Mushroom Umami Sauce (Soy Sauce Alternative)

Use this Soy Sauce Alternative in your favorite stir-fry!

Rich and low in sodium, the mushroom umami sauce will complete any dish that calls for soy sauce or aminos. I am not soy-free, but I do try to avoid products high in sodium, so I knew I had to tackle an alternative to soy sauce, tamari, and aminos. This recipe is from the Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Diet Cookbook!


The Budget Friendly Plant-Based Diet Cookbook


What is umami? Umami is a taste, one of our core tastes, and it is found in the proteins of meat; as a vegan and whole-food, plant-based eater, I don’t eat meat. But like many other vegans and wfpb eaters, we didn’t necessarily give up animal products because we didn’t enjoy the taste; it is usually for health, the environment, or animal welfare.

So enter seasonings, sauces, and flavorings that pull that deep, savory, rich umami flavor out and help us satisfy that 5th core taste.


We simmer umami-rich foods in water to achieve the dark and savory flavor and color in this sauce. We do not use oil or salt, so while this has that rice flavor, the recipe does not have salt; if you salt your food, you may find it necessary to add a bit of salt or salt alternative at the table.

Mushrooms and sundried tomatoes play a critical role in this sauce, helping it develop a depth of flavor. We use this in all the places we would use soy sauce or liquid aminos; stir-fries, gravies, dressing, etc.

Mushroom Umami Sauce

Mushroom Umami Sauce (Soy Sauce Alternative)

Mushroom Umami Sauce (Soy Sauce Alternative)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Salt-free doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! Packed with umami-rich mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, this sauce has wonderful depth of flavor
and is perfect to use in place of soy sauce or liquid aminos. The mushrooms also provide healthy antioxidant benefits. You can mix and match whatever mushrooms you find, like cremini, shiitake, and oyster. White mushrooms don’t give as much flavor, so stick to cremini or other dark mushrooms and add some shiitake if you can, since they really boost the umami flavors.


  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms (4 ounces shiitake, if possible)
  • 1⁄2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch kelp granules or small piece of nori


    1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, combine the mushrooms, tomatoes, water, garlic, vinegar, molasses, ginger, and kelp. Cover and simmer for
    30 to 40 minutes. Strain.

    2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
    for up to 1 week.


Shop to Save: Some stores will mark down their mushrooms as they approach their sell-by date. Also, check to see if your store sells bulk shiitake, so you can grab 4 ounces of shiitake and use the more budget-friendly cremini, also known as baby bellas, for
the remaining mushrooms.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: <1gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3g

Budget-Friendly, Plant-Based Diet Cookbook

This recipe is found in the Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Diet Cookbook and is used throughout the recipes. The Budget-Friendly lant-Based Diet cookbook has over 70 Whole-Food, Plant-Based Recipes to help anyone looking to eat more plants find easy and wallet-friendly ways to accomplish that goal.

I would love to hear how you enjoy this and what recipes you add it to.

And keep in mind, you can take the mushroom mix, create a delicious pasta or rice dish, or even use it as a binder in bean burgers. Get creative!