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7 Best Soy Sauces for 2024 [Savor the Superior Taste]

By: Shivani Choudhary
Updated On: December 18, 2023

If you’re like me, soy sauce is an essential part of your pantry. This deeply flavored condiment has the power to transform dishes, adding a savory richness that is difficult to replicate with any other ingredient. The nuance of flavor, traditional process of making, and versatility it imparts to the palate makes soy sauce interesting to experiment with. But, as with any food product, not all soy sauces are created equal. Today we step into the powerful realm of what can arguably be termed as the “best soy sauce”. We’ll be exploring a breadth of brands available in the market, each with its unique flavor profile, heritage, and culinary potential.

So, whether you’re browsing your local grocery aisle, or you’re on a quest to level up your culinary adventures, this guide will help you navigate through the incredible world of soy sauce. Join me as we embark on an intriguing journey, indulging in the intriguing variations and selecting the best soy sauce that perfectly suits your taste buds.

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7 Best Soy Sauces of 2024

Best Soy Sauces of 2024

No matter the recipe, whether it’s a bowl of comforting soup, a delightful stir fry, or a delectable marinade, the underlying flavor that unites all of these is the humble yet significant soy sauce. Breaking down the essence of this kitchen staple, we venture into the world of the seven best soy sauces, each unique and pleasing in its own distinctive way.

1. Kroger Soy Sauce

Kroger Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

From the shelves of the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., Kroger Soy Sauce has always been the favorite go-to choice for many consumers. It’s familiar, usually easy to find, and delivers a consistent balance of rich, savory, and sweet flavors that most of us describe when we think of soy sauce. This soy sauce does a fantastic job of enhancing the taste of a dish without overwhelming it.

What’s remarkable about Kroger Soy Sauce is that it maintains a harmonious balance of umami, sweetness, saltiness, and depth of flavor, essential criteria for any good soy sauce. When you include it in a recipe, it adds that ‘something extra, that little magic that makes your dish pop. It’s this exceptional quality that has solidified Kroger’s place among not just household consumers but professional kitchens around the country. Indeed, it is a comforting classic that never disappoints.

2. Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce

Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

Hailing from the Philippines, Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce offers a unique flavor profile that distinctively complements the country’s vibrant cuisine. Although this may be less familiar, it is an exceptional soy sauce that can surely bring a sense of adventure to your kitchen.

Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce has a lighter color compared to its counterparts but packs a potent punch in terms of flavor. It has a relatively higher salt content, which is offset by a pronounced sweetness. The harmony between the sweet and salty results in a captivating taste that leaves a lingering sensation on the tongue, making your meals come alive with complexity. This is what makes Silver Swan such a crucial ingredient in Filipino cooking. Whether it’s a simple pot of adobo or complex noodle dishes, Silver Swan has got the power to subtly transform the dish while allowing other flavors to shine through.

3. San-J Tamari Soy Sauce

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

For those who need to sidestep gluten, soy sauce choices can seem limited. Fear not, for San-J Tamari Soy Sauce swoops in to save the day. It’s gluten-free, which makes it a healthier option for people who are sensitive or allergic to gluten. But, besides its gluten-free claim, San-J Tamari has a lot more to offer.

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce is known for its thicker texture and more robust flavor as compared to typical soy sauce. It strikes a perfect balance between salty, tangy, and umami flavors that give off a particular richness, making it a delightful addition to numerous dishes. It is often praised for having an almost wine-like taste which enhances the complexity of its flavor. It’s this unique complexity that makes it a favorite even among those who aren’t necessarily looking for gluten-free options. Suitable for soups, stews, and marinades, the versatility of San-J Tamari is indeed commendable.

4. Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce

Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce is the epitome of fine, gourmet quality in soy sauce form. It represents a higher grade of the product, with the emphasis on quality, flavor, and the overall sensory experience. It is designed for those who appreciate the delicate nuances that a premium product can bring to the table.

Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce is known for its rich color, almost velvet-like texture, and its ability to bring out the flavors of the ingredients it’s paired with exceptionally well. It teases out flavors in a way that uplifts the overall dish without overpowering it. The taste is smooth, rounded, and starts with a mild sweetness soon overtaken by savory notes and a nice, clean finish. This harmonious blend affords a variety of uses, making it a sophisticated choice for those who appreciate the grandeur of flavors.

Also Read: Best Dipping Sauces For Sweet Potato Fries

5. Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

Keeping taste and health in balance, Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce is designed for the health-conscious. Its lower sodium content does not compromise its flavor profile, offering the same delightful umami flavor soy sauce is known for, while taking care of your sodium intake.

Despite its reduced sodium content, Trader Joe’s nails the balancing act by compensating with a slightly sweeter and fuller-bodied flavor, creating a surprisingly rich and savory taste. This healthier alternative proves that flavor doesn’t have to be compromised for the sake of wellness. From marinades to dipping sauces, Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce retains the profile of regular soy sauce, while maintaining a more health-conscious stance.

6. Kikkoman Extra Fancy Prime Umami Soy Sauce

Kikkoman Extra Fancy Prime Umami Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

Kikkoman Extra Fancy Prime Umami Soy Sauce is a higher-end product that takes you on a sensory voyage like no other. It’s a luxurious choice for those who appreciate the refined flavors and the unique ‘umami’ taste that Japanese cuisine embodies.

Kikkoman Extra Fancy Prime Umami Soy Sauce is fermented using a time-tested method, resulting in complex, robust flavors. It boasts a rich texture, slightly thicker than regular soy sauce, and presents you with the mix of a mildly sweet beginning that transits swiftly into a robust, savory flavor with a long-lasting aftertaste. It’s this complexity of flavors that marks Kikkoman as the quintessence of premium umami tasty flavor.

