3

votes

Does soy sauce contain gluten?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 16, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Wheat is typically listed on the bottle for most soy sauces, but there does seem to be some debate over whether the gluten actually remains after the fermentation process.

Thoughts? is soy sauce an issue if one wants to stay gluten free?

I know there are gluten free versions you can buy, but I'd like to know how cautious I need to be when I eat out.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on February 13, 2012
at 10:57 PM

the one from San-J is tamari. I carry the packets they make.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 18, 2012
at 09:43 AM

the Korean BBQ restaurants I'm talking about have a selection of meats, some marinated, some unmarinated, that you grill yourself. and YES I have talked to them about it. I only eat the unmarinated ones and I KNOW they don't have soy sauce or other wheat-containing substances as if they did I would be violently ill.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:09 AM

I use this too! I made a traditional Korean stew dish using this stuff, and my mom ate it and said it was really good & she was surprised! She was freaking out over me not using soy sauce, and evil-eyeing my Aminos... but after she tasted it, she was VERY impressed. And she's full Korean, born and raised in Korea. So... if SHE liked it, I say it's good to go. :)

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I also wonder what's in it. It is like Tamari, or like Aminos? Do they add nasty chemicals? So many questions... I guess I COULD just google. Lol.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Oh, and if you are eating at an Asian restaurant, be wary of soups! They all contain wheat... like, ALL. They use it as a thickener, and any Asian restaurant I've been to has confessed to this. It's more obvious with miso (which contains soy sauce) and egg drop soup (since the other name for it is egg flour soup)... but sweet and sour soup and other soups also contain wheat. Also, some broths contain wheat from bouillon cubes or beef powder. Why is gluten so sneaky???

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:05 AM

There's also Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which is basically soy aminos. It's pretty good, and contains less sodium. However, I always find that I add more salt to it if I'm going for more of a true soy sauce taste... I haven't tried Tamari yet. Does anyone know if Tamari and Bragg's Aminos taste similar?

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Korean BBQ is definitely marinated. I'm half Korean and any Korean BBQ I've had (either homemade or at a restaurant) has been marinated. But I don't know for sure about the restaurants in your area, but traditional Korean BBQ is always marinated. It might be more subtle, so that might be why it seems un-marinated, but you might consider talking to the restaurant. Most Korean food has some sort of soy sauce, soybean paste, hot pepper paste, or beef powder in it... and all of these things contain wheat in some quantity. I struggle daily with the question of eating or not eating my native foods.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I try to order soups made with broth and ask for fish-sauce based recipes at Thai and Vietnamese places. I confess I haven't found a gluten-free friendly Chinese place since I went Paleo.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I've wondered this, too.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I've had a reaction to a small amount of regular soy sauce, too. Luckily it was either a small enough amount or the activated charcoal did the trick: I merely spent an hour burping and hiccuping, rather than my usual glutening symptoms (being stuck in the bathroom).

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Unfortunately, this doesn't work if you're at a Chinese or Thai restaurant that cooks with soy sauce, and can't/won't prepare meals from scratch with tamari for you. :(

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on January 16, 2012
at 08:53 AM

Looks good but what's in it?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 16, 2012
at 07:28 AM

I believe that some Whole Foods stores carry it. Amazon has it too, but it's very expensive there ($10+), or it requires you buy bulk. I personally use tamari (organic, reduced salt). Costs about $4 and it's easy to find locally.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Eugenia, where do you get your coconut aminos? Grocery stores don't seem to carry it. Do you mail order?

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10 Answers

6
F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

on January 16, 2012
at 06:45 AM

I promise, regular soy sauce has gluten. I've felt the effects firsthand and it wasn't pretty.

Wheat-free tamari is the way to go if you react strongly to gluten. I carry packets of the san-j variety in my purse just in case. it makes dining out much more pleasant as korean bbq (unmarinated meats) and sushi places (sashimi) are back on the menu.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I've had a reaction to a small amount of regular soy sauce, too. Luckily it was either a small enough amount or the activated charcoal did the trick: I merely spent an hour burping and hiccuping, rather than my usual glutening symptoms (being stuck in the bathroom).

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Korean BBQ is definitely marinated. I'm half Korean and any Korean BBQ I've had (either homemade or at a restaurant) has been marinated. But I don't know for sure about the restaurants in your area, but traditional Korean BBQ is always marinated. It might be more subtle, so that might be why it seems un-marinated, but you might consider talking to the restaurant. Most Korean food has some sort of soy sauce, soybean paste, hot pepper paste, or beef powder in it... and all of these things contain wheat in some quantity. I struggle daily with the question of eating or not eating my native foods.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 18, 2012
at 09:43 AM

the Korean BBQ restaurants I'm talking about have a selection of meats, some marinated, some unmarinated, that you grill yourself. and YES I have talked to them about it. I only eat the unmarinated ones and I KNOW they don't have soy sauce or other wheat-containing substances as if they did I would be violently ill.

