30 Recipes to Cook With Soy Sauce

The humble condiment of fermented soybeans transcends cultures in marinades, dips, sauces, and more

Soy sauce is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can stand in as a funkier, more flavorful salt in many situations. In many Asian cuisines, it's essential. Try marinating your grilled meats with the stuff, or diluting it into a salad dressing or dipping sauce. From Korean fried chicken to stir-fried breakfast noodles, here are the best ways to cook with soy sauce.

Coffee and Soy-Marinated Flank Steak

Coffee-and Soy-Marinated Flank Steak
Coffee-and Soy-Marinated Flank SteakLaura Sant

Strong coffee pairs with soy sauce and lightly caramelized garlic and onions in a marinade that leads to ultra-juicy flank steak. Get the recipe for Coffee and Soy-Marinated Flank Steak »

Soy-and-Honey-Glazed Fluke Steaks

Soy-and-Honey-Glazed Fluke Steaks
Soy-and-Honey-Glazed Fluke SteaksElizabeth Cecil

Chef Chris Fischer fell in love with the simple, robust marinades common to many Japanese dishes after traveling to Japan for work. Here he marinates fluke steaks—have your butcher cut them for you, or substitute flounder or sea bass steaks—in a sticky mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and honey. Get the recipe for Soy-and-Honey-Glazed Fluke Steaks »

​Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao ChickenHelen Rosner

Chiles, scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce flavor tender chicken and peanuts in this moderately spicy dish. ​Get the recipe for Kung Pao Chicken »

Marinated Perilla Leaves (Kkaennip-Jangajji)

Pickled Perilla Leaves
Marinated Perilla LeavesMatt Taylor-Gross

Kkaennip-jangajji, or soy-sauce-fermented perilla leaves, are a popular banchan, or side dish, served in Korean cuisine. The fresh leaves (sometimes referred to as sesame leaves, though unrelated) are similar to shiso but slightly sturdier, so they hold up well to pickling in the salty marinade. This dish is typically served with rice; lay one leaf over a bowl of rice, then use your chopsticks to pinch the leaf downward, wrapping it around a scoop of rice, before eating. Get the recipe for Marinated Perilla Leaves (Kkaennip-Jangajji) »

Korean Fried Chicken

KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN
Korean Fried ChickenMatt Taylor-Gross

Double-frying chicken wings is the secret to achieving the delicate, crackly crust that is the hallmark of this popular Korean specialty, made famous in this country at the Los Angeles restaurant Kyochon. Cathy Danh wrote about this snack in "The Other KFC" for our March 2010 issue. Get the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken »

Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles (Jaengban Guksu)

Korean Soba Salad
Korean Cold Buckwheat NoodlesMatt Taylor-Gross

Don't be fooled by the vegetable-heavy spread; this dish is sure to fill you up. A medley of thinly sliced vegetables is piled up with a mound of cold buckwheat noodles. They're dressed with a slurpable spicy and savory gochujang sauce that makes for a Korean take on a chef's salad. Get the recipe for Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles (Jaengban Guksu) »

Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese

Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese
Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento CheeseMatt Taylor-Gross

Brisket is braised in stout, bourbon, and soy sauce in these spicy pimento cheese-topped sliders from Edward Lee, executive chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. Get the recipe for Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese »

Stir-Fried Breakfast Noodles

STIR-FRIED BREAKFAST NOODLES
Stir-Fried Breakfast NoodlesMatt Taylor-Gross

Any Chinese noodle—rice, wheat, flat, thin, or broad—can be used in this simple stir-fry from author Francis Lam; it's one of his favorite breakfast dishes. Get the recipe for Stir-Fried Breakfast Noodles »

Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and Ponzu

Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Soba Salad
Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and PonzuDrew Anthony Smith

Instead of the cookout-classic pasta salad, serve this refreshing Asian noodle dish zipped up with crunchy vegetables. Get the recipe for Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and Ponzu »

Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette
Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso VinaigretteDylan + Jeni

This refreshing salad of soba noodles tossed with winter greens and mixed vegetables is brought together by a tart dressing of miso, ginger juice, and lemon. Get the recipe for Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette »

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts
Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia NutsMatt Taylor-Gross

Chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek mixes three marinated seaweeds with sweet caramelized mushrooms, steamed vinegary rice, and crisp toasted nori in this vegan rice bowl. All of the seaweeds used here can be found online so search them out, as they each contribute a different texture and taste to this salad. Get the recipe for Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts »

Japanese Grilled Chicken Meatballs (Tsukune)

tsukune
Japanese Grilled Chicken MeatballsMatt Taylor-Gross

These full-flavored chicken meatballs get dressed with a sweet and salty glaze. Get the recipe for Japanese Grilled Chicken Meatballs »

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce
Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger SauceChristopher Wise

A fragrant mix of oyster sauce, cilantro, and ginger pulls double duty here as both a marinade and dipping sauce for lamb rib chops. Get the recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce »

Japanese Tea Leaf Salad

Japanese Tea Leaf Salad
Japanese Tea Leaf SaladMatt Taylor-Gross

This recipe calls specifically for gyokuro, a premium Japanese tea that, unlike other green varieties, retains plenty of their flavor after repeated steepings. We recommend the Kanro gyokuro from Ippodo for this salad, which uses the tea leaves left over from one serving of tea and flavors them with soy sauce and sesame oil. Get the recipe for Japanese Tea Leaf Salad »

Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves

Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves
Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout LeavesIngalls Photography

The umami-rich combination of ginger and soy sauce in this scallop dish from Margaux Laroche of Domaine d'Henri is an unusual yet perfect pairing for a glass of crisp chablis. Get the recipe for Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves »

Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

Twice cooked pork
Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork BellyMatt Taylor-Gross

A classic Chinese dish made with boiled-then-stir-fried pork and plenty of leeks and fermented black soy beans. Boiling the pork (the first "cooked") renders some of the fat and makes it easier to slice and crisp up later in a blazing-hot wok. Get the recipe for Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork Belly »

Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo)

Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo)
Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo)Matt Taylor-Gross

"Filipinos love anything with adobo sauce, and kangkong is one of my favorite vegetables to eat." – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo) »

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

Pork and Cabbage potstickers
Pork and Cabbage PotstickersFarideh Sadeghin

Chinese New Year has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you can't keep celebrating with these easy-to-make potstickers. Get the recipe for Pork and Cabbage Potstickers »

Mixed Mushroom Foil Yaki

Mushroom Foil Yaki
Mushroom Foil YakiMatt Taylor-Gross

Mushrooms get cooked in a foil pouch with Asian sauces in this effortless "one-foil" dish. Get the recipe for Mixed Mushroom Foil Yaki »

Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia)

Lumpia
Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia)William Hereford

Best known in their deep-fried iteration, lumpia often crackle beneath the teeth. But not always; some come wrapped in fresh egg crepes, while others are wrapper-less. Connoisseurs pine for a version made with shrimp, pork, and shredded coconut palm. The freshly fried version is a marvel, the wrapper crisp, the filling's texture delicate and yielding. Instead of the common sweet-sour dipping sauce, chef Dale Talde opts for the condiment he used growing up—a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce spiked with raw garlic and fiery chiles—which he likens to the salt and pepper of Filipino food. Get the recipe for Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia) »

Adobo Chicken Wings

Tito's Filipino-Style Chicken Wings
Adobo Chicken WingsMatt Taylor-Gross

These are chicken wings, Filipino-style, marinated in rice vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Serve them with a creamy ginger-enriched dipping sauce and chile-dusted apple slices for a full bar snack. Get the recipe for Adobo Chicken Wings »

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts

Cashew Chicken Stirfry
Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew NutsFarideh Sadeghin

This spicy, easy stir-fry is all about the sticky, slightly sweet sauce that coats the chicken and cashews. But, like all good stirfries, this can be catered to your taste—add in whatever mix-ins you have in your fridge or pantry. Get the recipe for Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts »

Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce (Dan Dan Mian)

Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce (Dan Dan Mian)
Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce (Dan Dan Mian)Matt Taylor-Gross

For this beloved dish of China's Sichuan province, a tangle of wheat noodles is topped with a spicy, pungent pork sauce. This recipe is adapted from one in Fuschia Dunlop's Land of Plenty (W.W. Norton & Company, 2003). Inspired by an article in SAVEUR No. 154 (March 2013), it first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article 20 Years of SAVEUR: Capital of Heat. Get the recipe for Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce »

Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Grilling, Smoked Ribs
Char-Smoked Baby Back RibsMichael Turek

Grilling then smoking these ribs gives them an intense crust and soulful flavor. Get the recipe for Char-Smoked Baby Back Ribs »

Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki Skewers

Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki Skewers
Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki SkewersMatt Taylor-Gross

Sweet grilled onion and pineapple stand up against rich marinated pork in these easy, Hawaiian-inspired skewers. Get the recipe for Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki Skewers »

Crispy Pork Belly with Persimmons

Crispy Pork Belly with Persimmons
Crispy Pork Belly with PersimmonsAndre Baranowski

Lovely persimmons aren't just for salads and desserts. We also like to cook them in savory dishes, including this crispy pork belly simmered with miso, honey, and sake. Get the recipe for Crispy Pork Belly with Persimmons »

Chinese Barbecue Spare Ribs

CHINESE BARBECUED SPARERIBS
Chinese Barbecue Spare RibsMatt Taylor-Gross

For this dish, we like to use leaner, Chinese-style spareribs, also called St. Louis style, from which the breast bones and flaps of cartilaginous meat have been removed. Get the recipe for Chinese Barbecue Spare Ribs »

Char Siu Chicken

Char Siu Chicken
Char Siu ChickenDrew Anthony Smith

Char siu (meaning "fork roast") is typical in Chinese cuisine and normally gets its red hue from food coloring. In this rendition, beet powder, a natural alternative, lends the bright red color and adds a little sweetness. Get the recipe for Char Siu Chicken »

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN
Jamaican Jerk ChickenMatt Taylor-Gross

Full of fiery chiles and warm spices, the all-purpose Jamaican seasoning for this dish can be used as a rub on pork, goat, fish, and vegetables, as well as chicken. Get the recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken »

Dashi-Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Dashi-Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables
Dashi-Braised Chicken with Root VegetablesAndre Baranowski

Dashi, an enhanced kelp stock with rich umami flavor, is a staple component of Japanese cooking; it has the remarkable effect of accentuating the flavors of anything cooked in it. Use it to braise chicken thighs and root vegetables for a hearty, comforting dish. Get the recipe for Dashi-Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables »