I tried a bottle of San-J tamari for the first time today. It tasted salty and bitter. I found that adding a pinch of sugar with the tamari to smooth out the bitterness made it taste more similar to soy sauce. But, wanted to get your thoughts? Is tamari and soy sauce a 1:1 substitute?

  • 1
    Thoughts on what, precisely? Tamari is soy sauce, specifically one made without wheat. Simple comparison… sanchi.co.uk/blog-cs/shoyu-or-tamari-soy-sauce
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 7:53
  • Is it possible you're used to sweetened soy sauce, such as is often served with dumplings? If you still have an older bottle of soy sauce that tastes normal to you, check the ingredients for sugar.
    – csk
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 17:05
  • related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/56335/67
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


The answer is both yes, and at the same time no.

The problem is that there are a lot of types of soy sauce (see What are the differences between types of soy sauce? ), and many of them are not good substitutions for each other.

Depending on what type of soy sauce you're replacing, Tamari may be a good 1:1 substitution, or it may not be.

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