Do you like the taste of teriyaki sauce but worry about gluten? If you’re on the hunt for gluten-free teriyaki sauce, the good news is that there are options, but still, it’s hard to find.
Generally, teriyaki sauce is NOT gluten-free because it contains soy sauce, and most soy sauce is made with wheat. In addition to gluten from the soy sauce, popular bottled teriyaki sauces may also contain additives containing gluten or traces of gluten.
Therefore, it’s best to choose a gluten-free teriyaki sauce or make your own with gluten-free soy sauce.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 What is teriyaki sauce made of?
- 2 Hidden gluten in teriyaki sauce
- 3 Gluten-free teriyaki sauce brands
- 4 Gluten-free teriyaki sauce recipe
- 5 Conclusion
What is teriyaki sauce made of?
Most teriyaki sauce recipes are similar. The sauce is made from a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake, spices, sugar, garlic, vinegar, and sometimes ginger and green onion.
In Japan, these alcoholic beverages are key ingredients in teriyaki sauce. In the United States, though, they are often replaced with sugar and additives so that they can be sold at all food shops.
The sugary ingredients give teriyaki sauce the sweetness it is known for.
Sake is generally gluten-free. Pure mirin made with rice only is also gluten-free. However, some brands of mirin actually contain wheat, and that makes them not gluten-free.
With these considerations, teriyaki sauce is usually NOT gluten-free.
Hidden gluten in teriyaki sauce
As with mirin, which unexpectedly contains gluten in many cases, there are also other hidden sources of gluten in teriyaki sauce. The obvious culprit is soy sauce.
There are some gluten-free soy sauces like Kikkoman’s gluten-free sauce.
But, as you can imagine, most brands that make teriyaki sauce don’t use this more expensive gluten-free version.
Regular soy sauce contains soybeans, salt, water, and wheat. It is thus not gluten-free.
But teriyaki sauce also contains these hidden glutens that you wouldn’t expect in a sauce. These come from additives. Many thickening additives contain flour and that is a sure source of gluten.
Another good question: Is teriyaki healthy? It depends on how you make it!
Is Kikkoman’s original teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Original Kikkoman teriyaki sauce is NOT gluten-free. The one that is gluten-free is called Kikkoman Gluten-Free Marinade & Sauce Teriyaki.
It is free from gluten and preservatives and definitely one of my favorite bottled Stir Fry Sauce to buy.
Is Lawry’s Teriyaki Sauce gluten-free?
No, Lawry’s teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce which is made with wheat. According to the label, all the extracts and food colors are certified gluten-free but the soy sauce is not.
Is Teriyaki Madness gluten-free?
Teriyaki madness claims that all of its sauces are gluten-free and safe to eat for celiacs.
However, clients still claim that they get sick as a result of cross-contamination, so it’s best to be careful when eating teriyaki sauce there.
Gluten-free teriyaki sauce brands
Gluten-free teriyaki sauce is available in some Asian grocery stores and on Amazon.
The final really tasty gluten-free teriyaki is Primal Kitchen Organic No Soy Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade. This one is made without soy sauce, and instead they use coconut aminos. It is also organic and healthier for you:
Another great gluten-free teriyaki sauce is to use Kikkoman Less Sodium Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce when making teriyaki. This one is also low-sodium which is ideal if you are looking to cut down on salt intake:
And I’ve got just the recipe for you:
Gluten-free teriyaki sauce recipe
- ⅓ cup low sodium and gluten free tamari from Kikkoman
- ⅔ cup water
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup depending on how sweet you like it
- 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- Grab a small saucepan and add the tamari, maple syrup, water, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper. Whisk everything together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1.5 teaspoons of water until it become a thick paste.
- Heat the saucepan with the tamari and other ingredients over medium heat until it comes to a boil and add in the cornstarch paste. Keep whisking everything together for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and drizzle over your favorite dishes.
The bottom line is that making your own teriyaki sauce for lunch and dinner is the safest way to avoid gluten.
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it’s important to be aware of all the ingredients that go into teriyaki sauce, as many are hidden sources of gluten.
Always look out for that soy sauce because it’s usually the main culprit.
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