Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coconut Aminos: A Natural Soy-Free Sauce

How many of you have tried Coconut Aminos? This delectably delicious soy-free sauce, containing 17 amino acids, is dark, rich, and salty. I am amazed at its resemblance to soy sauce. It is made simply from raw coconut tree sap and sun-dried sea salt, naturally aged of course.

We've used it in salad dressings, marinades, and as a seasoning for toasted nuts and seeds. Coconut Aminos have a salty flavor with a slightly, just barely, sweet aftertaste. They are great used as a dipping sauce for Nori Rolls!

The company that produces Coconut Aminos is called Coconut Secret. They also have a number of other coconut-based products including coconut vinegar, coconut nectar, coconut crystals, and coconut flour.

I buy Coconut Aminos here in Bellingham at our local Health Food Store, Terra Organica. I thought I would share two recipes using Coconut Aminos...some Toasted Sunflower Seeds with Coconut Aminos and a Garlic-Ginger Marinade! 

Garlic-Ginger Marinade for fish

This recipe works for about 1 1/2 pounds of wild salmon or your favorite fish. You could also add a little arrowroot or kudzu and simmer these ingredients over low heat to create a thicker sauce for sauteed veggies or rice. Pictured above is this salmon recipe over mashed sweet potatoes, topped with sauteed mustard greens and oyster mushrooms (seasoned with coconut aminos and brown rice vinegar). My 8-year old thinks this is the best salmon recipe ever!

1/4 cup Coconut Aminos

1 to 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar or coconut vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Place your fish fillet skin-side up in a shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over fish, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours or until ready to use. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, pour off marinade, flip fillet so the skin is down, and bake for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Toasted Sunflower Seeds with Coconut Aminos

This recipe is so easy and one of our children's favorite snacks. It only takes about five minutes to prepare!

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon coconut aminos

Heat a large skillet (I use an 11-inch skillet) over medium heat for a few minutes, or until the pan is hot. Add the sunflower seeds and keep them moving in the pan, using a spatula. Toast them for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add coconut aminos. Immediately stir the aminos with the seeds. Let cool in the pan (off of your heat source) then transfer to a glass jar for storage. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Thanks for sharing! Always looking for new flavor alternatives... I have eliminated fermented foods, is coconut aminos in that category?

  2. Ali--I love the sound of this product! Can't wait to find some and give it a try although I know your recommendation is "right on." :-) Love your wonderful recipes and photos as always. Oh, to have some of that salmon for breakfast right now!


  3. This is so exciting for me! I loved soy sauce but since going soy-free I've given up on this salty sauce! Thanks for the product review!

    I've never heard of the Coconut aminos but I have heard of the liquid aminos and know I can find those at my local whole foods, are they similar in taste? What would/could I use the liquid aminos in? I'm not sure what they do but I have seen other people use them in recipes.

    thanks! I love you blog and hope to visit Bellingham soon!

  4. I absolutely love this product. I am on month 3 of a full scale elimination diet to address my arthritis (in conjunction with my nutritionist who says she went to school with Tom!). This is one of the few condiments I could use early on and I love it!!! Sushi has been a staple for me and it's a perfect replacement for soy sauce! This is now one of my pantry staples and I will continue to use it after this food trial is over! I live in Seattle and found it next to the soy sauce at all the Town and Country markets. BTW...your blog and recipes and cookbook have been a great support to me these last 3 months. Your efforts make a difference in my health. Thank you.

  5. I am so anxious to try this! Brilliant!

    Hugs, Kelly

  6. I recently discovered coconut aminos and I won't go back. I've had an aversion to soy thanks to an allergy, but what could I use to get that good taste back? (It's a vital ingredient in teriyaki sauce!) I bought coconut aminos on a whim, since it was on sale at my local real foods market.

    Glad I gave it a try. :D

  7. Glad you shared this! I did a post about it a bit ago (http://byebyegluten.blogspot.com/2010/01/gluten-free-soy-free-soy-sauce.html) and since then i've enjoyed experimenting with it. i think that it's not as strong as soy sauce, but is still fantastic for certain dishes and of course sushi :)

  8. Wow! I had not heard of this product - thanks! The diversity of products made from coconut is just amazing!

    Are coconut aminos ok for the elimination diet? We're on day 7 and my sweetie really misses his soy sauce!

