy sauce made with just fermented soybeans. Therefore, most brands contain no wheat, making it safe for a gluten-free diet.

2. It tastes better.

Because of the way tamari is fermented and made (it's essentially a byproduct of miso production), it is generally smoother and richer than your average soy sauce, and tastes less arbitrarily salty.

3. It's better for you.

Most organic tamari brands do not contain preservatives or MSG, making it an additive-free condiment.

4. It has more protein.

Because it is made with just soybeans, it has over 30% more protein than your average soy sauce.

5. It's better for cooking.

Unlike many soy sauces with additives, tamari does not "flash" or become too salty under high temperatures but rather maintains its flavor, making it great for stir-fries and other cooked dishes.

Here are a few ways we're using tamari (aside from sushi):

In Salads & Bitter Greens

Image by Hannah Schwob / mbg Creative

Drizzle it on as a flavor enhancer for bitter greens and in salads like this one.

In Rice Dishes

Image by Alita Ong / Stocksy

Warm brown rice and tamari is a kind of wholesome comfort food we can't get enough of. Add some veggies and or protein, like in this Kimchi Fried Rice, and you've got yourself a meal.

For Roasting

Image by Cameron Whitman / Stocksy

Add a few tablespoons of tamari to roasted veggies, meat or fish before they hit the oven to deepen and enhance the flavor of whatever it is you're cooking.

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