Soy Sauce and Food Allergies
Ever since we had a friend with a wheat allergy come over for dinner, I’ve been thinking about how to prepare Asian foods without soy sauce or finding a nut-safe, wheat and gluten free soy sauce alternative. One of the first questions that popped up shortly after I published my first few recipes revolved around soy sauce: How to make Soy Free Soy Sauce? This is a huge topic and I believe the humble soy sauce deserves its own post!
Assuming that one does not have any wheat or soy allergies and could choose any brand of soy sauce, I suggest Kikkoman. It’s the brand that you can find at almost any supermarket, tastes good, and has a product allergen chart available online. Lee Kum Kee is another common supermarket brand with some allergen information available online.
Recipes for Soy Sauce Alternatives:
I have not tried any of these recipes yet but I’m compiling them here for future reference.
- Cybele Pascal has shared a recipe online on how to make a top 8 allergen free soy sauce recipe using beef stock, seaweed, cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, and pepper. That sounds really good with a lot of umami flavor.
- Nut Free Wok reader, Karen, shared another recipe that doesn’t use seaweed and seems equally simple.
- UPDATE: I’ve shared a soy-free soy sauce recipe here and it tastes amazing!
Are there any nut-free pre-made soy sauce alternatives (updated January 23)?
I am looking forward to try these as the opportunity arises. Thanks to the fantastic response from readers and friends, I would narrow down the options to the following short list:
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos Their webpage states that their equipment is free of peanut, tree nut, and wheat. However, I have an email response (Feb. 2013) disclosing that walnuts are the only nut present, processed, and/or stored in the facility with their liquid amino product.
Coconut Aminos is soy-free, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan which is an option for someone who is certain they are not allergic to coconut. Quite a few trusted nut allergy mommy friends use this product. The manufacturer’s website does disclose an allergen advisory as well as that they adhere to a strict allergen protocol.
Kikkoman makes a gluten free soy sauce. According to their allergen chart, no peanuts are in the facility thus unlikely to have any cross contact with peanuts. Kikkoman does make a few products containing tree nuts. However the “all-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce and the Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce are brewed at the Kikkoman Foods, Inc. plant in Walworth, WI where there are no peanuts or tree nuts ingredients. Please check the back of your label to see where the product was made.” I recommend checking the label and calling them if you have further concerns.
Red Boat Fish Sauce (see Sarah’s comments below, thank you!!!) is made from anchovies and sea salt and according to their FAQ, it is free of peanuts, shellfish, gluten, and soy. This opens up some yummy options for some Vietnamese dishes, including pho!
San-J makes a variety of gluten free Tamari Soy Sauce. I emailed the company regarding their allergen policy and received the following response (pretty awesome!):
If any readers know of other nut-free, wheat and gluten free soy sauce alternative that I can purchase, please share in the comments. As always, I recommend reading the ingredient labels and calling the manufacturers personally as manufacturers can change their policies, ingredients, or labels at any time without warning.
If you like this post, you’ll probably like to see what is in my cupboard as well.
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