Recipe: That Amazing Ginger Sauce From Life Alive

Finally, today I’m sharing a recipe that is a victory for my kitchen. I’ve been obsessed with the lemon ginger Nama Shoyu special sauce that Life Alive (a restaurant in Cambridge) puts on their goddess bowls. I started trying to recreate it back in the late fall and finally mastered it.

The sauce goes great with your favorite sautéed (or raw) veggies and a grain like brown rice or quinoa making it a truly nutritious power meal.

Life Alive Nama Shoyu Sauce

It goes great on any cooked or steamed vegetable. The recipe is also perfect for detox diets. If you are avoiding sugar, this is a great swap for stir fry sauce. The raw ginger, garlic and lemon also make this packed with health benefits from detoxification, to reducing bloating, better digestion and increased energy. I promise it tastes amazing despite sounding random. Nama Shoyu is basically like a vegan/soy free soy sauce but I’m not into buying ingredients that are expensive/rarely used so I just used Tamari, a gluten free soy sauce I buy at Whole Foods.

Goddess Bowl Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce

Ginger Awesome Sauce (recreated from Life Alive’s Ginger Nama Shoyu in Cambridge) Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh peeled ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Tamari Sauce (or Nama Shoyu or Soy Sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons of Tahini (sesame seed butter basically)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or flax oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Combine the first two ingredients in a mini food processor or blender. Blend well. You may need to chop them up finely depending on the efficiency of your blender. Next add in the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a creamy consistency. You may add more water if you would like a less thick sauce.

Life Alive Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce

My favorite combination is short grain brown rice with broccoli, kale, carrots, beets and tofu. Add avocado, pepitas or siracha for texture and a kick! You can also add in some squash, mushrooms or sprouted peas.



Below is the Goddess Bowl from Life Alive and how they combine the veggies but really anything you have in your fridge will work. Enjoy and let me know what you thought of the recipe. If you love garlic, you will have a new favorite sauce. IMG 5563

IMG 5563

If you make the recipe or make and substitutions, leave your swaps below!

Recipe: That Amazing Ginger Sauce From Life Alive

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  • brie

    I am SO happy you posted this. I’ve tried 2 different recipes I found online attempting to recreate the goddess bowl sauce and both were a flop. Can’t wait to try this one. Thank you!

  • Jen

    I’m drooling over those photos. and thinking about the bowls at LifeAlive. I love that place. It was one of my favorites when I lived in Cambridge. Excited to try this recipe!

  • Mari

    Wow awesome! Thanks! I just moved out of Somerville this fall and I am missing the green goddess desperately! Will try tomorrow and post how it turned out!!

  • Jane

    This is amazing , thank you ! Just went to life alive last night and have to make more at home cuz it’s So. Damn. Good. You’re right, you nailed it!

  • Radish

    Really yummy and identical to the Life Alive sauce. Then, just to try something a little different, I got some miso from my local Harvest food coop and put in about a tablespoon. Makes it taste different but also great.

  • Pam

    This is one of my favorite Life Alive’s sauces! Thank you for figuring it out and sharing with everyone. I can’t wait to make this tonight!

  • jen

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…….I was planning to make this tonight…and had over the ingredients but was missing a few…my favorite dish!

  • Nicole

    Sarah --
    I am so excited to see this!! I am junk food junkie recently turned health food obsessed due to the incredibly tasty bowls at Life Alive! I live in the South End and make the trek (lol) over to Cambridge at least once a week to get my fix. I really love the Adventurer which has a slightly different sauce -- the Sesame Ginger Nama sauce. If you perfect that one, please share it as well 🙂 You rock!

    • Jessica

      Nicole -- I’m with you!! The Adventurer is worth a weekly trek [South End as well] and would love to get my hands on the sesame version of this sauce. I may try around with Sarah’s recipe and see where I can get the sesame in. It’s addictive!