7. Bluegrass Soy Sauce

Bluegrass Soy Sauce - Best Soy Sauce of 2024

Last but definitely not least, Bluegrass Soy Sauce adds an All-American spin to the staple East Asian condiment. It’s distinct, microbrewed in small batches using only pure Kentucky spring water, making it a more localized product.

Bluegrass Soy Sauce comes with the promise of subtlety paired with a rich, deep flavor. It has a beautifully balanced profile that isn’t overwhelmingly salty but tends more towards a smoky sweetness. It carries a slight edge of earthiness and an intoxicating aroma that is distinctly its own. This uniqueness adds rich depth to a variety of dishes. Bluegrass Soy Sauce is a testament to the fact that great soy sauce isn’t restrained to just East Asia; we have excellent, local options as well.

What Makes a Spectacular Soy Sauce?

A truly spectacular soy sauce offers a perfect flavor blend – it’s salty, it’s sweet, a tad bitter, and boasts a richness that savors your culinary ventures. The umami factor, as it’s often termed, is a significant feature of a premium quality soy sauce. Umami, often dubbed as the ‘fifth taste’ after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, delivers an irresistible hint of savoriness and depth to dishes.

Traditionally, soy sauce is made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans, roasted grains, brine, and certain types of mold. This process can take somewhere from a few months to a couple of years! The lengthier the fermentation, the more robust and complex the flavor. The presence of naturally occurring MSG (yes, the same MSG often frowned upon in junk food) gives soy sauce its quintessential umami taste. But worry not! Unlike the synthetic ones, natural MSG found in foods like tomatoes, cheese, and soy sauce isn’t harmful.

Soy sauces are devised into different kinds, each with a distinct use. We have the lighter ones like Usukuchi for subtle flavor impartation in dishes or the darker ones like Koikuchi for a bolder flavor experience. Then we have the Tamari, a gluten-free option born from the liquid byproduct of miso production.

The Soy Sauce Showdown: How to Determine the Best?

The Soy Sauce Showdown: How to Determine the Best?

Choosing the best soy sauce isn’t about picking the one that’s most popular or expensive. It’s about zeroing in on a sauce that enhances the flavor profile you’re trying to achieve in your culinary creations. Here is what to keep in mind while selecting the best in the showdown:

  1. Purpose: Consider the primary use for your soy sauce. Lighter varieties are ideal for dips, while darker ones are suited for cooking and marinades. Are you looking for a gluten-free variant? Or perhaps a lower sodium option for health reasons? Choose accordingly.
  2. Brand Reputation: Reliable brands usually deliver a consistent taste profile. Look for brands that have garnered positive reviews. Kroger, Silver Swan, and Kikkoman are traditionally trusted.
  3. Ingredients: Pure soy sauce lists only four ingredients: soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. Watch out for sauces with additives and preservatives—they can meddle with the all-natural, traditional flavor of the sauce.
  4. Bottle & Price: Don’t underestimate the packaging. The soy sauce container should be opaque to preserve the quality and taste. As for the price, the best soy sauce isn’t always the most expensive one. Choose quality over price, because remember, your soy sauce is an investment in flavor!

In this great soy sauce showdown, your winning choice will hinge on your flavor preferences, dietary needs, and culinary demands. In the quest of the best soy sauce, your palate is the ultimate judge!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best overall soy sauce to use for cooking?

The answer largely depends on personal preference, but both Kikkoman Extra Fancy Prime Umami Soy Sauce and Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce are highly-regarded options due to their depth of flavor and high-quality ingredients.

Are some soy sauces healthier than others?

Yes, some soy sauces, like Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, have lower sodium levels which can be a healthier option for those looking to minimize salt intake.

Is there a soy sauce that is gluten-free?

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce is a popular choice for those looking for a gluten-free soy sauce. It maintains the rich flavor of traditional soy sauce without containing gluten.

How does soy sauce add to the flavor of dishes?

Soy sauce adds a savory, umami-rich depth to any dish. It also brings out the inherent flavors of other ingredients, acting as a natural flavor enhancer.

Are there notable differences in flavor among different soy sauce brands?

Absolutely! Each brand of soy sauce may have a unique flavor profile based on its ingredients, brewing process, and origin. For instance, Bluegrass Soy Sauce has a distinctive flavor due to its local American production process.

Can soy sauce go bad?

Soy sauce, because of its fermentation and high sodium, can last a long time before going bad. However, once opened, it’s recommended to use it within two years for the best flavor.

What is a premium soy sauce?

A premium soy sauce often refers to a product that’s been made using traditional brewing methods and high-quality ingredients. Private Selection Premium Soy Sauce is an example of a premium product because of its craftsmanship and flavor.

Is there a soy sauce that is more budget-friendly but still good quality?

Kroger Soy Sauce is a fantastic choice for those on a budget. Despite its affordability, it does not compromise on flavor, making it an excellent staple for any kitchen.


Over the course of our exploration, we’ve dipped into the world of soy sauce, sampling an array of flavors from Kroger’s classic variety to the all-American favorite, Bluegrass. We’ve considered not just taste, but also health benefits and culinary applications. Whether you are a soy sauce novice or a seasoned connoisseur, these diverse options offer a depth of choice for everyone.

Remember, the “best soy sauce” is ultimately subjective. The choice depends on your personal preference, dietary needs, and the recipes you typically enjoy creating. Hopefully, this guide has shed light on some potential favorites and perhaps introduced a few new bottles to try. Happy taste testing and may your culinary endeavors be filled with flavorful highs!

Food Lover and Storyteller ????️✨ With a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, Shivani brings her culinary adventures to life through evocative words and tantalizing tastes. Her love for food knows no bounds, and she's on a mission to share the magic of flavors with fellow enthusiasts.
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