Gluten Free Soy Sauce

24 Comments 08 May 2006

UPDATED7/11/07 Most soy sauce is prepared with wheat, thus making it off-limits to those of us who are gluten intolerant. The only exception I could discover is the San-J brand which can be found at natural food stores or ordered on-line from The Gluten Free Pantry. This same link will enable you to order gluten free soy sauce in single-serving packets.


I also read the ingredients list on a bottle of LaChoy Soy Sauce. It contained the mandatory allergens list which listed soy as an allergen but not wheat. There were no sign of other gluten toxic ingredients. That sounds like good news to me but I have no documentary evidence so this is not an official recommendation. Also, I am not sure that this is true for all varieties of LaChoy sauce.

I found a recipe for a soy sauce substitute (8 parts molasses and 3 parts balsamic vinegar). Click here for more details. Let me know how it tastes. 

Your Comments

24 Comments so far

  1. christina. says:

    Most LaChoy products list caramel color as an ingredient, which contains gluten.

  2. Hung says:

    Does Caramel color really contain gluten? The E-number for caramel color is E150 and the manufacturing process does not require any components that has gluten.

  3. Shirlee Finn says:

    Caramel, even though made from wheat, as an end product, tests negative to gluten.

    Reputable brands of Soy Sauce, such as Kikkoman, because they are fermentated for such a long period, test negative to gluten as a finished product.

  4. layne says:

    Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (available at any health food store, and even many mainstream grocers) is a great gluten free alternative to soy sauce. San-J tamari is also available at many mainstream grocers now, I know that kroger and safeway stores both carry these products.

  5. Ellen says:

    On another site I saw the hydrolyzed protein in the ingredients might contain gluten, the company wouldn’t say for sure.

  6. Gluten Free Guy says:

    It’s really funny (or scary depending on your point-of-view) when the company itself doesn’t know or care about the answer. Good Luck, Thanks for sharing.
    Paul Colligan , The Gluten Free Guy

  7. Gluten Free Guy says:
  8. Seng says:

    Have a look at http://www.classicasian.com/products.html Their dark and light soy sauces are certified (ie. labelled) gluten free, and they are all as good as “normal” soy sauces – I’m Chinese and grew up with soy sauces so I know what a good soy sauce should taste like … and these are really quite good … much. much better than Tamari styles, wheat-free substitutes !!
    My wife is the coeliac .. I’m the Chinese cook in the family !!

  9. is soy bean oil the same as soy ?

  10. Kathleen says:

    I was glutened by La Choy soy sauce. I called the company and they say it’s gluten free. But my reaction says it is not. I trust my reaction, not them. I’m very sensitive to gluten.

  11. Bill says:

    Kimlan I-Jen Soy Sauce is rice based (I-Jen is roasted rice).

  12. Michael says:

    San-J Tamari sauce is made without wheat. However, the last time i asked, they would not commit to it being gluten-free because they do not test for gluten.

    I am suspicious of the comment that soy sauce made with wheat can gluten-free because of the processing. Personal experience speaks otherwise. In fact, my impression is that soy sauce made with wheat is actually highly concentrated in gluten.

  13. Mindy says:

    Bill- Where can I find Kimlan I-Jen Soy Sauce. I have Celiac (just diagnosed), cannot have soy & have a multitude of other food allergies. Rice is one of the foods that I CAN have! I’d love to get my hands on some but can’t locate any. I’d appreciate your help. Thanks!

  14. Chef Gumbér says:

    Firstly, my wife is Gluten Intolerant, I cook. I also eat what I make for my wife, mostly. There are still things I like that she didn’t before she found out that she was G.I. So I want to make everything taste as good as possible.

    We eat a lot of Asian (C, J & K.) So when we found that GF Soy Sauce was going to be a problem, I looked into making my own at home. There lies the problem.

    After the soybeans are cooked, the paste is mixed with Flour to thicken it and prepare it for the frermentation. Now I know that processing is supposed to destroy the gluten, but I don’t see how much can be processed away when you are using almost a 50/50 mixture of Flour & Soybean Mush. Maybe it goes away when you rinse the fermented bean paste and out it in the water to become sauce, but were talking Molecules can bother the most sensative.

    This is not over for me. I am going to look into substitutes for the wheat at that point of the process, and maybe with a combo of cornstarch, Rice Flour… basically providing the proper enzymes needed for fermentation and using a GF Host with the absorptive quality of all-purpose Flour as a base for that process, if that all goes away and leaves no flavor residue in the same way the gluten flour does, I will have the answer, and then so will all of you.

    Just don’t expect Miracles soon. I am waiting to have my Hip replaced. 😉

    Joe G.

  15. Joan L. says:

    Kathleen Perhaps you are also intolerant of soy not just gluten.
    I just found out I cannot tolerate soy no matter how small the amount. I also found out that soooo many things contain soy.

  16. anna domina says:

    kari out soy sauce brand is gluten free, kosher, has no suger, and is soooooooooo delicious. I just recently saw it at a Chinese resteraunt, and I found out it was gluten free. I was so happy, because Im allergic to gluten. You have to tell your favorite Chinese restaraunt about it.

  17. no gluten here says:

    try potato instead of flour when making your own soy sauce

  18. Mags78 says:

    I just called La Choy and they said that the regular sauce was gluten free.

  19. I definitely accept what you have said. Actually, I browsed through your additional articles and I do believe that you are totally correct. Great job with this particular blog.

  20. Alan Tobey says:

    The widely-available San-J range now includes a 100% soy gluten-free “Tamari” soy sauce, which has decent flavor (but is not nearly as good as Yamasa or the much-more-expensive Ohsawa).

    Caution: don’t confuse this with the terrible San-J regular gluten-free soy sauce, which tastes like it was made in an oil refinery. Definitely doesn’t justify its slightly lower price.

  21. Katherine Hauser says:

    This has been a great thread, thanks to all for the information. We are a celiac family, the kids got it from both sides and was discovered in all of us almost 4 years ago through the grave illness of our daughter who has fully recovered thanks to the gluten free diet. We adhere strictly, but recently began having severe reactions. Through our own experiments we have discovered it is the Bragg Soy Seasoning sauce (clearly labelled gluten free) causing the problem. I have contacted the company. It really does not matter what they say tho, as I trust our reactions more than the manufacturing process and labels.

  22. gluten free princess says:

    Kikkoman has recently released a gluten-free version of their naturally brewed soy sauce. Four ingredients – water, soybeans, rice and salt. Meets FDA guidelines for gluten-free and is also Kosher.
    The rice is used in place of wheat to give the sauce its full body. Taste is very acceptable.

  23. Aaron says:

    Well I just completed a home gluten test I purchased through EZ Gluten and Kikkoman soy sauce tested negative for gluten so I will start using it again and see

  24. Patricia says:

    I have suffered with abdominal migraines along with unidentified stomach pain for over 14 years. I am waiting to be tested for celiac and in the mean time am doing a trial gluten-free diet. I am utterly amazed at the difference just a week has made. I am worried about the testing and having to put gluten back in my diet for accurate test results, but after this long, I am willing to do anything!
    Thank you so much for the information on all the asian style sauces. I am eating a dish right now that I wish had soy sauce in, will wait til I have my own bottle to make it again!

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