If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine but have a soy allergy or simply want to avoid soy sauce, you may be wondering if there are any Thai recipes out there that don’t rely on this popular condiment.
The good news is that there are plenty of delicious and authentic Thai dishes that don’t require soy sauce at all. In fact, many traditional Thai recipes use other flavorful ingredients like coconut aminos, hoisin sauce, and tamari to achieve that signature umami taste.
So, whether you’re looking for a soy-free version of pad Thai or a new twist on classic Thai flavors, keep reading to discover some tasty and easy-to-make recipes that don’t rely on soy sauce.
Are There Any Thai Recipes Without Soy Sauce?
Yes, there are plenty of Thai recipes that don’t require soy sauce. In fact, many traditional Thai dishes use other flavorful ingredients to achieve that signature umami taste.
One popular dish that can easily be made without soy sauce is pad Thai. Instead of soy sauce, you can use coconut aminos or tamari sauce as a substitute. You can also skip the sauces altogether and rely on savory ginger, vinegar, and garlic to make your pad Thai come alive.
Another delicious Thai dish that doesn’t require soy sauce is Vegan Thai Noodles. This recipe is a take on traditional pad Thai but is soy-free and packed with an array of colorful veggies. The noodles are soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes and then briefly stir-fried, making them easy to prepare. The sauce is made with raw honey, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, Thai curry paste, and veggie broth, giving it a rich and flavorful taste.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy Thai recipe without soy sauce, try making Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry. This dish uses hoisin sauce instead of soy sauce to achieve that sweet and savory flavor. Simply whisk chicken stock, peanut butter, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, rice wine, chile sauce, garlic, and ginger together in a bowl. Then stir-fry chicken and carrots before adding cooked noodles and pouring the sauce over everything.
Why Avoid Soy Sauce In Thai Recipes?
While soy sauce is a staple ingredient in many Asian countries, some people may choose to avoid it in their Thai recipes due to personal preferences or dietary restrictions. Soy sauce contains wheat and gluten, which can be problematic for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Additionally, some people may be allergic to soy or have concerns about the high sodium content in soy sauce.
Luckily, there are plenty of flavorful substitutes for soy sauce in Thai cooking. Coconut aminos and tamari sauce are both great alternatives that offer a similar umami taste without the wheat or gluten. Tamari sauce is made from fermented soybeans but is gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten sensitivities. Coconut aminos, on the other hand, are made from coconut sap and have a slightly sweeter taste than soy sauce.
Using other ingredients like fish sauce, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce can also add depth and complexity to Thai dishes without relying on soy sauce. These sauces are commonly used in Thai cooking and can provide a unique flavor profile to your dish.
Alternative Ingredients For Umami Flavor In Thai Cuisine
If you’re looking to add that signature umami flavor to your Thai dishes without using soy sauce, there are several alternative ingredients you can turn to. One popular option is fish sauce, which is a staple in many Southeast Asian dishes. However, if you’re a vegetarian or have seafood allergies, there are several substitutes available.
One option is coconut aminos, which is made from fermented coconut sap and has a similar umami flavor to soy sauce. It’s also lower in sodium and gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. Another substitute is Worcestershire sauce, which is made from anchovies and tamarind and adds a tangy, savory taste to dishes.
For those who prefer plant-based options, vegetarian versions of fish sauce are available that are made with seaweed and mushrooms. These substitutes provide a depth of flavor similar to the original fish sauce.
If you’re looking for a more DIY approach, minced anchovy can be mixed with soy sauce for an extra umami kick. Other ingredients like ginger, vinegar, garlic, and Thai curry paste can also be used to add savory flavors to your dishes.
Soy-Free Pad Thai Recipe
Pad Thai is a popular Thai dish that is typically made with soy sauce, but it can easily be made without it. This Soy-Free Pad Thai recipe is not only delicious, but it’s also gluten-free and allergy-free, meaning no nuts or soy! The recipe calls for authentic rice noodles, veggies, and a delicious Pad Thai sauce that is made without soy sauce.
To make the recipe, start by cooking the rice noodles in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes until tender yet firm to the bite. Drain the noodles and set them aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add in your choice of vegetables. Bell peppers go particularly well with the flavors of Pad Thai, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand. Cook the vegetables for 1 minute before adding in cooked chicken or tofu.
To make the Pad Thai sauce without soy sauce, whisk together raw honey, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, Thai curry paste, and veggie broth. Soak a bit of kombu sea vegetable and dried mushrooms in hot water to ramp up the umami flavor before adding it to the sauce. Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and vegetables in the skillet. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes more.
Finally, stir in bean sprouts and green onions and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and sriracha sauce before serving.
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Without Soy Sauce
If you’re a fan of spicy food and looking for a Thai recipe without soy sauce, then Spicy Thai Basil Chicken is the perfect dish for you. This flavorful and aromatic dish is made with a combination of chicken broth, oyster sauce, fish sauce, white sugar, and brown sugar to create a sweet and salty mixture that packs a punch.
To start, finely chop garlic and hot chile peppers together to release their fragrance. Heat oil in a wok or skillet and add the garlic and chilies until fragrant. Then add ground chicken and cook until nearly cooked through. Next, pour in the sauce mixture and simmer until it coats the chicken. Finally, stir in Thai basil just until it’s wilted.
This dish is perfect served over steamed rice along with a fried egg. Customize the amount of hot chile peppers to suit your taste buds. You can use Thai chile, serrano chile, or any other hot pepper of your choice.
Green Curry With Coconut Aminos
Green curry is another popular Thai dish that can be made without soy sauce. Instead, you can use coconut aminos as a substitute. To make Green Curry with Coconut Aminos, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-size pieces, carrots, crimini mushrooms, and green cabbage. You’ll also need coconut milk, chicken stock, Thai curry paste, fish sauce, and of course, coconut aminos.
To begin, add the coconut milk and curry paste to a large soup pot and mix until blended. Bring it to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. While the coconut milk and curry are simmering, dice up your chicken and chop your veggies. Add the chicken, carrots, chicken broth, fish sauce, and coconut aminos to the coconut milk curry – mix well and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Finally, add the cabbage and mushrooms and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Top with diced cilantro and enjoy! This dish is not only soy-free but also gluten-free and dairy-free. It’s perfect for those who have dietary restrictions but still want to enjoy the delicious flavors of Thai cuisine.
Thai-Inspired Stir-Fry With Tamari Sauce
If you’re looking for a Thai-inspired stir-fry recipe that doesn’t use soy sauce, try using tamari sauce instead. Tamari sauce is similar to soy sauce but is made without wheat, making it a great alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.
To make this stir-fry, start by soaking dry rice noodles in hot tap water for 40 minutes, then drain. Heat up some vegetable oil in a wok and sauté your vegetables of choice (such as bell peppers, onions, and broccoli) with tofu, tempeh, or soy curls over medium heat. Once the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add a handful of noodles and 2 oz of Thai & True Pad Thai Tamari Sauce.
Continue to stir-fry everything together with bean sprouts and green onions until heated through. Top with ground peanuts or cashews and a lime wedge for an extra burst of flavor. This dish is quick and easy to make and can be customized to your liking with different vegetables and protein options.