Coconut Aminos Aren’t Just for Those on a Paleo Diet

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

I’m not on the Paleo diet, but I recently made all the recipes from The Kitchn’s A Week of Easy Dinners for Paleo-Curious Cooks meal plan so we could photograph the recipes for the site. And while yes, there was a lot of meat in this menu, there was also a new ingredient that I had never worked with before: coconut aminos.

This soy sauce alternative is a favorite among those on the Paleo diet, but I’ve enjoyed cooking a lot with it recently too! Here’s what I’ve learned about it.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

What Are Coconut Aminos?

Coconut aminos are a liquid made from the aged sap of coconut blossoms and salt. It is a low-glycemic, vegan, and gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, with 17 amino acids. Coconut aminos have about 65% less sodium than regular soy sauce.

You can find coconut aminos in health-food stores or higher-end grocery stores — I was able to find it in my local Whole Foods. Once opened, coconut aminos should be stored in the refrigerator.

Another soy sauce alternative: The Difference Between Tamari and Soy Sauce

How to Use Coconut Aminos

So what do coconut aminos taste like? They have a good balance of rich, sweet-savory flavor; definitely not as salty as soy sauce or tamari (and they don’t pack as much of a savory punch), but still have a nice, deep flavor. I’ve liked using coconut aminos in place of soy sauce in cooked foods, salad dressings, or for dipping things like sushi.

Friends and family who have eaten short ribs and fried rice I’ve made with the coconut aminos were actually surprised when I told them I didn’t use any soy sauce. It’s great for those who don’t eaten gluten, but it’s also just a tasty condiment to have around, even if you aren’t following any kind of special diet!

Recipes with Coconut Aminos