Coconut Aminos, and Why People Are Going Crazy for This Salty-Sweet Condiment

Wondering why coconut aminos are expanding outside of health-food stores? Here's the scoop on the popular soy-sauce alternative.

Foodland Supermarket in Victoria Gardens stocks various bottles of saucesPhoto: Shutterstock / Seika Chujo

You might’ve caught glimpses of bottles of coconut aminos next to the soy sauce and tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) in the grocery store condiment aisle. Have no clue what it is, but you’re totally intrigued by the coconut part? Let us explain.

The brown bottles are everywhere these days—thanks to soy allergies and the popularity of the paleo diet, which discourages soy products. Coconut aminos are made from the “nutrient-dense sap from coconut trees,” according to the makers of Coconut Secret, a popular brand of aminos. The nectar is harvested and naturally fermented. Ingredient lists are typically short, consisting of aged sap (sugar) and sea salt. The seasoning is also gluten-free, vegan, low-glycemic and MSG-free. And as the second half of the name suggests, it packs 17 different amino acids.

So what does this soy-sauce alternative taste like? Even though it’s made from coconuts, it doesn’t taste like the fruit. It has a rich, slightly sweet and savory flavor. If you’re avoiding a high-salt diet, coconut aminos are a fantastic alternative (try these tricks, as well). In a one-teaspoon serving of coconut aminos, there are only 113 mg of sodium (5 percent of the daily value), compared to the nearly 902 mg of sodium in an individual packet of soy sauce.

Use the coconut-based condiment in a variety of ways. Serve it as a dip next to your shrimp tempura and California rolls. They’re great at dinnertime, too—use it as a one-to-one replacement for soy sauce (you may want to supplement with a sprinkle of salt). A few recipes to start with: Sweet N Sour Beans and Honey Chicken Stir-Fry. The coconut-based condiment is also great drizzled over salad or roasted vegetables. However you try them, have fun! We think coconut aminos are here to stay.

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Joann Pan
Joann Pan is a content creator based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Oprah.com, Mashable.com, The Huffington Post and more.