16 Complete Protein Pairings with Soy Sauce

Summary:

  • Soy sauce is high in protein - about 1.3 grams per tbsp.
  • However, soy sauce provides only 8 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on methionine.[1]
  • Soy sauce pairs well with chia seeds, wild rice, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or quinoa to create a complete protein profile. [2] More soy sauce pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of soy sauce, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with soy sauce that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of soy sauce source

Amount of Protein in Soy Sauce

A great source of protein, a single tablespoon of soy sauce contains 1.3 grams of protein, or about 3% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with soy sauce alone, you will need 38 tablespoons of soy sauce (610 grams) for an average female, or 46 tablespoons of soy sauce for males. [4] That's about 326 calories.

Full nutritional profile for soy sauce
USDA Source: Soy sauce made from soy and wheat (shoyu)

Macronutrients in 1 tbsp (16g) of soy sauce:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
0.4% 8 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
0.1% 0.1 grams
Protein
2.6% 1.3 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Soy Sauce

Soy sauce contains abundant amounts of 8 out of the nine essential amino acids. Proportionally, soy sauce is a little short on methionine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with soy sauce alone, you will have to eat 55 tablespoons of soy sauce (887 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 45% more soy sauce to compensate for the lack of methionine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 tbsp (16g) of soy sauce:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
2.6% 1.302g
Histidine
4.4% 0.028g
Isoleucine
5.9% 0.051g
Leucine
4.5% 0.086g
Lysine
3.6% 0.061g
Methionine
1.8% 0.016g
Phenylalanine
3.8% 0.056g
Threonine
4.8% 0.043g
Tryptophan
5.9% 0.015g
Valine
4.9% 0.053g

More Complete Protein with Soy Sauce

Top vegan pairings with soy sauce include:
  1. Chia Seeds
  2. Wild Rice
  3. Hemp Seeds
  4. Pumpkin Seeds
  5. Quinoa
  6. Carrots
  7. Kiwi
  8. Yellow Mustard
  9. Flaxseeds
  10. Spirulina
  11. Cashews
  12. Wheat Germ
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with soy sauce. These include:
  1. Mayonnaise
  2. Sour Cream
  3. Caramel
  4. Egg

Vegan 1. Chia Seeds and Soy Sauce


image of chia seeds
image of soy sauce

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, chia seed is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.3 ounce of chia seeds (8g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.1 to 1:21 for soy sauce to chia seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.3 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.8% 7.9g
Histidine
29.1% 0.18g
Isoleucine
37.3% 0.32g
Leucine
28.7% 0.54g
Lysine
22.5% 0.39g
Methionine
14.7% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
24.6% 0.37g
Threonine
30.6% 0.28g
Tryptophan
43.5% 0.11g
Valine
31.9% 0.34g

Vegan 2. Wild Rice and Soy Sauce


image of wild rice
image of soy sauce

Wild rice is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.3 cup of wild rice (49g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.6 to 1:0.02 for soy sauce to wild rice by weight.

Full nutritional profile for wild rice
USDA Source: Wild rice, cooked

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.3 cup wild rice :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.9% 8.5g
Histidine
30.2% 0.19g
Isoleucine
39.1% 0.34g
Leucine
29.9% 0.56g
Lysine
22.7% 0.39g
Methionine
15.8% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
25.3% 0.38g
Threonine
31% 0.28g
Tryptophan
38.7% 0.1g
Valine
35.1% 0.38g

Vegan 3. Hemp Seeds and Soy Sauce


image of hemp seeds
image of soy sauce

A great source of protein, hemp seed is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.6 tablespoon of hemp seeds (6g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.08 to 1:0 for soy sauce to hemp seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for hemp seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, hemp seed, hulled

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.6 tbsp hemp seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17% 8.5g
Histidine
31.7% 0.2g
Isoleucine
38.9% 0.33g
Leucine
29.9% 0.56g
Lysine
22.5% 0.38g
Methionine
15.8% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
25% 0.37g
Threonine
32.9% 0.3g
Tryptophan
38.4% 0.1g
Valine
34.9% 0.38g

