12 Asian Recipes That Have No Soy (!!!) but Still Taste Amaze (2024)

Eating soy-free while craving Chinese are two things that don’t exactly mix. Even soy-free options are risky in the back kitchen, a chance those with allergies can’t be taking. Instead, take matters into your own hands. We’ve rounded up 12 soy-free recipes that definitely rival your favorite Chinese take-out spot. They’ll take you just as long as delivery usually takes on a Sunday night, and chances are, they’re a whole lot healthier for you.

1. Chinese Cashew Chicken

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Cashew chicken is always on the top of the list for Chinese takeout because that nutty-sweet combination is pretty unforgettable. But instead of collecting take-out containers, you’ll be surprised how much better it feels to make the staple meal at home instead. This recipe is totally gluten-free too.

2. Orange Sriracha Chicken

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We’ve never met a drumstick we didn’t like, but these sweet, sticky, and slightly fiery ones are definitely the crowd-pleaser you’re after. Soy-free eaters can slather as much sauce as they’d like on top—it’s made with orange juice, honey, Sriracha, ghee, and coconut aminos (the ideal soy sauce substitute for any gluten-free or Paleo folks).

3. Sesame Ginger Salmon

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Pan-searing salmon is always an immediate yes, but give us a glaze this good to dress it in and we’ll never feast our eyes on another recipe again. You’ll need coconut aminos (to keep this soy-free), honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and a splash of vinegar. Did we mention this recipe takes 20 minutes, tops?

4. Cucumber Sesame Salad

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We couldn’t think up a better light and airy salad to meal-prep for lunch. Before you get there, you’ll need to grab zucchini and cucumbers (for the noodles) garlic and sesame oil, and then mint and jalapeño to garnish when the time comes to dig in.

5. One-Pan Shrimp and Green Beans in Chinese Garlic Sauce

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When the take-out cravings hit, soy-free eaters will definitely want to pull this recipe out of their back pocket. We were already sold on the sounds of this garlic sauce, but the recipe also only calls for one pan. I’ll do cleanup if you cook?

6. Beef With Broccoli

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We love our meals doused in sesame garlic sauce as much as the next person, especially when it’s made this simple. Soy-free folks can now get in on the Chinese restaurant classic too. You’ll need to pick up flank steak, coconut aminos, sesame oil, raw apple cider vinegar, broccoli, fish sauce, ginger, scallions, tapioca, and coconut oil to make the magic happen as many times as you want.

7. Balsamic-Glazed Asian Zucchini Noodles

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This one is all about that sweet, sweet sauce. On the bill to make it is balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, coconut aminos, and hot sauce all thrown together on the stove to perfection. You’ll be frying up your noodles in a tablespoon of sesame seed oil. Don’t be alarmed by arrowroot flour—you can easily sub it out for tapioca flour, which you can snag at most large retailers like Walmart and Amazon these days.

8. Asian Meatballs Noodle Bowl

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Making meatballs is always a treat because you can use your hands. You’ll be making some mean turkey ones here, mixed with green onion and a special sauce: honey, sesame oil, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, and tapioca starch to tie it all together. Throw them over a bed of zoodles and consider dinner made.

9.Paleo Asian Coleslaw

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A good slaw can do wonders for the dinner table. This one is all about textures (and colors) with a few simple veggies—cabbage, red bell pepper, shredded carrots, and a nice crunch from the toasted cashews. What you won’t find is any soy—just coconut aminos, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger for elevated taste.

10. Asian Chicken Poppers

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You don’t need soy sauce to successfully dunk Asian poppers, and this recipe proves that. These babies are packed with flavor thanks to a simple medley of coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, and red and green onion. To make things even easier when shopping, substitute coconut flour for cassava flour, the gluten-free alternative popping up literally everywhere.

11. Paleo Egg Rolls

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Hoping to impress guests at a dinner party? Look no further than homemade vegan “egg” rolls. We thought we had to leave that to the masters, but this recipe is quick, and the ingredients are accessible. For the wrappers, you can opt for spring roll wraps instead, and your veggie options are endless. Stick to this lineup of green cabbage, carrots, zucchini, basil, and cilantro or shred up your favorites to add to the mix.

12. Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Step away from the take-out menu! If you’re soy-free, it’s a tough task to order in without running the risk of a serious belly ache. This healthy take on a traditional fried rice has everything you could wish for from a Chinese restaurant, except it’s somehow low-carb, gluten-free, Whole30, and Paleo-friendly.

