Sodium Content of Chinese Sauces

Learn more about the amount of sodium in the sauces that you cook with every day.



Click to download these tips.

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone should consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day, about 1 teaspoon of table salt. People with hypertension should eat less than 1,500mg of sodium per day.
  • A lot of Chinese sauces and dressings are high in sodium. The table below lists the common Chinese sauces and dressings with high sodium. Try to use as little as possible or substitute with herbs and spices that can add flavor to your dish, such as garlic, ginger, green onion, vinegar, lemon juice, lemongrass, zedoary (sand ginger) powder, five spice powder, Sichuan pepper, star anise and basil.

Sodium Content of Chinese Sauces1

Watch out! Your kitchen is filled with high-sodium sauces and seasonings. This downloadable chart will help you to determine which suspects to stay away from. (Click Salty Suspects for a larger version).
To request for a sauce table magnet in Chinese, please email the Chinese Health Initiative at or call at 650-988-3234.
Sauce / CondimentPortionSodium (mg)(%DV)
Baking Soda1 tablespoon3773156%
Chicken Powder1 tablespoon2700113%
MSG1 tablespoon206186%
Fish Sauce1 tablespoon142259%
Shrimp Paste1 tablespoon141359%
Broad bean Paste (Doubanjiang)1 tablespoon117049%
Chu Hou Sauce1 tablespoon93939%
Soy Sauce1 tablespoon92038%
Oyster Sauce1 tablespoon85035%
Black Bean Sauce1 tablespoon66628%
Seafood Sauce1 tablespoon51021%
Chinese BBQ Sauce1 tablespoon36015%
Shacha Sauce1 tablespoon29712%
XO Sauce1 tablespoon27011%