Vegan 4. Pumpkin Seeds and Soy Sauce


image of pumpkin seeds
image of soy sauce

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 3.7 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (15g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.28:1 of pumpkin seed to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 3.7 tbsp pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.2% 7.1g
Histidine
26.9% 0.17g
Isoleucine
36.2% 0.31g
Leucine
27.5% 0.52g
Lysine
23.9% 0.41g
Methionine
13.2% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.33g
Threonine
27.3% 0.25g
Tryptophan
38.3% 0.1g
Valine
36.9% 0.4g

Vegan 5. Quinoa and Soy Sauce


image of quinoa
image of soy sauce

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, quinoa is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 0.4 cup of quinoa (70g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.3:1 of quinoa to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for quinoa
USDA Source: Quinoa, cooked

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 0.4 cup quinoa :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.9% 7.4g
Histidine
28.9% 0.18g
Isoleucine
32.5% 0.28g
Leucine
24.8% 0.47g
Lysine
21.7% 0.37g
Methionine
13.8% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
21.3% 0.32g
Threonine
26.3% 0.24g
Tryptophan
33.7% 0.09g
Valine
28.4% 0.31g

Vegan 6. Carrots and Soy Sauce


image of carrots
image of soy sauce

Carrot is low in protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 1.7 tablespoons of soy sauce (27g) and 2.4 carrots (175g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 7:1 of carrot to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 tbsp soy sauce and 2.4 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
7.6% 3.8g
Histidine
18.5% 0.12g
Isoleucine
25.5% 0.22g
Leucine
17% 0.32g
Lysine
16.3% 0.28g
Methionine
7.1% 0.06g
Phenylalanine
13.5% 0.2g
Threonine
45.2% 0.41g
Tryptophan
17.9% 0.05g
Valine
19.4% 0.21g

Vegan 7. Kiwi and Soy Sauce


image of kiwi
image of soy sauce

Low in protein, kiwi is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 4.5 kiwi (308g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:6 to 1:18 for soy sauce to kiwi by weight.

Full nutritional profile for kiwi
USDA Source: Kiwifruit, green, raw

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 4.5 fruit kiwi :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.7% 7.9g
Histidine
27.9% 0.18g
Isoleucine
38% 0.33g
Leucine
25.9% 0.49g
Lysine
22.9% 0.39g
Methionine
14.6% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
21.7% 0.32g
Threonine
32.1% 0.29g
Tryptophan
37.5% 0.1g
Valine
32.6% 0.35g

Vegan 8. Yellow Mustard and Soy Sauce


image of yellow mustard
image of soy sauce

Yellow mustard is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 7.4 tablespoons of yellow mustard (111g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:2.1 to 1:2.3 for soy sauce to yellow mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow mustard
USDA Source: Mustard, prepared, yellow

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 7.4 tbsp yellow mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17% 8.5g
Histidine
35.7% 0.23g
Isoleucine
38.6% 0.33g
Leucine
32.4% 0.61g
Lysine
29.1% 0.5g
Methionine
15.8% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
24.7% 0.37g
Threonine
36.7% 0.33g
Tryptophan
23.5% 0.06g
Valine
35.9% 0.39g

Vegan 9. Flaxseeds and Soy Sauce


image of flaxseeds
image of soy sauce

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, flaxseed is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 2.3 tablespoons of flaxseeds (23g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.44:1 of flaxseed to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for flaxseeds
USDA Source: Seeds, flaxseed

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 2.3 tbsp flaxseeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.2% 8.6g
Histidine
32.2% 0.2g
Isoleucine
44% 0.38g
Leucine
30.4% 0.57g
Lysine
23.6% 0.4g
Methionine
16% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
27.6% 0.41g
Threonine
35.9% 0.32g
Tryptophan
46.3% 0.12g
Valine
39.5% 0.43g

Vegan 10. Spirulina and Soy Sauce


image of spirulina
image of soy sauce

Spirulina is a great source of protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 1.1 tablespoons of spirulina (8g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.15 to 1:44 for soy sauce to spirulina by weight.

