I have here a bottle of Kikkoman "Less Sodium Soy Sauce". According to the label, it contains 37% less sodium than regular soy sauce (575 mg per 15 ml serving, versus 920 mg). How is this stuff made, and how will it compare to regular soy sauce in flavor?

An optimist would hope that it's made just like regular soy sauce, but less salt is added, so that it would still have the same soy/umami flavor but be less salty.

A pessimist would suspect that they just take 1 part regular soy sauce and dilute with 0.58 parts of water.

What is the truth?

These questions are related, but don't answer my question:

  • 1
    Also note it is harder to store: Normal soy sauces are pretty resilient about room temperature storage, very salty types (regular Kikkoman isn't very salty compared to, say, Thai/Chinese light soy sauce or Korean soup soy sauce :) even more, some officially even do NOT have a "store refrigerated after opening" recommendation despite of being free of modern preservatives. Low sodium soy sauce always takes fridge space... Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


Well, this is what Kikkoman has to say about it:

Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce is brewed exactly the same way as all-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce. However, after the fermentation process is completed, approximately 40% of the salt is removed. Although there is less sodium in Less Sodium Soy Sauce, all the flavor and quality characteristics remain because it is aged before extracting the salt. However, to maintain this full flavor, we recommend using it during the latter stage of cooking in braising sauces, soups and stews, vegetables or stir-frys.

Huffington Post claims otherwise:

Another category of soy sauce is low-sodium, which is made with extra chemicals. Cooking instructor and author of "The Chinese Takeout Cookbook" Diana Kuan recommends diluting regular soy sauce if you want less sodium instead of buying the low-sodium stuff.

The ingredient list on my Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce includes lactic acid, which is not on the ingredient list of Kikkoman Original Soy Sauce, but as it is a by-product of fermentation, I'm not sure that it means anything.

  • Thanks, I should have thought to look on Kikkoman's website. This brings up the question of how they extract the sodium. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 4:20
  • @NateEldredge I wonder that too.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 4:33
  • Both your sources are correct. Kikkoman removes the salt, and other brands may use additives in place of salt. The bottom line is, something is needed to control the speed and progress of the fermentation process, be it salt, lactic acid, or whatever.
    – Lee K-B
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 18:09

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