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)

Why is there so much soy in Asian food? ›

After rice and wheat, the great modern-day staples of China, the soybean sits firmly on the third rung on the Chinese food hierarchy. From a dietary point of view soy food offers a ton of protein and calcium to a population that gets precious little of either from meat or dairy products.

Does Chinese fried rice have soy in it? ›

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? ›

Introduced by Chinese merchants, soy sauce is another staple ingredient that's used in a number of different ways: Filipinos use it as a marinade, a condiment, and a dipping sauce. It's also one of the main ingredients in adobo, our national dish.

What is the most common food Asians eat? ›

Examples of staple foods include rice, noodles, mung beans, soybeans, seafood (Japan has the highest per capita consumption of seafood), mutton (Mongolia), bok choy (Chinese cabbage), and tea.

Which country has the best food in the world? ›

  • Italy. #1 in Has great food. #15 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Spain. #2 in Has great food. #17 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Mexico. #3 in Has great food. #33 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • France. #4 in Has great food. ...
  • Greece. #5 in Has great food. ...
  • Thailand. #6 in Has great food. ...
  • Turkey. #7 in Has great food. ...
  • Portugal. #8 in Has great food.

What culture eats 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.

Is soy bad for estrogen? ›

Can eating soy impact your hormones? Research suggests that eating soy products might decrease FSH and LH in people who are premenopausal, which may impact fertility. And it might increase estrogen in people who are menopausal (19), leading to a reduction in menopausal symptoms.

Is soy good for the body? ›

Summary. Soybeans and soy foods may reduce the risk of a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD) and some cancers, as well as improving bone health. Soy is a high-quality protein – one or 2 daily serves of soy products can be beneficial to our health.

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. The most common ways people in Japan eat soy are: tofu, edamame, natto, miso and perhaps most common, shoyu, or soy sauce. Each type of food is made and eaten in a different way.

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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