Gluten free soy sauce vs tamari tasting
Gluten Free Soy Sauce vs Tamari Tasting -photo credit Jim Little

Gluten free soy sauce vs tamari; these are two soy products made using a different process. Soy sauce is traditionally a wheat product (oh, no wonder so many brands have wheat on the ingredient list). Tamari originated in Japan as a wheat free by-product of miso. Fast forward a few centuries and manufacturing has changed. We are thankful for the multitude of foods we can buy but we seem to have reached a tipping point…we want to know what is in our food. Companies are catching on, cleaning up their labels and the products they are offering. We get to chose every time we buy.

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The Differences, Gluten Free Soy Sauce vs Tamari

Soy Sauce

  • originated in China
  • originally made using a fermentation process
  • traditionally half soy beans and half wheat


  • originated in Japan
  • originally made by a brewing process
  • traditionally wheat free

Buyer Beware – Soy Sauce vs Tamari

Soy sauce and tamari do not taste the same and neither do any two brands of soy sauce. Trying new products and modifying recipes goes hand in hand with any dietary restriction. There is nothing like a head-to-head comparison to find out what you prefer, help you learn about the products you consume and have a little fun in the process. I won’t say any more about product labels, they are self explanatory and a tasting event will put you on the right track.

Soy Sauce vs Tamari, a Tasting Event

For my tasting I chose three soy products that are readily available to me. I made my sushi pizza to taste them and included product availability and cost on my tasting card.

If you want to compare here are a few brands to consider for your tasting event:

  • San J explains how they make their gluten free tamari here.
  • Amano has a nice description of their wheat free tamari on their site.
  • Eden Foods clearly describes the difference between their wheat free and gluten free products.
  • Kikkoman describes how they changed a traditional soy sauce by replacing wheat with rice to make a gluten free soy sauce.

Soy Sauce vs Tamari – The Recipes

I love Asian food and cook many traditional and non-traditional dishes that use soy sauce. Here are just a few:

Spring and Summer Favourites
California Roll Salad
California Roll Salad -photo credit Jim Little
Fall and Winter Favourites
Beef and Bok Choy in the making
Beef and Bok Choy in the making -photo credit Jim Little

One final word to avoid disappointment. My strategy is to purchase two bottles at a time then start looking for it again after the second bottle has been opened. Stores change their offerings all the time and manufacturers change their recipes.

Let me know in the comments below about your comparison of gluten free tamari or soy sauce.

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