Which Soy Sauce Brands Are Gluten-Free?

These various brands make gluten-free soy sauce

It often comes as a shock to people who are new to the gluten-free diet when they find out that soy sauce usually isn't gluten-free. In fact, most brands contain wheat as their first ingredient. However, there is a type of soy sauce that's traditionally made without wheat called tamari. There's a small (but growing) handful of tamari-style gluten-free soy sauce brands on the market. Here's what's available and where you can find it.

1
San-J Soy Sauce

Photo from San-J

San-J makes a wide variety of gluten-free soy sauce products, including regular and organic tamari-style soy sauce, plus regular and organic reduced-sodium gluten-free tamari-style soy sauce. You can purchase San-J in either bottles or in one-serving travel packs. San-J's products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), and San-J tests its products to contain less than 5 parts per million of gluten, or at a level of GF-5 (for more information on testing levels, see Why Gluten PPM Numbers Matter). In addition, San-J does not use any gluten-based alcohols in its gluten-free soy sauce and other gluten-free products; the alcohols it uses are derived from corn and sugarcane. 

You can find where to buy San-J products locally on their website, or purchase them online.

2
Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Photo from Kikkoman

 

Kikkoman makes four gluten-free soy sauces, including a tamari-style soy sauce that uses only water, soybeans, sugar, rice, and salt; a premium tamari sauce made from water, salt, soybeans, and sugar; a sauce with 50% less sodium; and a sweet soy sauce for rice.

You can find these soy sauces in some grocery stores, or you can buy them online (by the case or by the bottle). When buying Kikkoman soy sauce, make sure you get a bottle marked with a gluten-free label. Kikkoman makes a wide variety of different soy sauces and it's easy to pick up the wrong one if you're not careful.

3
Eden Organic Soy Sauce

Photo from Eden Foods

Eden Foods has two different organic tamari-style gluten-free soy sauce products — one made in the United States and one imported from Japan. The sauce crafted in the U.S. is made from water, organic soybeans, organic alcohol, sea salt, and koji (steamed rice with cultivated koji mold spores, an ingredient also used to make sake). The imported soy sauce is made from organic soybeans, sea salt, water, alcohol, organic soybean flour, and koji.

You can buy Eden Foods soy sauces online and in a wide variety of grocery stores.

4
Kari-Out Soy Sauce Packets

Photo from Kari-Out Company

Kari-Out, a company that specializes in small carry-out (get it?) packets of condiments, offers low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce. Kari-Out is headed by Paul Epstein, and both Epstein and his daughter, Lily, have celiac disease.

You can purchase Kari-Out gluten-free soy sauce packets in bulk at their website (450 at one time, or by the pail), or you can look for them at your local Chinese restaurant.

5
Wan Ja Shan Soy Sauce

Photo from Wan Ja Shan

Wan Ja Shan, which is based in Taiwan, but brewed in New York, makes both regular and lower-sodium gluten- and wheat-free tamari soy sauces, using just water, organic soybeans, salt, and (in the case of the lower-sodium version) organic vinegar. The company advertises that it brews its soy sauces in traditional fashion, allowing them to age for up to one year before they're bottled and marketed. Note that the wheat-free version may not necessarily be "gluten-free"

You can find Wan Ja Shan soy sauces at Whole Foods, H.E.B., Harris Teeter, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Ranch 99 Markets, or purchase them online.

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