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Gluten free soy sauce vs tamari; they are both soy products but are 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.

Of course we’re thankful for the multitude of food products we can buy but we do 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, and let manufacturers know what we like, every time we buy.

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  • originally made using a fermentation process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  • originally made by a brewing process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.

PIN for later…

Three bottles of soy and tamari with sushi for a Soy Sauce vs Tamari Tasting.

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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.

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.

Organize For Success – The Pantry

My strategy for keeping a well stocked pantry is to purchase two bottles at a time. There are gluten free options but you can’t buy any old soy sauce product. I usually buy two bottles at a time and as soon as the second bottle is open I add it to my grocery list. Stores change their products all the time and manufacturers change their recipes so this has worked for me.

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

Recipes Using Soy Sauce and Tamari

I love Asian food and cook many traditional and non-traditional dishes with soy sauce. Here are just a few of my favourites.

Spring and Summer Favourites

Fall and Winter Favourites

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