Finding on Kikkoman & Yamasa (Jpn) Soy Sauces Contain Alcohol


If you’ve read my last year posting regarding Kikkoman and Yamasa Japanese Soy Sauces Contain Alcohol. Please read our further finding on Kikkoman.

  • As stated in Kikkoman website (quoted on the initial posting below) that Kikkoman Soy Sauces contain greater than 2% alcohol by volume.
  • Our finding by going to various shops that sells Kikkoman in Cape Town (pics above):

Kikkoman Less Salt Soy Sauce contains 6,5% alcohol v/v.

Kikkoman Soy Sauce (‘normal’ one) contains 3,2 % alcohol v/v

  • What Kikkoman official website means by greater than 2 % can be as high as 6,5% v/v (volume by volume).
  • As comparison, beer generally contains 5% of alcohol, while some beer can be as lower as 2-3% and as high as 7% (rarely).
  • So the alcohol contains in Kikkoman is more or less the same as beer.

  •  The fact that there is no alcohol information on the refillable bottles, doesn’t mean there is no alcohol on the smaller (refillable) bottles.


Is there a difference between the soy sauce in the designer dispenser bottle and the soy sauce in the ‘normal’ bottle?

No, there’s no difference. Both products are the same naturally brewed soy sauce. They’ve just been filled into different bottles. The iconic designer bottle beautifies the dining table. It’s an aesthetic dispenser that enhances the seasoning experience and gives maximum pouring control. The designer bottle is also refillable and dishwasher safe.

  • We haven’t made second research on percentage of alcohol on Yamasa soy sauce. However in my initial posting, it is stated in Yamasa official website that it contains alcohol.
  • Basically all Japanese soy sauces contain alcohol.
  • As alternative to Japanese soy sauces, buy halaal soy sauces, the superior dark soy sauce taste similar with Kikkoman and Yamasa (read further down). Halaal soy sauces usually are products of China or Thailand (look for the halaal label).
  • Ask for halaal soy sauce or bring your own halaal soy sauce when you feel like sushi in an eatery.

Initial posting:

I have only found out in recent years that Kikkoman and Yamasa soy sauces contain alcohol. Kikkoman and Yamasa are Japanese soy sauces that are widely used in all Japanese food preparation as opposed to Chinese Soy Sauce. Japanese soy sauce has a distinctive flavor that if you are used to authentic Japanese, you would recognize if your dish is not made with Japanese soy sauce.  Kikkoman and Yamasa are also used for sushi condiment along with pickled ginger and wasabi.


The company stated in the label that Kikkoman contains alcohol.

I quoted an FAQ at official Kikkoman website:

Is there any alcohol in Kikkoman Soy Sauces?

Kikkoman Soy Sauces contain greater than 2% alcohol by volume. The alcohol is not added, but is a result of the fermentation process. Like wine or beer, our soy sauces are brewed and they are made from wheat, soybeans, salt and water. During fermentation, the wheat starches are broken down to sugars and part of the sugar is changed into alcohol.

Here is from Yamasa website:

10 fl. oz. Glass Bottle

1 gal. Tin Can, 64 fl. oz. Plastic Jug: SODIUM BENSOATE (less than 1/10 of 1% as preservative).
15.5 fl. oz. Glass Bottle, 10 fl. oz. Glass Bottle, 5 fl. oz. Dispenser: ALCOHOL (to retain freshness).

While I am aware of debates that alcohol contain in soya sauce is permissible,  I would rather avoid it and go for alternative soy sauce.

There are some soy sauce that certified halaal although these are Chinese style soy sauces that have different process in making thus has different taste. The closest taste I find in Cape Town to Kikkoman is Pearl River Bridge Superior Dark Soy Sauce.

Some sushi restaurants even provide Halaal soy sauce as alternative to Kikkoman and Yamasa. I usually bring my own Halaal soy sauce in a little tub if I know I am going to a sushi eatery. If I forget to bring the halaal soy sauce, I simply not dip my sushi in the Kikkoman or Yamasa sauce, which is for me, is fine and guiltless. I also avoid eating other Japanese dishes in Cape Town restaurants even if the meat is from Halaal butchery. The reason is, even if the halaal soy sauce is provided in some Cape Town restaurants for sushi condiment, we don’t know which soy sauce they use to make, say, yakiniku, robata etc. Most likely the Japanese soy sauce is used as to make the authentic Japanese.

The key is always check for halaal sign on any product, there may be a reason why a product does not have a halaal sign.

Walaahu A’lam, Allah knows best..

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