Is there gluten in Kikkoman teriyaki sauce?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause adverse health effects. As a result, these individuals must follow a strict gluten-free diet and avoid foods containing gluten. Kikkoman is a popular brand of soy sauce and teriyaki sauces. For those avoiding gluten, a common question is – does Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce contain gluten?

The Short Answer

The short answer is no, Kikkoman teriyaki sauce does not contain gluten. According to Kikkoman’s website, their teriyaki sauce is gluten-free. Kikkoman uses soybeans and wheat in some of their soy sauce products. However, their teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce that is made from soybeans only, not wheat. Therefore, Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce does not contain any gluten ingredients.

Analyzing the Ingredients in Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce

To fully understand if a product contains gluten, it is important to analyze its ingredients list. Here are the ingredients found in Kikkoman Teriyaki Takumi Sauce, according to the product packaging:

  • Water
  • Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt)
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Natural Flavors
  • Corn Syrup
  • Aji-mirin (Water, Koji (Rice, Water, Aspergillus oryzae), Rice, Sodium Benzoate: Less than 1/10 of 1% as a Preservative)
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Sodium Benzoate: Less than 1/10 of 1% as a Preservative

At first glance, the ingredients list appears to contain wheat as one of the ingredients in the soy sauce. However, looking closer, you can see that the soy sauce contains two variations – one made with soybeans only and one made with soybeans and wheat. Kikkoman uses the soybeans-only soy sauce, not the soybean and wheat soy sauce, in their gluten-free teriyaki sauce.

Soy Sauce Ingredients

Just to clarify the two types of soy sauce Kikkoman produces:

  • Gluten-containing soy sauce: Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt
  • Gluten-free soy sauce: Water, Soybeans, Salt

The gluten-free teriyaki sauce contains the gluten-free soy sauce, made with just soybeans and no wheat.

Verifying with Kikkoman

To confirm this analysis of the ingredients list, I contacted Kikkoman Consumer Affairs. They verified that their teriyaki sauce is gluten-free. Here is the response received from Kikkoman:

Thank you for contacting Kikkoman Consumer Affairs. Our Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce is gluten free. The soy sauce used in the Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce is produced at our Wisconsin facility from soybeans and water only. It does not contain any wheat. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

This official confirmation from Kikkoman provides assurance that their teriyaki sauce does not contain gluten or wheat-sourced ingredients.

Advantages of Kikkoman Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce

For those following a gluten-free diet, Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce has several advantages:

  • Widely available – Sold at most major grocery stores
  • Gluten-free status is clearly labeled on packaging
  • Soy sauce flavor without gluten ingredients
  • Allergen-free manufacturing facility – Produced at a wheat-free facility in Wisconsin
  • Trusted brand with transparency about gluten-free status

Kikkoman teriyaki sauce offers the authentic Japanese flavor of soy sauce, without concerns about gluten. Kikkoman’s gluten-free labeling and production methods enable celiacs and gluten-sensitive individuals to enjoy this tasty sauce.

Other Kikkoman Gluten-Free Products

In addition to their teriyaki sauce, Kikkoman offers a variety of gluten-free products, including:

  • Soy sauce
  • Less sodium soy sauce
  • Ponzu citrus seasonings
  • Sweet soy sauce
  • Hibachi soy sauce
  • General tso’s sauce

When purchasing Kikkoman products, it’s important to check the label for any gluten-containing ingredients. Some flavor variations of their sauces and condiments may contain wheat. However, products explicitly labeled “gluten-free” are safe for gluten-free diets.

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Substitutes

For those who cannot find or do not wish to use Kikkoman products, there are other brands of gluten-free soy sauce and teriyaki sauce available, including:

  • San-J – Offers organic tamari wheat-free soy sauce
  • La Choy – Soy sauce and teriyaki marinade labeled gluten-free
  • Tamari soy sauces – Made with just soybeans and no wheat
  • Coconut Secret – Coconut aminos sauce can substitute as soy sauce
  • Bragg – Liquid Aminos is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative

When selecting an alternate brand, examine the ingredients list and allergen statements for any indication of wheat, barley, rye or malt ingredients.

