It's hard to imagine sitting around the dinner table with my family on a Friday night, eating Chinese takeout with sweet and sour chicken, white rice, and the works and not having soy sauce. As veganism has become a hot topic in today's culture, I can't imagine a life without soy sauce, which is why I wanted to investigate whether or not soy sauce is safe for vegans. Many people have been asking, "Is soy sauce vegan?" I did some research to find out.

The Controversy

Several years ago, Kikkoman, one of the most popular soy sauce producers, was accused of testing their products on animals by PETA. This behavior occurred for over 15 years, and as a result many vegans and vegetarians refused to purchase or consume Kikkoman products. Thankfully, after thousands of protests and posts on social media, Kikkoman decided to end its animal testing in 2015. But the question still stands as to whether or not soy sauce is vegan with or without the animal testing.

Is Soy Sauce Vegan?

The answer is yes, soy sauce is vegan. Kikkoman soy sauce is made by brewing soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. After the ingredients are brewed, they are then fermented for several months. The only difference between Kikkoman and other soy sauce providers is that others may use sweeteners and artificial coloring. Despite that difference, most soy sauces out there are vegan.

If you can't enjoy soy sauce because it contains wheat, consider trying tamari. Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce and is also vegan. Not only is it safe for people who are gluten intolerant, but it surprisingly has a richer flavor than regular soy sauce. I recommend you give it a try and add it to some of your favorite vegan or gluten-free recipes.

Ways to Use Soy Sauce

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Amy Dong

Despite the high sodium content of soy sauce, the condiment is rather healthy and the Chinese have used it for centuries. It's not a bad idea to use soy sauce sparingly since it does have a high sodium content, but it's a great way to richly enhance the flavor of your foods. Try adding a dash to roasted vegetables or use it in a marinade for chicken. This deconstructed vegan sushi bowl is another winner, as are these soy glazed sesame green beans. Soy sauce can also be used as an alternative to table salt, and of course who doesn’t love to add some of the flavorful condiment to brown or white rice?

Go ahead do a little victory dance, because soy sauce is vegan and now you can use it as much as you want. Just remember that all things are good in moderation.