When it comes to soy sauce, there are a few key spices that really bring out its flavor.
In this blog post, I am sharing 15 of my favorite spices to use with soy sauce.
From ginger and garlic to cumin and chili flakes, these spices will take your soy sauce game to the next level.
So if you are looking for a way to add some more flavor to your soy sauce, then be sure to check out this blog post.
What Spices Go with Soy Sauce?
There are many spices that go well with soy sauce. For a savory flavor, try adding garlic, ginger, or onion. For a sweet flavor, add in brown sugar or honey. For a spicy flavor, add in chili pepper or black pepper. Finally, for a sour flavor, add in vinegar or lemon.
Still looking for ideas?
Here are 15 spices that go with soy sauce:
The first spice I would recommend trying with soy sauce is allspice.
Allspice is a great way to add a little extra flavor to your dish without overwhelming it.
I would start with just a pinch or two and see how you like it.
Other spices that go well with allspice are ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
You can add allspice to your dish at any stage of cooking, but I find it works best when added towards the end.
Just a little tip: if you’re using allspice in a marinade, be sure to give it a good stir before adding your food to it.
This will help the allspice flavor to distribute evenly.
Anise is known for its natural sweetness and licorice flavor, making it a great choice to add a touch of flavor to soy sauce.
A little goes a long way with this spice, so start with a small amount and add more to taste.
Other herbs and spices that go well with anise include cinnamon, cloves, and fennel.
To add the spice, simply sprinkle it on top of your dish.
I like to add a little anise towards the end of cooking, so the flavor has time to meld with the other ingredients.
3. Bay Leaf
Bay leaf has an almost minty flavor with subtle hints of black pepper and Christmas tree pine.
It’s a great spice to use in small amounts to flavor soy sauce, as it can really enhance the umami flavor.
Other herbs and spices that go well with bay leaf are thyme, oregano, basil, and sage.
You can add bay leaf to soy sauce when you’re cooking it, or you can add it after the fact.
If you’re adding it after the fact, just make sure to remove the bay leaf before serving.
Caraway has a nutty, bittersweet sharpness with a hint of citrus, which makes it a perfect complement to soy sauce.
I would recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon of caraway per tablespoon of soy sauce.
Other herbs and spices that go well with caraway include fennel, cumin, and anise.
You can add caraway when cooking rice or noodles, or sprinkle it on top of finished dishes.
A little tip: if you toast the caraway seeds before using them, it will bring out their flavor even more.
Cardamom has a complex aroma with a piney, fruity, and almost menthol-like flavor.
It’s a versatile spice, and a little goes a long way.
When using cardamom, I recommend starting with a small amount and adding more to taste.
Cardamom goes well with other herbs and spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
You can add cardamom to dishes at the beginning of cooking, or towards the end for a more intense flavor.
Try it in stir-fries, curries, rice dishes, and even desserts!
Here’s a little tip: if you’re using cardamom in a sweet dish, try pairing it with a savory ingredient like soy sauce.
The contrast of flavors is really delicious!
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is hot and a little fruity, making it a perfect addition to soy sauce.
Try adding 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne for every tablespoon of soy sauce.
You can also mix in other herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Add the cayenne pepper when you’re cooking the dish, and give it a taste before serving.
Try it in stir-fries, marinades, and sauces.
And here’s a tip: if a dish is too salty, a pinch of sugar will help balance it out.
7. Celery Seeds
Celery seeds have a strong, warm, bitter and astringent flavor that goes well with soy sauce.
You don’t need much of it, just a pinch or two to add flavor to your dish.
Other herbs and spices that go well with celery seed are black pepper, cumin, and ginger.
You can add celery seed to your dish when you’re cooking the soy sauce, or sprinkle it on top as a garnish.
Some dishes where you can use both soy sauce and celery seed are stir-fries, noodle dishes, and rice dishes.
Cinnamon is a strong, warming spice, and a little goes a long way.
I like to add a pinch to dishes that feature soy sauce – it really rounds out the flavors.
Other herbs and spices that go well with cinnamon include cloves, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns.
If you’re adding cinnamon to a dish that’s already fairly salty, like soy sauce, go easy on the other seasonings.
To bring out the best flavor, add cinnamon towards the end of cooking.
Try it in stir-fries, noodle dishes, or rice dishes.
