How Many Syns In Soy Sauce? & Some Alternatives!

Updated on 
3 July, 2021

A Key Ingredient in So Many Dishes – But How Many Syns Are We Talking?

Key Ingredient in So Many Dishes

If you love Asian food and sauces with that signature umami flavour only soy sauce can provide, you’ll be over the moon to know that soy sauce contains 0 syns!

Yes, that’s right – soy sauce (light soy included, of course) is a free food meaning you can have as much of it as you like whilst following a Slimming World plan. I know what you’re thinking: let the cooking commence!

Soy sauce is such an integral ingredient in Asian cuisine and can also add a richness to dishes from other parts of the world too, so it’s amazing to know that it’s syn-free.

For those who don’t like soy sauce or have dietary requirements that can’t accommodate soy products, there are alternatives!

Alternatives to Soy Sauce

Whether you have a soy allergy, need to be wary of your sodium intake, or simply aren’t a fan of soy sauce, there are some substitutes that will give you similar results in cooking.

Here’s a short list of a few other options as well as how many syns in each:

  • Miso paste – 5 syns per teaspoon (not a great alternative in terms of syn value)
  • Worcestershire sauce – 0 syns/ free food
  • Marmite – 0 syns/ free food
  • Oyster sauce – 0 syns/ free food
  • Maggi Liquid Seasoning – 0.5 syns per teaspoon
  • Vinegar (all varieties) – 0 syns/ free food

Apart from miso paste which is actually quite high in syns, majority of other soy alternatives are either free foods or very low-syn, meaning you have plenty of options if soy sauce itself is not for you.

Some Tasty Low-Syn Recipes Containing Soy Sauce

Because soy sauce is so commonly used and can be added to such a variety of different ingredients, there is a vast range of delicious recipes that feature it as a key additive.

As mentioned above, if you can’t have soy sauce for any reason, feel free to substitute it!

Sticky Chinese Pork

Sticky Chinese Pork

This is just one of many Asian-inspired recipe ideas that heavily features soy sauce, and believe me, it’s divine! If you enjoy pork and have a few hours of marinating time spare, then this is the one for you.

You’ll Need:

  • 500g pork loins (as much fat removed as possible)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Low-calorie cooking spray or other cooking oil spray
  • Spring onions for serving (optional)

For the marinade, combine the soy sauce, hoisin, honey, and five-spice along with some salt (if necessary) and cracked black pepper to taste and marinate your pork for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius and spray your pork loin with some cooking spray before baking in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Turn the pork several times during the baking time and baste all sides with the sauce until it is caramelised and sticky.

Slice your pork and serve with fresh vegetables and white rice (or cauliflower rice if you want a healthier version). This scrumptious meal is only 2.5 syns per serving and will keep you satisfied for hours!

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

For an equally satisfying dish that’ll be ready in just a fraction of the time, check out this chicken fried rice recipe. Perfect for busy week-day nights, this meal comes in at a mere 1 syn per serving!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of cooked rice (preferably that’s been chilled in the fridge)
  • 200g boneless chicken with skin and fat removed
  • Selection of vegetables of your choice (onion, peppers, mushrooms, and water chestnuts are good options)
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • Pinch of fresh, grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • Cooking oil spray and optional sesame oil

Heat a pan or wok to medium heat and spray with cooking spray oil, allowing it to heat up before adding your chopped chicken.

Season with salt and pepper and fry until golden brown before adding 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, coating the chicken and removing it from the pan.

Add your onion, garlic, and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant and then add in the rest of your vegetables. Add the chicken back in as well as your cold, cooked rice, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up.

Add the rest of your soy sauce and the sesame oil if using and keep stirring before making a hole in the centre of the mixture to pour the beaten eggs into. Allow the eggs to cook a bit before mixing into the rice, chicken, and veg mixture.

Top with chopped spring onion and chilli flakes if you like and get eating!

Soy Sauce and Slimming World

When it comes to achieving your weight loss goals, soy sauce will certainly not be a hindrance. As a free food, you’ll be able to consume as much of it as you please without worrying about exceeding your daily syn allowance.

With so many amazing recipes that use soy sauce, you’ll be spoiled for low-syn meal options. If you’re looking for vegetarian options, the meat in the recipes above can easily be substituted for extra vegetables or tofu.

With that in mind, always remember to enjoy food rather than seeing it as an obstacle to your weight loss journey.

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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