Tamari and Honey-Glazed Scallops
Made from soybeans, salt, water and a fermentation starter, tamari is a form of soy sauce with little or no wheat that has been fermented for about six months. The result is a salty, savory thick sauce with a darker color and richer flavor than shoyu, the type of soy sauce you likely already know and use.
Tamari is a good example of “umami”, the Japanese term used to describe a deeply satisfying, savory flavor. It lends itself well to dipping, basting and grilling. Foods and recipes rich in umami such as Tamari and Honey-Glazed Scallops opens in a new tab are mouthwatering and irresistible.
Shoyu, the Japanese word for “soy sauce”, is made in the same way as tamari, only with added wheat. This imparts a distinctly sweeter flavor. It’s best used as a table condiment or dipping sauce. It’s lighter and sweeter in flavor than tamari, with a rich aroma and caramel-like undertones.
Stir-Fried Beef with Asparagus
Tamari is quite salty, so to make your recipes deliciously palatable, you may need to “halt the salt” when using it. Reduced-sodium varieties are available. Here are some fun ways to experiment with these two types of soy sauce:
Use tamari in place of salt in savory recipes.
Flavor soups, stews, chilis and tomato sauce with tamari.
Add tamari or shoyu to salad dressings, dips, sauces and marinades.
Tamari is an essential ingredient in stir-fries. Here are some to try:
- Pork Stir-Fry Lettuce Wraps is made with low-sodium soy sauce (shoyu).
- Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry can be made with either tamari or shoyu.
- Stir-Fried Beef with Asparagus calls for reduced-sodium tamari.
- Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry is simple favorite.
- Savory Greens Stir-Fry is healthful and delicious.
Add tamari or shoyu to hot cooked rice or grain dishes. My favorite is a steaming bowl of jasmine or sushi rice topped with a dash each of tamari and toasted sesame oil, garnished with a tasty blend of roasted sesame seeds and sea salt called gomasio (which you can find in the spice aisle). I’ll often eat this for breakfast topped with a cooked egg.
Use tamari to flavor salads like Wasabi Edamame Salad with Spicy Rice Noodles opens in a new tab or Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad opens in a new tab, using tamari (to taste) in place of salt.
Use tamari to season nuts, seeds and snacks:
- Spicy Tamari Pumpkin Seeds are spiked with cayenne and brown sugar.
- Quick and Spicy Tamari Snack Mix is made with a variety of nuts, lemon juice and cayenne.
Use tamari or shoyu along with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, or wasabi as a dipping sauce for potstickers and dumplings. Sesame Orange Greens with Potstickers opens in a new tab makes a lovely, deliciously easy lunch or dinner.
Season scrambled eggs or tofu with tamari.
Tamari adds umami to a variety of sauces and savory marinades like this Apricot and Tamari Grilling Marinade opens in a new tab.
Savory Greens Stir-Fry
Do you prefer tamari or shoyu? Let me know your favorite ways to use them.