Tamari is a very popular sauce that is traditionally used in Japanese cooking. Organic tamari is made from miso paste, which is a substance derived from fermented soy beans. The sauce is quite thick, particularly when compared to other types of Japanese condiments. It has a balanced flavour profile and is typically used as a dipping sauce, as well as being added to soups, marinades, and stews.
While you might expect tamari to have a very strong, salty flavour, it is actually quite mellow. Many chefs describe the taste of tamari as ‘umami’. Umami is one of the basic five tastes (alongside salty, sweet, sour, and bitter). It is a traditional Japanese term and while there is no English equivalent, umami is commonly depicted as being both meaty and brothy.
So, what’s the difference between tamari and soy sauce?
Soy sauce is actually an umbrella term that covers many different types of condiments used throughout Asia. Tamari sauce is just one of these sauces.
There are similarities between the two. To start with, both are made from fermented soybean paste. They are both quite dark in colour and have a distinct salty flavour.
While tamari sauce is both vegan and gluten free, soy sauce tends to include wheat, which means it is not suitable for those who are gluten intolerant. Tamari sauce is therefore often suggested as an alternative for those diagnosed with coeliac disease.
Tamari sauce also tends to be thicker than its soy counterpart. This is why many people prefer to use it as a dipping sauce when serving bite sized snacks such as sushi and spring rolls.
Nutritional content of tamari
As is the case with most condiments, tamari sauce does not contain high concentrations of any major vitamins, minerals, or nutrients. Tamari does feature less sodium than traditional soy sauce, so it is a good option for those looking to reduce their salt intake.
Tamari is traditionally made from a handful of natural ingredients, including soybeans, water, salt, and sometimes alcohol. Soy sauce, on the other hand, can be filled with artificial preservatives and flavourings, which can have all sorts of negative effects on your health. When you’re shopping online or at the supermarket, always opt to purchase organic tamari, so you can have confidence that you’re benefiting from natural, whole ingredients.
Tasty tamari treats
Organic tamari sauce can be used for much more than just a dipping sauce. There's a whole range of recipes out there, just waiting to be explored, which celebrate tamari for the great tasting ingredient that it is.
A tasty vegetarian dinner that can be whipped up for a nutritious mid week meal. Serves 6.
● 200 g dried noodles
● 1 tbsp olive oil
● 3 cloves garlic, minced
● 2 tbsp green onions, sliced
● 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
● ½ cup red cabbage, shredded
● 150 g mushrooms, sliced
● 1 medium carrot, sliced
● 1 red pepper, sliced
● ½ cup snow peas
● 1 lime
● ⅓ cup organic tamari
● Toasted sesame seeds
1. Prepare the noodles according to packet directions.
2. Drain the noodles and place them into a cooking pot.
3. Stir through a dash of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.
4. Meanwhile, set a large wok over medium high heat.
5. Heat olive oil in the wok and add the garlic, ginger, and green onions.
6. Saute, stirring often, for approximately three minutes.
7. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and red pepper.
8. Continue to stir and cook for a further five minutes.
9. Add the snow peas, organic tamari sauce, and noodles.
10. Mix until everything is well combined and the sauce starts to thicken.
11. Allow the mixture to sit for a further three minutes.
12. Remove from the heat and mix through a dash of lime juice — enjoy!
Savory and sweet go perfectly together with this delicious Japanese-inspired snack.
● Olive oil spray
● 1 ½ cups sugar
● 1 cup water
● 3 tbsp miso
● 2 tbsp tamari
● 2 tbsp unsalted butter
● 1 tsp baking soda
● 10 cups popped popcorn (unseasoned)
● 3 cups toasted almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 200℃.
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray with the olive oil.
3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, miso, and tamari.
4. Cook for 30 minutes or until the mixture is golden and bubbling.
5. Remove from heat. Stir through the unsalted butter and baking soda.
6. Combine the popcorn and almonds in a separate bowl.
7. Pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn and almonds, stirring quickly to coat.
8. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking tray.
9. Sprinkle it with salt.
10. Bake for 40 minutes until golden and crispy — enjoy!
Published by Marta Jordan