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Rhonda Parkinson

Soy Sauce Substitute?

By October 16, 2003

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Chris writes: I'm allergic to soy, wheat and corn and I miss Chinese food! Obviously I can't eat at Chinese restaurants anymore, so I need to make it myself. I've found good replacements for wheat and corn, but I'm hoping you can give me some hints about what to try as a replacement for soy sauce, since I don't even know where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Suggestions?

One Reader's Suggestion - Jonathan writes that he likes this gluten free soy sauce substitute better than the real thing!


March 20, 2007 at 11:55 am
(1) Jane says:

Your recipe calls for low sodium beef broth. Canned beef broth contains Soy lethicin and the reader that asked for a soy sauce substitute is allergic to soy.

June 8, 2007 at 6:59 pm
(2) amanda says:

Thank you! I, too, have wheat and soy allergies, yet adore Chinese and Japanese food. This recipe will be really helpful, especially since I’m only a mediocre cook. Although, as Jane noted, canned beef broth does contain soy lecithin, there are some that don’t in the health food aisle.

December 3, 2007 at 2:28 pm
(3) Luna says:

While I am not allergic to soy, I know someone who is, and she has told me that soy lethicin often doesn’t cause allergic reactions… That’s not to say that there aren’t those who will react, but unless the reader specifies, this is a good recipe for a number of allergy sufferers.

And of course, as Amanda said, there are lethicin-free broths available. :)

April 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm
(4) Jen says:

Soy lecithin is actually a dairy product. Look it up. My sis is allergic to dairy, that’s why I know that.

April 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm
(5) Rene says:

Lecithin is a phospholipid that the food industry uses as an emulsifier. It can be found in soy bean oil and egg yolks, (actually just about every living cell has some), but most commercial sources are derived from soy. Soy lecithin is NOT a dairy product. It is found in many dairy products because its properties make it a great dairy enhancer. Most people who are sensitive to soy are reacting to soy proteins and so don’t have to worry about lecithin on an ingredient list. This is because lecithin is extracted from soy oil and does not contain the soy proteins. Only severely allergic people will react to it. My child’s allergist has confirmed this. Anyway since she loves soy sauce, I was thrilled to find a subsitute. Thanks!

May 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm
(6) Karl Schilke says:

I’ve spoken with food and oil manufacturers about soy lecithin and soy allergies. Soy lecithin is extracted from soy meal with water or steam, and is usually used as a crude product which does contain some soy protein. The FDA has noted the allergenic potential of soy lecithin, and requires it to be explicitly labeled (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/soyguid.html). Refined/degummed oils are highly processed and should have very low antigenicity, although there are several studies in the scientific literature that show allergenicity of refined oils in vitro and in people.

If you’re allergic to soy, then soy lecithin is not your friend.

October 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(7) sw says:

read on @


February 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm
(8) Liana says:

But vinegar has gluten in it, so how is substituting vinegar for soy sauce a viable option??

March 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm
(9) Hugo says:

Liana, most vinegars are gluten free. For instance, rice vinegar and red wine vinegar are gluten-free. Carefully read the labels and when in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

Malt vinegar and white vinegar may contain gluten, due to their origin or processing.

February 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm
(10) hana says:

hi I m japanese, and mixing thai.
I think to u can eat some soy sauce. there is many type of soy sauce in japan.

how about this soy sauce? its made of rice. not soy.

and i watched to another type soy sauce made from broad bean in organic shop.
sorry I forgot which brand, but it was writting tamari same with kikkoman.

I guess to that soy sauce but free soy called to tamari,,,
but u must to check product!!

anyway, if u go to some asian restaurant I sugguest to thai restaurant.
the dish what free gluten is a lot of than other asian resaturant.
good luck!!!

March 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm
(11) vicky says:

hana, That soy sauce does too have soy in it. It’s the wheat they left out. To everyone: let’s not forget that soy is a GMO.

February 27, 2014 at 5:08 am
(12) Rvdb says:

Fish sauce or (sea)salt. Or Smoked oyster sauce from Megachef.
Be careful with the amounts, but i think fish sauce is as salty as light soy sauce.

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