Tomato Salad with Soy Sauce

This is more of an idea than a recipe. I had never thought to dress tomatoes with soy sauce until I came across a simple tomato wedges with soy sauce recipe in my friend Nancy Hachisu’s Japanese Farm Food cookbook. It’s so easy and good! Tomatoes love salt, and they really love the flavorful saltiness of soy sauce. Nancy’s recipe uses rapeseed (canola) oil and shiso leaves. The salad works just as well with olive oil and sliced basil, which is what I’ve used here.

Here’s a tip for working with fresh raw tomatoes. Don’t refrigerate them! The cold temperatures of the refrigerator will make your tomatoes mealy, and will adversely affect their flavor. If you pick a garden tomato and it isn’t quite ripe, just let it sit on a counter for a few days. It will ripen on its own.

Tomato Salad with Soy Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 4 minutes

Make sure the soy sauce you are using truly is made from soy. Much of what is labeled soy sauce in America is just flavored water, not true soy sauce, which is made from fermented soybeans. Check the label to make sure you are getting the real deal!

There are no measurements in this recipe. Just sprinkle the ingredients over the cut tomatoes and adjust to your liking.



  • Fresh garden tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoned rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce or tamari (use gluten-free soy sauce if avoiding gluten)
  • Kosher salt or fleur de sel or other finishing salt
  • Thinly sliced basil for garnish


1 Core the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Arrange on a serving plate.

2 Lightly drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with seasoned rice vinegar. Sprinkle well with soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt. Toss a few thinly sliced basil leaves over the tomatoes.

Serve at room temperature.

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Showing 4 of 34 Comments

  • Lynn Chen

    Thank you for this – currently in Tahoe, staring at a bottle of Tamari and a lot of tomatoes that we have to use up before we leave!

  • Ron

    Hey Elise,

    My wife swears by balsamic vinegar on her tomatoes!

    Perhaps I’ll toss in a little oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in and call it dressing…d;^)

  • Hannibal

    You are absolutely right about the flavor of tomatoes being ruined by the cold Elise. Alton Brown reported a few years ago that tomatoes or tomato sauces lose two flavor notes when they are chilled below 56 degrees F. I have some dried sweet basil and soy sauce. I am going to try this for dinner tomorrow night.

  • Tish

    My husband’s family are Chinese, though third generation Kiwis as well. My mother-in-law introduced me many years ago to tomatoes dressed with light soy and sesame oil as a companion to her Sam Por Fan (translates as Daughter-in-law rice) – a wonderful one pot rice dish with lup cheong (chinese sausages), dried shrimp, meat, veges etc topped with a fried egg and served with the tomatoes and a chinese green.

    I also do the same tomato dish when we have wonton soup for dinner – the tomato juices combined with the soy and sesame make a lovely dipping sauce for the wontons.

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