Full nutritional profile for spirulina
USDA Source: Seaweed, spirulina, dried

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 1.1 tbsp spirulina :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.6% 8.8g
Histidine
28.2% 0.18g
Isoleucine
48.8% 0.42g
Leucine
35.5% 0.67g
Lysine
25.7% 0.44g
Methionine
16.4% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
27.1% 0.4g
Threonine
41.8% 0.38g
Tryptophan
47.6% 0.12g
Valine
41.7% 0.45g

Vegan 11. Cashews and Soy Sauce


image of cashews
image of soy sauce

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, cashew is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 0.9 ounce of cashews (25g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.47:1 of cashew to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for cashews
USDA Source: Nuts, cashew nuts, raw

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 0.9 oz cashews :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.9% 8.9g
Histidine
32.9% 0.21g
Isoleucine
42.8% 0.37g
Leucine
34.8% 0.66g
Lysine
25.5% 0.44g
Methionine
16.6% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
28.7% 0.43g
Threonine
35.3% 0.32g
Tryptophan
47.6% 0.12g
Valine
41.9% 0.45g

Vegan 12. Wheat Germ and Soy Sauce


image of wheat germ
image of soy sauce

Wheat germ is a great source of protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 3.3 tablespoons of soy sauce (53g) and 2.9 tablespoons of wheat germ (21g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.39:1 of wheat germ to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for wheat germ
USDA Source: Wheat germ, crude

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp soy sauce and 2.9 tbsp wheat germ :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.4% 9.2g
Histidine
36.1% 0.23g
Isoleucine
40.3% 0.35g
Leucine
32.5% 0.61g
Lysine
29.8% 0.51g
Methionine
17.1% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
25.7% 0.38g
Threonine
38.5% 0.35g
Tryptophan
45.2% 0.12g
Valine
39.6% 0.43g

Vegetarian 13. Mayonnaise and Soy Sauce


image of mayonnaise
image of soy sauce

Low in protein, mayonnaise is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.6 cup of mayonnaise (136g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.7:1 of mayonnaise to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.6 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.6% 7.8g
Histidine
27.7% 0.17g
Isoleucine
39.9% 0.34g
Leucine
29.6% 0.56g
Lysine
23.6% 0.4g
Methionine
14.6% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
24.2% 0.36g
Threonine
32.4% 0.29g
Tryptophan
38.5% 0.1g
Valine
33.9% 0.37g

Vegetarian 14. Sour Cream and Soy Sauce


image of sour cream
image of soy sauce

Sour cream is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.4 cup of sour cream (69g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.9:1 of sour cream to soy sauce will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.4 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.4% 8.2g
Histidine
32.1% 0.2g
Isoleucine
42.6% 0.37g
Leucine
34.5% 0.65g
Lysine
28.9% 0.49g
Methionine
15.3% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
26.2% 0.39g
Threonine
34.9% 0.31g
Tryptophan
40.6% 0.11g
Valine
37% 0.4g

Vegetarian 15. Caramel and Soy Sauce


image of caramel
image of soy sauce

Low in protein, caramel is high in methionine, which is complementary to soy sauce.

A ratio of 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.5 cup of caramel (152g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:1.9 to 1:0.12 for soy sauce to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.5 cup caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.7% 8.4g
Histidine
31.8% 0.2g
Isoleucine
45.3% 0.39g
Leucine
34.3% 0.65g
Lysine
28.2% 0.48g
Methionine
15.6% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
26.2% 0.39g
Threonine
35.2% 0.32g
Tryptophan
29.5% 0.08g
Valine
38.4% 0.41g

Vegetarian 16. Egg and Soy Sauce


image of egg
image of soy sauce

Egg is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of soy sauce.

For example, 5 tablespoons of soy sauce (80g) and 0.3 egg (15g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.19 to 1:37 for soy sauce to egg by weight.

Full nutritional profile for egg
USDA Source: Egg, whole, raw, fresh

Table of amino acids of 5 tbsp soy sauce and 0.3 large egg :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [20] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.8% 8.4g
Histidine
29.4% 0.19g
Isoleucine
41.2% 0.35g
Leucine
31.3% 0.59g
Lysine
25.8% 0.44g
Methionine
15.6% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
25.8% 0.38g
Threonine
33.3% 0.3g
Tryptophan
39.1% 0.1g
Valine
36.5% 0.39g


Complete Protein Pairings

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