Is Soy Sauce Halal or Haram?

Table full of soy sauce bottles
Photo Courtesy: Douglas Muth

Nowadays, soy sauce is used in almost every home as a dip. It adds tons of flavor to stir fry and Chinese food. But a question that pops up in our mind is the authenticity of soy sauce being halal or haram. 

If you are someone that loves soy sauce but is confused about it being halal or haram. Then we have got you! This article is going to answer your question. So, let’s get right into the details. 

Is Soy Sauce Halal?

The short answer is that while some brands have a 2-3% alcohol after it has been brewed and fermented, it its not enough to intoxicate you therefore making soy sauce Halal. Some Muslims argue that if the alcohol used to make Soy Sauce is derived from grapes, dates, and raisins then it is Haram.

Naturally brewed soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans and wheat so, it contains 2-3% alcohol, which makes it fall in the category of haram soy sauce.

All-purpose soy sauce is made without fermentation from water, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, sodium benzoate, and corn syrup, which makes it the halal soy sauce. 

Fatwa About Soy Sauce

Mustafa Umar shares his understanding of the matter in his fatwa:

The process of fermentation does not cause a product to become impermissible [haram] to consume. The problem of whether the product turns into wine or intoxicates like wine.

Imam Quduri says, “When wine becomes vinegar it is lawful…it is not disapproved to make wine into vinegar.”

[Mukhtasar al-Quduri p. 564, Ta-Ha Publishers 2010] Wine turns into vinegar through fermentation but loses its intoxicating quality.

Therefore, even though soy sauce is produced through fermentation, since it cannot intoxicate and does not resemble wine in any significant way, it is allowed to consume (source).

According to Mufti Faraz Adam

“if the alcohol used in preparing soy sauce is derived from other than grapes, dates, and raisins and it is not at a concentration which intoxicates, such soy sauce is permissible to use.” 


Alcohol in Soy Sauce

Some Muslims strictly do not consume foods with any percentage of alcohol.

If you’re in that camp you may want to you may want to avoid the Kikkoman Soy Sauce brand if you’re living in the USA or Canada. The naturally brewed Kikkoman soy sauce contains 1.7% or more alcohol and is made by fermentation of soybeans and wheat.

Due to the presence of about 2 percent alcohol, this soy sauce is considered haram by some Muslims.

However, Kirkkoman’s All Purpose soy sauce would be considered haram because it is made with water, hydrolyzed soybeans (source).

Some Muslims go by the rule that if you can drink a lot of it and get drunk, then even small amounts of it is haram. In the case of soy sauce though, if you drink a lot of Soy Sauce, you’re more likely to die than get drunk.

In 2013, a teen was dared to drink a bottle of soy sauce and ended up in the hospital having seizures, foaming at the mouth, and slipped into a coma (source). He ended up almost dying as opposed to getting drunk from soy sauce.

By that logic, some Muslims do not find Soy Sauce haram regardless of the brand and percentage of alcohol used to ferment and process the food.

Halal Soy Sauce Alternatives: 

Sushi or Chinese food without soy sauce feels like a big No, don’t you feel? You do not have to give up on soy sauce; just switch to the halal alternative of soy sauce. 

Some of the alternatives that are halal and are permissible to use are listed below: 

1- Kikkoman All Purpose Soy Sauce

Check it out on InstaCart (link to InstaCart) or on Amazon (link to Amazon)

2- Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning Soy Sauce

Check it out on on InstaCart (link to InstaCart) or on Amazon (link to Amazon)

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