For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, finding safe and tasty food can be a challenge. One ingredient that often raises concerns is soy sauce, which traditionally contains wheat.
However, there are now many gluten-free soy sauce options available, made with alternative grains or other ingredients. But, identifying which brands are safe for you can be a challenge. In this article, we'll explore the differences between two types of gluten-free soy sauce: light and dark, as well as some tips on how to use them in your cooking.
Light Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Light soy sauce, also known as "thin" or "regular" soy sauce, is a versatile condiment that is often used for dipping or seasoning. It has a thin consistency and a salty, slightly sweet flavor. Whilst it can be made with wheat, many gluten-free versions are now available, made with soybeans and other grains such as rice, corn, or quinoa. Some popular brands of gluten-free light soy sauce include Kikkoman Gluten-Free Soy Sauce and San-J Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce.
One of the most common uses for light soy sauce is as a dipping sauce for Asian-style appetizers and snacks. It pairs well with a variety of foods, including spring rolls, potstickers, dumplings, sushi, and sashimi. It can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and marinades. When using light soy sauce in cooking, be mindful of its saltiness and adjust the amount accordingly.
Dark Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Dark soy sauce, also known as "thick" or "sweet" soy sauce, is a richer and more flavorful variety of soy sauce that is better suited for cooking than for dipping. It has a thicker consistency, a darker color, and a stronger umami flavor than light soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is typically made by fermenting soybeans and wheat, but there are now many gluten-free versions available.
Dark soy sauce is commonly used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines to add depth and color to dishes. It's often used in stir-fries, marinades, and sauces for meat and vegetables. It is a key ingredient in dishes like kung pao chicken, black pepper beef, and char siu pork. It can also be used in non-Asian dishes, such as marinades for grilled meats or as a seasoning for roasted vegetables.
Celiac Disease Foundation. (n.d.). Gluten-Free Soy Sauce. https://celiac.org/gluten-free-living/what-is-gluten/gluten-free-foods/soy-sauce/
Kikkoman. (2022). Gluten-Free Soy Sauce. https://www.kikkomanusa.com/gluten-free-products/gluten-free-soy-sauce/
San-J. (2022). Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce. https://san-j.com/products/gluten-free-tamari/