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How To Dilute Soy Sauce

Have you purchased a thick or overly salty Soy sauce? Is it simply too much? Do you want to dilute it somewhat to take the edge off and to stop it from being so overpowering? Well, you’ve come to the right place. And thankfully, the solution is incredibly simple – and cheap!

So, how do you dilute Soy sauce? You can dilute soy sauce by simply adding water. This should reduce the consistency and also saltiness of the soy sauce. Be careful, you only need to add a small amount – stirring in only a teaspoon at a time until you reduce the intensity of the sauce to suit your preferences.

That is if you are working with a soy sauce you already have.

Perhaps it’s a dark soy sauce.

If you want to forgo the dilution process altogether, then there is a quick workaround.

And that is to simply purchase some “less sodium” soy sauce, like the Kikomman brand from Amazon.

That is essentially ‘watered-down’ soy sauce.

If you look at the ingredient list of these soy sauce products, you will actually and specifically notice “water” as the main ingredient.

So that’s how we know using water to dilute soy sauce is best.

And it also means you no longer need to continue with thick and overly salty soy sauce from here on in if you didn’t want to.

But back to diluting.

What can you expect should you proceed with the ‘water trick’?

Let’s find out!

What Happens When You Mix Soy Sauce With Water?

If you mix soy sauce with water, you will be weakening the flavors and thinning the consistency. As such, it will be less pungent, less salty, and a little lighter in color too.

Don’t expect any fizzing or dramatic transition, though.

It will simply change instantly – no foaming or anything like that!

Besides, we only have to look at how soy sauce is made and we start to understand why adding more water is generally best.

Soy sauce is essentially made by soaking and boiling soybeans, adding roasted wheat, salt brine, and a culture, and then allowing them to ferment.

Once fermentation is complete, the mixture is pressed to get the liquid.

Lastly, it is pasteurized.

So, soy sauce is in many ways just a flavored brine.

Or in other words – salty water!

  • Add some more water to existing soy sauce – you get a watery soy sauce, which is to say, less flavored, less salty.
  • Add soy sauce to water, you get slightly salty, slightly flavorful water.

Can You Dilute Soy Sauce With Anything Other Than Water?

There are a few other options for diluting – although some will alter the flavor and consistency of the soy sauce more than others. That being said, vinegar, lemon juice, rice wine, or an oil, like chili oil or sesame oil all can be used.

Now it depends on how you want to use your soy sauce.

Generally, sticking to water is best.

That’s because you’ll just be reducing the intensity a little.

If you opt for an oil, for instance, it is going to have that oily taste and texture.

If you opt for vinegar, expect some acidity and some sour notes too.

The same can be said for lemon juice too.

If you are using in cooking this may be okay – in fact, it may even be preferable.

But if you are using your soy sauce as a dipping sauce – perhaps not so much.

Other Ways To Counteract Too Much Soy Sauce

Aside from diluting, you can counteract the intensity of soy sauce by introducing sweetness. You can balance the savoury notes of the soy sauce by adding a little sugar or honey.


Diluting with water; the quick, easy, cost-effective way to remedy a strong soy sauce.

Just do it in a separate dish, bottle or container.

Besides, you don’t know how much water you are going to need and there is no turning back.

Too much water and you’ll have an overly weak and ineffective condiment on your hands.

And you’ll be surprised at how little water you are going to need.

So use sparingly.

Or you can purchase an alternative.

We’ve already discussed ‘less-sodium’ soy sauce options, but there is one other too.

White soy sauce. That’s your other option.

It’s light in color and sweet in flavor.

It’s a great alternative, and that’s ideal to cook with.

Especially if you don’t want to darken your food!

Related Questions

Can You Dilute Soy Sauce With Water?

You can dilute soy sauce with water, and this is the recommended approach to lower the intensity and make the sauce a little runnier. You do not need much water, however, so be sure to add a small amount at a time.