Does Soy Sauce Have Alcohol? (Not What You’d Expect)

Soy sauce is a fantastic condiment that can be used as a seasoning, dip, and much more. You would probably agree that its versatility makes it a pantry essential.

However, for some reason or other, you’ve come to question if soy sauce has alcohol. I did all the research so you won’t have to and here are the facts I found!

Does Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Traditional soy sauces contain alcohol because of their wheat content and the natural fermentation process they undergo. Some soy sauces like tamari have no wheat in them, but alcohol is added to preserve them. If you want alcohol-free soy sauce, there are some soy sauces and substitutes you can choose from.

Is your curiosity about alcohol in soy sauce not yet satisfied? Are you wondering what types of soy sauce have alcohol and what alternatives you can use? Keep reading to find out more!

Why Does Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Most soy sauces do contain alcohol because they traditionally go through a fermentation process, similar to beer or wine.

Soy sauce contains water, salt, wheat, and soybeans that are combined and fermented. The fermentation process breaks down the wheat starches into sugars, and some of the sugars turn into alcohol.

Therefore, most soy sauces do not directly add alcohol to the ingredients. Instead, the process of creating soy sauce creates natural alcohol that is present in the final product.

However, not all soy sauces will have alcohol, but many of them will if they contain wheat and get fermented.

Other soy sauces that do not contain wheat may have added alcohol to preserve them.

How Much Alcohol Does Soy Sauce Have?

Soy sauce does not have a lot of alcohol. It usually contains only around 1.5-2% alcohol by volume.

Moreover, people do not usually consume large quantities of soy sauce in one sitting. So you don’t have to worry about the amount of alcohol from a few tablespoons of soy sauce.

Why Does My Soy Sauce Smell Like Alcohol?

Soy sauce can smell like alcohol because it creates alcohol from the fermentation process. Some soy sauces contain more alcohol than others, resulting in a stronger smell.

Does Light Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Light soy sauce can contain alcohol because it goes through a fermentation process with wheat.

Does Dark Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Dark soy sauce can contain alcohol because of the wheat and fermentation process that it goes through.

Does Low Sodium Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Similar to the other soy sauces, low sodium soy sauce generally has alcohol unless stated otherwise.

Does Sweet Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Sweet soy sauce can contain alcohol because it is very similar to traditional soy sauce. Sweet soy sauce still goes through a natural fermentation process with wheat that creates alcohol.

Does Tamari Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Tamari soy sauce has alcohol despite it not containing any wheat for the fermentation process to create alcohol.

Most tamari companies add alcohol to their tamari to preserve it. As a result, tamari generally contains 2-4% alcohol by volume.

However, there are some tamari soy sauces that are alcohol-free. For instance, Kikkoman Tamari Gluten-Free soy sauce contains no natural or added alcohol.

Does Kikkoman Have Alcohol?

Does Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Naturally brewed Kikkoman contains about 2% alcohol by volume. Due to the fermentation process, alcohol naturally occurs in the Kikkoman.

Is There Soy Sauce Without Alcohol?

If you do not want to consume any alcohol, you can opt for some alcohol-free soy sauces. Here are some alcohol-free soy sauce alternatives and substitutes that you can try out!

1. Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are a popular substitute for soy sauce and they are perfect if you want an alcohol-free option.

Since they are made of fermented and heavily salted coconut palm sap, there is no wheat in coconut aminos to ferment into alcohol.

Moreover, coconut aminos offer umami flavors while being a bit sweet and salty.

2. Kikkoman Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

Kikkoman gluten-free soy sauce is the perfect alternative for people who want soy sauce without alcohol or gluten.

While gluten-free Kikkoman still goes through a fermentation process, it does not contain any wheat. Therefore, there will be no alcohol present in the soy sauce.

3. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is also a fermented sauce, but it does not contain any wheat. Therefore, there will be no alcohol after the fermentation process.

Worcestershire works as a good alternative since it still has umami and salty flavors like soy sauce. However, it has more distinct flavors, so it is not a perfect substitute.

4. Non-Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce

Non-naturally brewed soy sauce or all-purpose soy sauce is an alcohol-free soy sauce alternative.

This type of soy sauce contains sodium benzoate, corn syrup, water, hydrolyzed soy protein, and salt, so there is no wheat to ferment. Moreover, it does not go through the same fermentation process as regular soy sauce.

Can Alcohol Get Cooked out of Soy Sauce?

Alcohol usually gets cooked out of soy sauce within a minute of cooking because alcohol evaporates, but the exact time will depend on the heat and amount of soy sauce.

Additionally, it is important to note that some foods can absorb the soy sauce, making it more difficult to cook out the alcohol.

However, it will be fine if you only use a little soy sauce in your recipe. Soy sauce does not contain a lot of alcohol so you do not have to be too concerned about cooking it out.

Is Soy Sauce Halal?

Traditional soy sauce is not halal or permissible because it contains alcohol.

Any product that has gone through the fermentation process or contains added alcohol as a preservative is not halal.

However, alcohol-free soy sauce, like non-naturally brewed soy sauce and all-purpose soy sauce, is halal.

If you want to learn more about soy sauce, you can see our related posts on whether soy sauce is halal, if soy sauce has MSG, and why soy sauce is black.


Most traditional soy sauces contain alcohol because of the natural fermentation process.

Tamari soy sauce does not naturally create alcohol, but manufacturers add alcohol to preserve tamari.

There are soy sauces that are alcohol-free, such as Kikkoman, tamari, and gluten-free soy sauce. You may also get other alcohol-free alternatives to soy sauce such as coconut aminos.

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