Tomato Salad with Soy Sauce

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.

  • Prep time: 4 minutes


  • Fresh garden tomatoes
  • Extra virgin 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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  • marl

    Love this….!
    But just for a head’s up – today in the Hong Kong English paper SCMP, had an article about soy sauce and carcinogens. You need to watch the brand. Poses tiny health risk but good to know.

  • Brady

    Love this! What a great new taste for my garden tomatoes..thanks Elise—-and all the comments are so helpful too…. Love your blog, it’s a must stop location whenever i need cooking ideas…….

  • Tania

    I have been using Kikkoman Soy Sauce (the lite version) on salads (tomatoes, cukes, lettuce, radishes & onions) for 20 years now. It is great also with cabbage slaw. Absolutely no salt has to be added, but the soy has to be low sodium or lite.

  • Eri

    I’m from Japan and it’s common to drizzle a little bit of soy sauce on tomatoes! My husband, who is half Japanese and half Caucasian, introduced me to a combination of soy sauce and garlic powder. My family and I thought it was strange at first, but we absolutely loved it the minute we tasted it. Now my kids, 7, 4 and 2, all love it, too!

  • george

    Hi Elise I really love your blog and everything that you post in it .My first ever dishes that I have made were from your blog.Im 16 years old and I trust only on your food I am writing to you to tell that you should never stop posting new and new recipes.I hope that other people also appreciate everything that you have done because you are not only cooking or preparing but you are also teaching step by step on how to basis .Sencerely George

  • Marti

    My mother’s family is from the Northern Mariana Islands and we have a similar dish. Equal amounts of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of soy sauce. Top with a little sliced green onion.

  • Alfredo

    Another version with Asian flavor, now my favorite: prepare a “vinaigrette” using soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, poured over fresh sliced chilled tomatoes, and later sprinkle over crumbled roasted nori (toasted seaweed, laver, you can find in Asian food stores)

  • Bella

    If a tomato isn’t cooked, I prefer it chilled. There’s not much that I like at room temperature. So, I suggest storing the tomatoes on the counter, but chill ’em up for the day. That being said, the recipe looks wonderful. Will definitely give it a try.

  • Lynette

    Here’s another tip for keeping tomatoes. Keep them on the counter, but in a ceramic or stoneware bowl. The slight chill from the bowl will keep them perfectly!

  • miketoyo

    Please try just a bit of mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellman’s) along with the soy sauce. My Issei grandparents served it that way decades ago.

    • Mary

      Or Kewpie mayo if you can get it?

  • Lisa

    I have to say that, for me, there is nothing tastier than an ice cold tomato straight from the fridge after it has been ripened on the counter.

  • Ken Nordman

    Tried it and loved it definitely a keeper.

  • MikeW

    I’ve had something similar in Japan made with avocado. It was delicious.

    It was at an out of the way restaurant in Tokyo, made to resemble an old fashioned country inn: rough log bench & a dirt-floor. The avocado was one of the specials, my Japanese friend had never had it or even heard of it before.

  • Sophia

    Avocados also love soy sauce (think California roll). Thinking a nice salad of tomatoes and avocados drizzled with shoyu and sesame oil.

    • Dustin

      Layer tomatoes and avocado slices, drizzle with soy and cracked black pepper and you have an alternative caprese salad…somewhat.

  • CW

    Soy sauce is a common dressing for tomatoes in Taiwan as well. However, grated ginger and sugar are also used in addition to the soy sauce which make the taste uniquely special, IMO.

  • Kay

    I may try this. My late husband would want gravy over tomatoes. I always wondered, “why would you put gravy on a perfectly good home grown tomato??”
    Love those good home grown tomatoes!

  • Dax

    That’s funny that you post this recipe idea. I was introduced to tomatoes and soy sauce when I first met my wife, roughly 15 years ago. She would serve sliced tomatoes and would drizzle soy sauce over them with a pinch of cracked black pepper. I was never a fan of tomatoes until I tried them that way. Now we continue to serve them all of the time this way, especially this time of year when the tomatoes from our garden are in full bloom.

  • James

    A wonderful dressing for tomatoes or salads is made by combining tamari (a type of soy sauce) with EVOO. Very simple and fresh.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

      Balsamic is just about good on anything. It is good with all vegetables.