Pronounce it: tam-aree

Tamari is a Japanese version of soy sauce, the main difference being that it contains little or no wheat and thus little or no gluten, something that will be apparent on the content labelling if this is important.

Tamari usually looks darker and has a richer, less salty taste than soy sauce. This makes it much more useful, acceptable as an unadulterated dip, sprinkle or drizzle, where soy sauce might be too salty or sharp.


Widely available in supermarkets. Asian stores may offer a variety.

Choose the best

Ensure the labels mention ‘brewing’ or ‘brewed’ and there should be no ingredients other than soya beans, with or without wheat, salt and water. Preservatives and flavourings are unnecessary and indicate a low quality.

Only your palate will ultimately tell you which tamari you prefer, perhaps depending on the salt level.

Store it

Tamari does not need to be refrigerated but it will keep fresher, longer if it is and is also kept tightly sealed. Expect it to stay in top condition for many months.

Cook it

Use tamari wherever you might have used soy sauce, for a gentler more elegant flavour. It complements meat, fish, poultry, fish, eggs, seafood, vegetables and grains. The only mistake you might make is to use too much, but this is much more difficult to do than with soy sauce.

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