Soy Sauce is Made of Wheat? You bet it is, Cupcake.

02 Apr

(Most soy sauces are, at any rate.)

In many products, the wheat and gluten is obvious. In other things… not so much. I have always used soy sauce in my marinades and with sushi, and I had no idea whatsoever that it contained wheat. This means that other products that use soy sauce may also contain wheat. Marinades, seasonings, salad dressings and some snack foods contain it as well. We were quite surprised when a package of beef jerky listed wheat as an ingredient! My son asked me why on earth they would put wheat in beef jerky (not just from the soy), and the fact is that it is used as a filler in a wide array of products. Wheat is cheap compared to other ingredients, and it makes other things go further. It might also explain why some of us feel awful when we were nowhere near a bowl of pasta or a slice of bread!

I was able to find GF (gluten-free) Tamari soy sauce online pretty easily at Amazon and Vitacost, but my local stores didn’t have it. I did find it in a neighboring town at Kroger, in both regular and low-sodium versions, and at a reasonable price.

If you usually buy prepared marinades, don’t despair, homemade marinades are a cinch, and usually taste a lot better too! So in honor of GF soy sauce, here is a combination of ingredients that I use as a wonderful marinade for meats. I say combination because honestly I do NOT measure when I put these things together, however I realize that not everyone feels comfortable using that method in the kitchen. For those that need measurements, please note that my quantities are approximations and that I just tweak it ‘til it tastes the way I want it to.

Asian Steak Marinade:

¼ Cup GF soy sauce
Juice from ½ lime
1Tb Olive Oil (walnut oil or sesame oil is nice too, though the flavor is stronger)
1 tsp Molasses (or honey)
1 Tb grated fresh ginger (I keep my gingerroot in the freezer, and just grate it as needed)
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Tb or so freshly minced Cilantro
1 or 2 thinly sliced scallions or a clove of minced garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ tsp of toasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients thoroughly, and pour over steak or chops, let rest at least 15 minutes, and grill or broil as usual.
This should make enough for 2-3 steaks or chops, just adjust the ingredients if you have more to marinade.

I want to stress that I really do just “wing it” and use a base and season it up from there. Soy sauce, some sort of citrus or vinegar for the sour, a touch of good oil, a touch of sweet, a touch of heat, and some herbs and spices, and you are good to go. I tend to use what I keep on hand, and that may differ from your kitchen, so if you don’t have exact ingredients, don’t let that stop you!


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4 responses to “Soy Sauce is Made of Wheat? You bet it is, Cupcake.

  1. glutenvygirl

    April 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I love GF Tamari sauce. I use it all the time!

    I keep my ginger in the fridge, and never use it before it goes bad. I live hours from a large grocer, so your freezer-storage idea for ginger sounds fabulous to me!

  2. Wheat Free GG

    April 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I was running into the same problem with fresh ginger, which is why I started freezing it. The bonus is that when it’s frozen, it is firm and very easy and fast to grate! I find that I use it more often than I used to because it’s so easy. I also freeze fresh parsley in a ziploc and squeeze most of the air out, and it keeps for a good while that way since it tends to be a pretty sturdy herb to begin with.

  3. Chrissy

    April 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I have to be careful of so called gf bleu cheese…not always but usually the mold is grown on bread so its impossible to keep it wheat free in those instances

    • Wheat Free GG

      April 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up! I haven’t had an issue with blue cheese yet, but I know we all have different levels of sensitivity.


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