    Love the cookbook and the blog! Thanks so much!


  9. Ooo I am super excited about this! I hope I can find it at Whole Foods.

  10. The coconut amino's sound great. Looking forward to trying them soon! Thanks for the info.

  11. Ali!

    I JUST created a posted a recipe for Teppanyaki a week or two ago using my usual wheat-free Tamari even though I'm supposed to avoid soy... But after seeing this post, I tried the recipe again with coconut aminos and it was just as good if not better! Check it out: http://thepalatepeacemaker.com/2010/04/30/teppanyaki/

    Thank you so much for introducing me to this product. It'll be even easier for me now to avoid soy! :)


  12. I made a variation of your garlic-ginger marinade and sauteed/braised broccoli greens (I forget the real name) from the farmer's market. I added cold coconut oil, garlic, and ginger to a cold wok, heated it up and added the greens. (This "cold" method makes the oil extra infused with the garlic and ginger). I then added coconut aminos, brown rice vinegar, maple syrup, and sesame oil by eye and it worked beautifully. My husband loves sauce and gobbled up these greens. I really liked them, too. We served with a sweet potato noodle dish. YUM! We'll definitely try it with some salmon too!

  13. Praise to the people in this company who came up with this product! I have been looking for a soy-free soy-sauce alternative for a while. I have a recipe for one but it's so much easier to have one on hand to use. thanks so much for posting this!

  14. I just bought some of this stuff and upon opening noticed it smelled highly alcoholic, almost like rubbing alcohol. Did yours smell like that as well? Thinking maybe I got an old bottle.

  15. Anonymous, that sounds a bit odd. Mine DOES smell a bit like alcohol (as in, I can really tell it's a "fermented" product) but I wouldn't say it's overwhelming. I found the taste took some getting used to, honestly, though. With fermented stuff I think you're safe as long as it doesn't smell putrid (as they say, if it's gone bad, you'll know).

  16. I made the salmon tonight and it was yummy. I did a google search for coconut aminos and your sight came up. What a great find! You are now on my google page. I can't wait to make more of your recipes.

  17. I just made the Coconut Amino Roasted seeds with Pumpkin instead of sunflower and mmmm... they are so tasty my tots just ate up the whole batch! With a corn allergy in the family this might become our movie night replacement~ thanks Ali!

  18. Awesome! I just came across this product yesterday while at Whole Foods. I'm excited to try it with both sunflower & pumpkin seeds. My kids have nut allergies so I love to find new stuff to do with seeds, thank you!


  19. Thank you Ali & Tom for sharing this post. I find it extremely helpful especially for my wife since she will need to eat soy free for a while and I been looking for alternatives of soy free soy sauce and now I got it! Thanks again for sharing the info :)

  20. Coconut Aminos is a fantastic replacement
    for soy sauce. Use as soy sauce but do not shake or drop the bottle. The naturally occurring fermentation will cause fizzing. If you have ever dropped a can of soda then zipped the tab off you'll get the same result.

  21. Just wondering if anyone knows the actual sodium content of this sauce. Adopting a low salt diet reduced my blood pressure to the point where my doctor said I could give up the medications, and I've avoided salty soya sauces for that reason. I've seen other brands of aminos being advertised as low sodium, but which actually contain almost as much as regular soya sauce (~ 300mg per 5ml tsp). How does this one compare? Anyone??

  22. I love when I google a product and stumble across a blog written by someone who lives just a few miles from my town, and even mentions the store where I shop (Terra Organica) and in fact where I discoverd coconut vinegar. Small world!

  23. Dry (air) pop popcorn and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle/dash/spray with Coconut Aminos. This product is leagues beyond soy sauce. I bought a 16.5 oz bottle yesterday. I have a bottle of Bragg Aminos which I hate to toss out but seldom use because of the superior taste and aftertaste of Coconut Aminos. I also use a couple of drops on each slice of Amy's Kitchen and Dr. Oeckter's spinach pizzas. It is also good on sweet potatoes with coconut or EV olive oil, and of course salads.

  24. Hello, is this product suitable for Phase 1? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi there,

      You can use this product throughout our Elimination Diet. You will see in the Elimination Diet book that I use it in a number of my recipes: https://wholelifenutrition.net/books/elimination-diet


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