Does Soy Sauce Have Soy In It? (Soy Protein, Soy Oil + More)

Soy sauce is a delicious condiment that can add depths of flavors to your dishes. However, some people are allergic to soy.

You may be wondering what’s in a name and if soy sauce actually has soy in it. I did the research and here is what I discovered!

Does Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

All soy sauce contains soy because it is the primary ingredient, hence the name “soy sauce.” Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with other ingredients, so there is no soy-free soy sauce. However, there are some soy-free substitutes that can be used to replace soy sauce.

Are you wondering why soy sauce has soy, what soy sauces are soy-free, and more? Keep reading the rest of the article to find out!

Why Does Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Soy sauce has soy in it because traditionally brewing it involves fermenting wheat and soybeans. Its main ingredients are soy, water, salt, and wheat. As a result, most soy sauces do contain soy.

Does Soy Sauce Have Soy Protein?

Soy sauce does contain soy protein but not that much. While the primary ingredient of soy sauce is soy, you will not get a lot of soy protein from soy sauce.

Does Soy Sauce Have Soybean Oil?

Soy sauce does not have soybean oil because it uses only soy, not the extracts of soy. Moreover, soy sauce is not meant to be oily so it is highly unlikely you’ll find soybean oil in your soy sauce.

Can People With Soy Allergies Eat Soy Sauce?

People who suffer from soy allergies cannot eat soy sauce because it contains soy as its main ingredient.

Does Dark Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Dark soy sauce has soy in it because soy helps it achieve the umami flavor that people look for. Most manufacturers can remove wheat from soy sauce, but soy remains present.

Does Light Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Most light soy sauces have soy in them because they are made from fermenting soybeans and wheat.

Does Low Sodium Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Low sodium soy sauce contains soy as the main ingredient. It only differs from regular soy sauce because there is less salt in the final product.

Does Tamari Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Yes. Tamari soy sauce is only gluten-free, but it is not soy-free. The process of making tamari soy sauce can omit gluten, but it cannot get rid of the other main ingredient, which is soy.

Does Kikkoman Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Kikkoman soy sauce always has soybeans because it is the most important ingredient in its products.

Does Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

Gluten-free soy sauce still contains soy because it only omits the wheat from the soy sauce, not the soy.

While gluten-free soy sauce is possible because many manufacturers can still make soy sauce without wheat, you cannot make real soy sauce without soybeans. The proteins from soybeans are crucial to soy sauce.

What Soy Sauce Doesn’t Have Soy In It?

Does Soy Sauce Have Soy In It?

There are no soy sauces that do not contain soy because it is the primary ingredient in soy sauce.

However, you can get soy-free substitutes to soy sauce if you want salty and umami flavors in your food. Here are some alternatives that you can try for soy-free soy sauce:

1. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a soy-free and gluten-free alternative that you can use for soy sauce because it has salty and umami flavors.

Moreover, Worcestershire sauce can help darken foods similarly to soy sauce because it is dark brown in color.

However, it is not the perfect substitute because it has a more distinct flavor profile than soy sauce due to the anchovies and molasses.

2. Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are a soy-free and gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, and you can use them in a 1:1 ratio to replace soy sauce.

This alternative has a very similar color to soy sauce, so it can help darken recipes like fried rice.

Moreover, coconut aminos also have a slightly salty and umami flavor like soy sauce, but it is a lot milder than regular soy sauce.

3. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a condiment that is made by fermenting small fish in salt and does not contain soy, so it can be a substitute for soy sauce in certain dishes that require a salty flavor.

However, fish sauce cannot completely replace the flavors of soy sauce because the fish sauce has a saltier, brinier, and sharper flavor without the umami.

Moreover, you want to be careful about how much fish sauce you add to your recipes. Fish sauce is very pungent and strong, so it can easily overpower a dish if you add too much.

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


All soy sauces contain soy because it is the main ingredient that is used to make soy sauce, hence the name.

However, there are substitutes that you can get to enjoy soy-free “soy sauce.” These include coconut aminos and Worcestershire sauce.

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