  • Cecilia

    Sarah, you made our day. I echo others who have moved to neighborhoods further away and can’t make regular treks to Life Alive for these delicious goddess bowls. I’ve tried without luck to find this recipe online in the past and tried asking around at LA (was told it’s a trade secret but that tamari was the key). My husband and I made this per your recipe last night, with farro as a base. OMG. Heaven.

  • NMD

    Nicole, this is what I came up with for the sesame ginger Nama sauce. Makes 1 cup, or enough for four bowls.

    1/4 cup low sodium soy (or nama shoyu, but I didn’t need to add to my condiment collection)
    1/4 cup tahini
    2 Tbsp sesame oil
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    1 Tbsp agave syrup or honey
    1-inch piece ginger, sliced
    1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
    1 tsp lime juice
    1/2 tsp sea salt

  • Zoe

    Hi Sarah -- I’m a total Life Alive devotee and always trying to recreate their meals in my own kitchen. I’ll definitely give this sauce a try ASAP! Thanks for sharing.

  • LT

    Genius! I’ve been trying to con some of the workers behind the counter to spill their guts on the recipe. I think they have to give their first born if they divulge that information. So, thank you! I will continue to follow you!

  • Kelly

    Every time I’m in Boston, I go to Life Alive and wish I could recreate their amazing goddess bowl… I just made your recipe tonight and you totally nailed it!

  • Sally

    This is great, can’t wait to try it! I’m in love with Life Alive but no longer live in the Boston area!

    If you figure out the recipe for the Innocent wrap that’d be amazing! I believe they call it the Flaxy Nutri-Nama sauce.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jes

      I second this post! I always order a bowl of the Innocent and take one to go, but I’d love to learn how to make the sauce as I’m constantly craving it’s deliciousness!

  • Michael`

    I didn’t have any tahini on hand so I substituted two tablespoons of almond butter with a few dashes of sesame oil. I still couldn’t tell the difference between this and Life Alive’s recipe. If anything, this came out even better. Thanks so much!

  • Fabrizio

    Thx for deciphering the code…I have been making this for a few months now…I make a double batch of sauce w/1.5 cups of quinoa and steam approximately 4 carrots, a dozen leaves of kale, 3 ears of corn and combine with shaved almonds, hot sauce and some protein flakes…makes 4+ portions

  • Karen

    p.s. I just tried the recipe and indeed, you have nailed it. I’ll still eat at Life Alive whenever I’m in Cambridge. But it’s so great to be able to have this awesomeness in my own home.

  • Maida Broudo

    This is so awesome……Thank you!

    I just had it and love it…..and LOVE Life Alive.

    I think a bit of extra lemon juice and water can make this go a bit further…..thin it out just a bit…..make it easier to mix in…..-that said…perfection!

  • Sean

    This sauce is great but I don’t think two cloves of garlic are necessary. I still had garlic on my breath several hours and multiple tooth brushings later.

  • Janet

    We are regulars at Life Alive. I found your recipe and it is just perfect! I made it for the family and it was so nice to have one of my favorite meals at home. I was able to have the option of adding chicken for those who are not vegetarian.
    Thank you so much!

  • Liz Raymond

    OMG! Loved this. Made it last night and was a replica of the sauce. Holy cow. So now just need the hot sauce recipe 🙂

  • Rachelle

    Thank you so much for this! I just made it and it’s amazing 🙂 I would recommend a lil more water as your recipe barely stretched to 4 dishes. Still it’s such a strong flavour that it doesn’t matter much that the sauce is sparse. I added cubed roasted sweet potato which was great!

  • Sarah

    Good try! I’m sure it tastes great. I’m also sure that there is no tahini in the original. I’m very allergic to it, and they’ve promised there’s none in there (and I’ve never had a reaction.) I’d like to attempt to create it myself without the sesame!

  • Kaia

    Hi, I am excited to try your recipe! Can you tell me if you have a recipe for the broth for the Soba noodle dish?! That is so rich and earthy I would LOVE to be able to have it anytime. Thanks!!