5
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:03 AM

Normal soy sauce contains gluten, yes. But you can get "tamari" soy sauce which is pure soy (it's the original, traditional recipe). It's more expensive, but I myself found tamari to not have any ill effects on me, while wheat-based soy sauce sends me to the toilet within 2-5 hours. Small amounts of tamari shouldn't do bad to most people, there are recipes on both Robb Wolf's and Mark Sisson's web sites that use tamari for example.

If you are going out for sushi, simply take with you the tamari sauce bottle and use it. As long as you don't order sushi rolls that contain sauces in them (since they use wheat-based soy sauce as a base), and you mostly go for sashimi, just use your own tamari sauce and you will be fine.

Alternatively, you can go for coconut aminos. It's more expensive than either kinds of soy sauce, but it's a soy-free alternative.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 16, 2012
at 07:28 AM

I believe that some Whole Foods stores carry it. Amazon has it too, but it's very expensive there ($10+), or it requires you buy bulk. I personally use tamari (organic, reduced salt). Costs about $4 and it's easy to find locally.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Eugenia, where do you get your coconut aminos? Grocery stores don't seem to carry it. Do you mail order?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Unfortunately, this doesn't work if you're at a Chinese or Thai restaurant that cooks with soy sauce, and can't/won't prepare meals from scratch with tamari for you. :(

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I try to order soups made with broth and ask for fish-sauce based recipes at Thai and Vietnamese places. I confess I haven't found a gluten-free friendly Chinese place since I went Paleo.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Oh, and if you are eating at an Asian restaurant, be wary of soups! They all contain wheat... like, ALL. They use it as a thickener, and any Asian restaurant I've been to has confessed to this. It's more obvious with miso (which contains soy sauce) and egg drop soup (since the other name for it is egg flour soup)... but sweet and sour soup and other soups also contain wheat. Also, some broths contain wheat from bouillon cubes or beef powder. Why is gluten so sneaky???

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:05 AM

There's also Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which is basically soy aminos. It's pretty good, and contains less sodium. However, I always find that I add more salt to it if I'm going for more of a true soy sauce taste... I haven't tried Tamari yet. Does anyone know if Tamari and Bragg's Aminos taste similar?

4
75051260ff90bccec44d6a6bbba97fd1

on January 16, 2012
at 08:31 AM

Yes it does, but they sell gluten free soy sauce. There is a veriety of different brands that make it.

For example:

does-soy-sauce-contain-gluten?

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on January 16, 2012
at 08:53 AM

Looks good but what's in it?

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I also wonder what's in it. It is like Tamari, or like Aminos? Do they add nasty chemicals? So many questions... I guess I COULD just google. Lol.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on February 13, 2012
at 10:57 PM

the one from San-J is tamari. I carry the packets they make.

3
Medium avatar

on January 16, 2012
at 05:42 PM

I use Bragg Liquid Amino instead. Good stuff.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:09 AM

I use this too! I made a traditional Korean stew dish using this stuff, and my mom ate it and said it was really good & she was surprised! She was freaking out over me not using soy sauce, and evil-eyeing my Aminos... but after she tasted it, she was VERY impressed. And she's full Korean, born and raised in Korea. So... if SHE liked it, I say it's good to go. :)

3
22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:55 AM

It does contain gluten. I think it all depends how much you react to gluten... But soy itself is not healthy either, according to Robb Wolf etc.

Maybe some soy sauce once in a while for the occasional sushi out can be ok, but I definitely avoid it on a regular basis.

2
F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:46 PM

If you want to avoid both gluten and soy, try coconut aminos. I find it to be enough like soy sauce that I'm happy to use it instead. Here's the link at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Organic-Vegan-Coconut-Aminos/dp/B003XB5LMU/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

2
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:10 AM

I guess how cautious you need to be when you eat out depends on a few variables; your intolerance to wheat/gluten/soy and the soy sauce/s at the restaurants you use.

This is what wikipedia says on the intolerance subject;

"Most varieties of soy sauce contain wheat, to which some people have a medical intolerance.
However, some naturally brewed soy sauces made with wheat may be tolerated by people with a specific intolerance to gluten because gluten is not detectable in the finished product.
Japanese tamari soy sauce is traditionally wheat-free, and some tamari available commercially today is wheat and gluten free" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_sauce#Allergies

as Moonablaze says, you can always carry your own soy sauce with you to be 100% sure

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 16, 2012
at 11:39 PM

I use San J brand gluten free Tamari. Good stuff, available at Whole Foods, but cheaper at my local Asian Market.

However, unless you are known gluten sensitive, regular soy sauces should contain negligible amounts of gluten anyway. IOW, if you're going to use it, depending on quantity, it may not be a condiment to stress over.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 16, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Yes, standard soy has wheat in it. I'd have to question how much gluten it really has. How much it starts with, how much fermentation degrades, and how much ultimately is left in the finished product. And given the relatively small amounts one uses, how much of a gluten dose you're actually getting. The dose makes the poison. Unless you're overtly sensitive, you can probably get by with such a small dose of gluten from conventional soy sauce.

Personally, I don't sweat it when eating out. I keep wheat-free tamari in my house though, as it's maybe only 10% more expensive than conventional soy sauce.

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on January 16, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Gluten-free tamari doesn't, and is awesome btw.

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