Is Soy Sauce Vegan?
If you plan on making Vegan Fried Rice, or if you’re searching for a savory sauce for your veggie roll, you might be wondering, Is Soy Sauce Vegan? While many condiments don’t make it on a plant-based shopping list, this pantry staple is more promising:
✅ Yes, most brands of soy sauce are vegan. But, always read the ingredients before purchasing.
What is soy sauce?
Soy Sauce is a salty, savory Asian condiment that is popular in countries all over the world. Soy sauce is commonly used in dishes like fried rice and stir-fries, as a table condiment for sushi and dumplings, and a marinade for meat or tofu.
Although there are many different brands of soy sauce, the main ingredients are basically the same.
Common Soy Sauce Ingredients:
How to Tell if Soy Sauce is Plant-Based
Because none of these ingredients are derived from an animal source, any product that contains only the basic ingredients listed above is a vegan soy sauce.
However, to be certain that your soy sauce is vegan, you must read the ingredients. Every once in a while, you will stumble upon a seemingly vegan product that in fact contains a hidden animal product.
When it comes to Asian condiments, there is always one sneaky ingredient you have to watch out for: fish sauce. While it’s rare to find an ingredient like this in soy sauce, I cannot guarantee it won’t happen.
Another tricky ingredient sometimes found in soy sauce that isn’t always vegan friendly is Disodium Insonate. It is a food additive used to enhance flavor and can come from either an animal source or from a plant source (tapioca starch). Because companies don’t have to label the source of the disodium insonate, it’s best to stay away from it altogether.
If you are dining at an Asain restaurant, it is especially important to remember to always ask your server if any of your sauces contain fish sauce. Why? Some restaurants may add ingredients to sauces that aren’t found in the original product, and they won’t always disclose this.
Is Tamari Vegan?
People who are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease cannot eat traditional soy sauce because it is made with wheat, which contains the protein gluten. Tamari is a perfect soy sauce substitute for these individuals because it is a gluten-free soy sauce.
Because tamari is essentially soy sauce minus one ingredient, the answer is the same:
✅ Yes, most brands of tamari are vegan. But, always read the ingredients before purchasing.
As with soy sauce, read the label before you buy and watch out for hidden animal products that might be included.
Vegan Soy Sauce Brands
Here are some popular brands of vegan soy sauce:
- Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (includes less salt, organic, and gluten-free tamari)
- 365 Everyday Value, Shoyu Soy Sauce (includes organic)
- Ocean’s Halo No Soy Soy-Free Sauce (includes less sodium)
- San-J Tamari (includes organic and reduced-sodium varieties)
- La Choy Soy Sauce (includes lite)
- Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce (includes dark soy sauce)
- Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning (unfermented, gluten-free, soy-based alternative)
- Yamasa Soy Sauce (includes less salt and organic tamari)
- Aloha Shoyu (includes tamari and all other varieties)
- ABC Sweet Soy Sauce (contains sulfites)