12 Asian Recipes That Have No Soy (!!!) but Still Taste Amaze (2024)


What Asian food doesn't have soy? ›

12 Asian Recipes That Have No Soy (!!!) but Still Taste Amaze
  • Chinese Cashew Chicken.
  • Orange Sriracha Chicken.
  • Sesame Ginger Salmon.
  • Cucumber Sesame Salad.
  • One-Pan Shrimp and Green Beans in Chinese Garlic Sauce.
  • Beef With Broccoli.
  • Balsamic-Glazed Asian Zucchini Noodles.
  • Asian Meatballs Noodle Bowl.
Dec 6, 2018

Is soy in all Asian food? ›

Always check the label! Soy is sometimes found in the following: Asian cuisine (including Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese)—even if you order a soy-free item, there is high risk of cross-contact. Grains prepared with soy (e.g. cereals, breads, chips, crackers, pasta, rice, tortillas and rice)

Can you make soy sauce without soy? ›

The Quest for A Tasty Soy-Free Soy Sauce

They all called for beef stock, broth, or bouillon, a bit of vinegar (cider, red, and/or balsamic), unsulphured molasses, a bit of ginger, garlic, and pepper.

Why do Asians love soy? ›

Soy sauce is as integral to Japanese cooking as it is to Chinese cooking. Not only is it used to provide flavor during cooking, it is also used as a seasoning (much like salt in Western cuisine) and a natural food coloring. It is also the base to everyone's favorite Japanese sauce, teriyaki sauce.

Does Chinese fried rice have soy in it? ›

Ingredients and preparation

The basic elements of Chinese fried rice are cooked rice, meat, and vegetables mixed with egg, soy sauce and garlic for flavour and seasoning, also cooking oil for greasing; either using lard, vegetable oil or sesame oil.

What can I eat that doesn't contain soy? ›

General guidelines for soy allergy
Milk & milk productsMilk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy products
Soups & combination foodsHomemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeans
Desserts & sweetsIce cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredients
7 more rows

Where is soy a hidden ingredient? ›

Going soy-free means avoiding foods that are well-known for containing soy, like soy sauce, soybeans, and tofu. But soy can be found in a host of other foods that are far less obvious, such as processed foods, dairy substitutes, breaded foods, and cereals.

Does all tofu have soy? ›

Tofu, sometimes called bean curd, is mostly soybeans and water, plus a coagulant such as calcium sulfate, that's pressed into a block. In mainstream U.S. supermarkets, you're likely to see a few varieties sorted by firmness, which reflects water content.

Does Filipino food have soy? ›

A mainstay of every Filipino kitchen, soy sauce is the main additive in many popular Filipino dishes, including adobo, pancit, and meat and vegetable stews.

Can you make Chinese food without soy? ›

You can enjoy salty, umami flavors and enjoy classic Asian foods without soy sauce. When you go soy sauce-free there are tasty substitutes like coconut aminos and tamari sauce to try. Or, skip the sauces all together and rely on savory ginger, vinegar, and garlic to make Asian dishes come alive.

What is the best replacement for soy sauce? ›

What is the best substitute for soy sauce?
  • Tamari. If you're looking for an easy swap, tamari is the one because it is in fact a type of soy sauce! ...
  • Coconut aminos. If you're actually looking for a soy-free alternative, this is a great option. ...
  • Worcestershire sauce. ...
  • Miso. ...
  • Liquid aminos. ...
  • Fish sauce.

Is there a no soy soy sauce? ›

San-J No Soy Tamari is a soy sauce alternative that tastes like real soy sauce. It is made without soy, wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame. This soy-free sauce is certified gluten free, vegan, kosher, Fodmap Friendly, and Non-GMO Project verified.

Why do men avoid soy? ›

Soy contains isoflavones, which are converted in the body to phytoestrogens, similar to human estrogen that occurs naturally in both men and women. Theoretically, a high isoflavone intake could stimulate production of estrogen and decrease production of testosterone, with one result being enlarged breast tissue.

What country eats the most soy? ›

As of 2022, the leading country in soybean oil consumption was China, with about 17.1 million metric tons consumed. The United States was the second largest consumer of soybean oil, at about 12.25 million metric tons consumed.

Which cultures eat the most soy? ›

China consumes the most soybean meal, followed by the United States, the European Union, Brazil and several other countries with livestock and poultry operations. Nearly 65% of the world's soybean meal is consumed by China, United States, the European Union and Brazil.

Does Chinese food always have soy? ›

Most dishes and sauces contain soy sauce, which is brewed with wheat (unless it is labeled gluten-free). Noodles: Some noodles may be made from 100% rice flour but some may also have wheat flour added, and are often prepared in soy sauce.

Does all Japanese food have soy? ›

Soy is found, in some form, in nearly all Japanese meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Does Korean food have soy? ›

Asian cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Lao, and Korean often contains soy.

Does lo mein contain soy? ›

Lo mein uses a sauce, usually featuring some combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin, sesame, and sugar or honey. The sauce and noodles are added to the pan with the vegetables, while the noodles are cooked as needed —often just a couple of turns in the pan will do if the noodles are fresh.


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