Homemade Gluten-Free Teriyaki Recipe

Making homemade gluten-free teriyaki sauce is also an option. Here is a basic recipe to try:


  • 1 cup gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken (optional)


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch/arrowroot powder.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. If desired, thicken sauce with a slurry of cornstarch/arrowroot and water. Simmer till desired consistency is reached.
  4. Allow sauce to cool prior to using or storing. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

This easy homemade recipe allows control over ingredients to ensure it’s 100% gluten-free. The teriyaki sauce can be used to marinade meats or as a stir-fry sauce.

Is Teriyaki Sauce Generally Gluten-Free?

While Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce is gluten-free, not all brands of teriyaki sauce are gluten-free. The main reason is that typical teriyaki recipes call for soy sauce as a main ingredient. And some soy sauces contain wheat.

To break down the potential sources of gluten in teriyaki sauce:

  • Soy Sauce – May be made with wheat unless specifically gluten-free
  • Starch – Can contain wheat-based thickeners
  • Mirin – Rice wine can contain malt barley
  • Additional seasonings – Flavorings like brown sugar may have malt added

So while the traditional ingredients in teriyaki don’t contain gluten directly, the specific brands used in manufacturing may introduce gluten unless careful selections are made.

Tips for Finding Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce

When buying pre-made teriyaki sauce, look for brands that:

  • List gluten-free on label
  • State soy sauce is wheat-free or tamari
  • Specify wheat-free manufacturing facility
  • Exclude malt, barley, rye ingredients

Contacting the manufacturer directly can also provide assurance if the product is safe for celiacs and gluten sensitivity.

Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Gluten-Free?

Similar to their teriyaki sauce, Kikkoman does offer some varieties of gluten-free soy sauce. However, not all Kikkoman soy sauce is gluten-free. They produce some soy sauces using wheat-based ingredients and others from just soybeans.

To identify if a Kikkoman soy sauce is gluten-free, look for:

  • Gluten-free designation on the label
  • “Naturally Brewed” on label – Signifies wheat-free production process
  • Ingredients listing just soybeans, no wheat

Kikkoman gluten-free labeled soy sauces, like their less sodium soy sauce, are safe for gluten-free diets. But other varieties they produce do contain wheat.

An additional warning is that Kikkoman manufactures some products on shared equipment with wheat. So even if a soy sauce recipe is gluten-free, cross-contamination is possible. Anyone with celiac disease or who is highly sensitive should exercise caution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Kikkoman teriyaki sauce contain gluten?

No, Kikkoman teriyaki sauce is gluten-free. Kikkoman uses a wheat-free soy sauce made from soybeans in their teriyaki sauce. They also manufacture it at a dedicated gluten-free facility.

What makes Kikkoman teriyaki sauce gluten-free?

Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce is gluten-free because of the soy sauce they use and their production practices. They use a soy sauce made only from soybeans and water, with no wheat added. And their teriyaki sauce is produced at an allergen-free facility in Wisconsin.

Is teriyaki sauce generally gluten-free?

No, teriyaki sauce is not generally gluten-free. Most brands use soy sauce that contains wheat or added starches/seasonings with gluten. However, there are gluten-free labeled teriyaki sauces available from brands like Kikkoman and others.

What ingredients make teriyaki sauce gluten-free?

To make teriyaki sauce gluten-free, use a wheat-free tamari or soy sauce, gluten-free starch thickeners like arrowroot, and avoid malt or barley-based components. Checking all ingredients or choosing certified gluten-free products ensures gluten safety.

Can I make homemade gluten-free teriyaki sauce easily?

Yes, you can easily make gluten-free teriyaki at home. Use just a few simple whole food ingredients like tamari, rice vinegar, honey, and spices. Making it yourself allows control over all ingredients.

The Bottom Line

In summary, Kikkoman teriyaki sauce does not contain any wheat or gluten. The soy sauce used in it is brewed from just soybeans and water. Kikkoman also produces their teriyaki sauce in a dedicated wheat-free facility, avoiding any cross-contamination. So those following a gluten-free diet can safely enjoy Kikkoman teriyaki marinade & sauce.

However, when using Kikkoman soy sauces, it’s important to verify the individual product is gluten-free, as some do contain wheat. But overall, Kikkoman provides high-quality and safe gluten-free Asian sauces for marinades, dipping, and cooking.

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