This intensely aromatic spice has a subtly sweet taste and a pungent aroma.
A little goes a long way with cloves, so start with a small amount and add more to taste.
Other spices and herbs that pair well with cloves include ginger, cinnamon, and anise.
Add cloves towards the end of cooking, so they don’t lose their flavor.
Try using soy sauce and cloves in marinades, glazes, and sauces for a delicious Asian-inspired flavor.
For a little extra zing, add a dash of cloves to your next stir-fry.
Rich and hearty, earthy and warm, with an edge of citrus – cumin is the perfect spice to round out the umami of soy sauce.
Just a pinch of this ancient spice can transform a simple dish of rice and beans into a robust and deeply satisfying meal.
Cumin pairs especially well with other strong flavors, such as chili peppers, garlic, and ginger.
Try adding a teaspoon of cumin to your next stir-fry, or use it to spice up a pot of black beans.
For a truly memorable dish, try slow-cooking a pork shoulder with cumin, chili peppers, and oranges.
The result is a melt-in-your-mouth dish that is full of complex flavors.
When using cumin, be careful not to overdo it.
A little goes a long way, and too much cumin can be overwhelming.
Start with a small amount, and add more to taste.
When cooking with cumin, it is best to add it early in the process, so that the spice has time to bloom and develop its full flavor.
Fennel has a very mild anise or licorice-like flavor, which makes it a great choice for pairing with soy sauce.
You don’t need to use a lot of fennel, just a pinch or two should do the trick.
Other herbs and spices that go well with fennel are garlic, onion, and black pepper.
You can add fennel to a dish at any point during cooking.
Some dishes where soy sauce and fennel work well together are stir-fries, marinades, and soups.
Here’s a little tip: if you’re ever out of fennel and need a quick substitute, anise seeds or star anise are a good option.
A sweet, nutty flavor reminiscent of maple syrup and burnt sugar, fenugreek is a spice that’s often used in curries, stews, and meat dishes.
While it’s most commonly associated with Indian cuisine, it’s also a key ingredient in many Middle Eastern and North African dishes.
If you’re looking to add a new dimension to your soy sauce, fenugreek is a great option.
A little goes a long way with this spice, so start with a pinch or two and add more to taste.
You can also mix it with other herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, and paprika.
When it comes to adding fenugreek to your dish, it’s best to do it towards the end of cooking so the flavor doesn’t become too overwhelming.
And soy sauce is the perfect partner for fenugreek – try using them both in stir-fries, curries, or marinades.
Here’s a little tip: if you can’t find fenugreek seeds, you can also use fenugreek leaves (dried or fresh).
Just remember that the leaves will have a slightly different flavor than the seeds.
Garlic has a pungent, spicy, and earthy flavor that goes well with soy sauce.
Try using a small amount of garlic powder, or grated fresh garlic, to taste.
Other herbs and spices that go well with garlic include ginger, oregano, and basil.
You can add garlic while cooking, or sprinkle it on top of a dish after it is cooked.
Some dishes where you can use both soy sauce and garlic include stir fry, rice, and noodles.
Tip: if you find that your dish is too salty, try adding a pinch of sugar to balance out the flavors.
Fresh ginger is slightly peppery and sweet, with a pungent and spicy aroma.
It’s a versatile spice that can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
I recommend adding a small amount to soy sauce – just a pinch or two.
Other spices that go well with ginger include garlic, onion, and chili pepper.
You can add ginger to a dish at any stage of cooking – it’s up to you.
Some dishes where you can use both soy sauce and ginger include stir-fries, marinades, and glazes.
Nutmeg is known for its warm, nutty flavor and goes great with soy sauce.
You only need to use a little bit of nutmeg to get a lot of flavor.
Other spices and herbs that go well with nutmeg include cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper.
You can add nutmeg to soy sauce when you’re cooking a dish, or sprinkle it on top of a dish after it’s cooked.
Some dishes where you can use both soy sauce and nutmeg include stir-fries, rice dishes, and noodle dishes.
A little tip: if you’re using nutmeg in a dish that also has sweet ingredients, start with a smaller amount of nutmeg and then add more to taste.
What Spices Go with Soy Sauce? (15 Best Spices)
- Bay Leaf
- Cayenne Pepper
- Celery Seed
- Pick your favorite spice from this list to use in your soy sauce.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Serve it up when it's done!