Asian-Inspired Low Sodium Marinade

Now that my daughters have returned to school, I’ve been going full steam ahead on projects shelved since the start of summer. Last week I painted our chicken coop and shed and got about half-way on the master bedroom. Unfortunately Friday I succumbed to a respiratory cold and spent the whole weekend in a complete and utter fog. This morning, instead of laying in bed (which does nothing but make the congestion worse), I’ve decided to post. Take that, infection!

I’ve been meaning to share today’s recipe for weeks. I found it earlier this summer in an old issue of Cooking Light magazineĀ and with one minor tweak — the substitution of “faux” soy sauce for the real thing — it’s a fantastically flavorful low sodium marinade. And I mean LOW sodium. A mere 21 milligrams in the whole thing! But man oh man has it got TASTE. I’d imagine even in my present sorry state, I’d be able to detect the subtle nuances of garlic and ginger, 5-spice powder and the sweet tang of rice wine vinegar. And as I can barely breathe, hear or smell, that’s saying something. We’ve made this several times with chicken, letting it marinate a couple hours before tossing it on the grill. But it would be equally delicious with pork, tofu or tempeh, even hardy veggies like squash or sweet potato.

Yields enough marinade for 6 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 21 mg per recipe


3 T. faux soy sauce (recipe below)
1 1/2 T. honey
1 T. unflavored rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 T. peeled & grated fresh ginger
1/4 t. five-spice powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

FAUX SOY SAUCE (adapted from Dick Logue’s Soy Sauce Substitute)
1/4 c. molasses
3 T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. water
1 t. low-sodium or sodium-free beef bouillon granules
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

To make the faux soy sauce, measure ingredients into a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl and heat on low to combine. Store unused portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use.


Combine all ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add choice of meat, tofu or other protein and seal bag tightly. Shake and/or invert several times to coat contents completely. Refrigerate 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove contents and cook as desired.

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