  • Rebecca R. Hernandez

    Hi Sarah,

    Hello -- from the West Coast! Thank you so much for the recipe and conferring the ability for me to take a piece of Cambridge home with me. I have made this twice now (love it!) and I have a question — do you feel like the dressing is ever “stringy” from the cellulose in the ginger? I am wondering if Life Alive might strain the ginger?

  • Kate

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for this recipe!! It was so amazing! I made this dinner for my mother (I am introducing her to veganism) and she and I loved it! This is definitely a favorite dish, so thank you!

  • Jen

    I eat at life alive all the time, and I made this tonight and your sauce recipe is absolutely on point!!! I never thought I’d be able to recreate their bowls..I am so excited 🙂

  • Victoria

    I followed the recipe exactly but added a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast and it came out FANTASTIC!!! tastes exactly like the sauce at Life Alive if not better, thanks so so much for posting!

  • Joanna

    Eeek!!!! Amazing! Thank you SO much for this!! I love Life Alive (Salem is my local one) and have been dying to find this recipe ? Hurray!!!

  • Jessie

    Thank you so much for posting this<3 I love Life Alive and this sauce as well. I just tried your version for dinner and I wish I cut back on the soy/tamari. Next time I'll start with a tsp and go from there. Thanks again for demystifying this!

  • Jesse

    I’ve been looking for this! Great way for me to save money. I spend too much of it there. Do you happen to know what brands of kelp, nutritional flakes, flax oil etc. they happen to use or are good alternatives?

  • Laura

    I’ve been dreaming about this sauce since I visited Boston earlier this month. Your recipe was a perfect match, and much cheaper than making a second trip out there to eat this again 🙂 Thank you so much!

  • Kyle

    Sarah…. THANK YOU! I recently discovered Life Alive in Lowell and the Green Goddess is my go to meal at least once a week. Now that I can make the sauce though…. my whole world got better 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Chilly1

    Once again, does anybody have ANY idea how to recreate the Life Alive Hot sauce … I think it is called Dancing Passion ?

  • Alyssa

    OMG you are amazing! I’d tried all sorts of different Asian salad sauces trying to figure out what flavors I was missing and this *nailed it*. I’ve made 3 batches and had it every day for almost 2 weeks. Thank you!!

  • mm

    Dear Sarah, just wanted to let you know that I’ve been making this sauce for the past two years at least once a month. It’s absolutely incredible and makes my busy student life delicious, nutritious, and easy. THANK YOU!

  • Marisa

    I just made this and IT.IS.AMAZING. I am so happy- it tastes just like the Life Alive one! I will be making this weekly.

  • Sarah

    I just went to Life Alive in Salem tonight and had the Goddess bowl, it was so good I knew I had to find out how to make the sauce! Thank you for the recipe, I will add it to my repertoire!

  • Katie

    Hi Sarah is there a tahini you recommend? I made this some time ago with tahini that was the consistency of hummus I found in the refrigerated section but now I can only find the ground sesame seeds with the peanut butter which obviously is not that same consistency. Any insight you can provide is appreciated!

  • wally

    not sure if you intended it to sound this way, but nama shoyu is NOT soy free. it’s an unpasteurized soy sauce (contains live enzymes)

  • Ben

    Nailed it, thank you so much for reverse engineering this amazing recipe! Now, if only I could find the recipe for the peanut curry that Veggie Planet made. They closed down in Harvard a few years ago. Thanks again!

  • Alex Cowan

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for figuring out this recipe! My husband and I moved to CA from Boston 5 years ago and I have regularly lamented the fact that I could never figure out how to re-create my favorite dressing ever. A thousand thanks to you! I tried it a few nights ago and it is an exacting replica and brings me back!

  • Emma

    YOU ARE MY HERO!!! I have been searching how to make something similar. Wow thank you for seriously improving my every day life.

  • BAnsi

    Oh my god. Thank you for perfecting this!!! Amazing indeed. Wowww. Added it to warmed farro, tofu and blanched broccoli and cold edamame, carrots, pea shoots, and avocado. So delicious.

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