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Is Soy Sauce Vegan?

by Toni Olukiran

1min read

Soy sauce is a staple in many different cuisines and some of our favourite dishes— but is it vegan? We’ve got the information you should know.

What is soy sauce?

Soy sauce is a condiment from China used widely in East Asia and beyond. It has been used for thousands of years, as it’s believed to have appeared and been used during the Han Dynasty which lasted from 206 BC - 220 AD. It is made from soybeans that are mixed with yeast and flour and are left to ferment; this process can take years. It’s used to add a salty, umami flavour to foods, and it can be cooked with as well as used as a dressing or dip. It comes in different consistencies and forms, ranging from light to extra dark, and thick to thin. 

Is soy sauce vegan?

In theory, soy sauce is vegan, as it is only made up of soybeans, wheat, water and wheat which are all, of course, vegan-friendly. However, some manufacturers add ingredients that compromise soy sauce being vegan, using flavour enhancers which are derived from fish or meat. Look out for E631 on ingredient lists, as this enhancer can sometimes be an animal product – if you want to be on the safe side, you’re better off finding a soy sauce that is either clearly labelled as vegan or has the very basic ingredients as stated above.

Can I find vegan soy sauce?

Yes — there are still lots of vegan soy sauces you can buy, so your favourite soups, stir fries and vegan sushi rolls are still absolutely fair game! Here are some vegan sauces for your next shopping trip:

Have any more burning vegan questions? Let us know in the comments.

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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