Soy Sauce, the Great Menace

Reasonbly priced, Asian and delicious are a trio that usually coalesce in either hole in the wall, family-run joints in large cities or authentic Dim Sum houses that feature menus offering endless possibilities…just not in English. This holy trinity, when it can be found unites foodies, young urbanites (you say SAKE, I say BOMB!), and both Asians as well as non-Asian lovers of truly incredible cuisine.

One noticably absent demographic among seekers of delicious Asian cuisine is the gluten-freer. One of the shared wonders of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese food is soy sauce (and, respectively, they all deserve their own independent recognition…each one is incredibly different and delicious in its own way). Soy sauce is the phantom menace of the gluten-free world. Which types don’t have wheat listed as an ingredient? Do these types still have gluten? Due to the extensive hydrolosis of proteins (during the fermentation process), does soy sauce with wheat actually contain gluten? If so, is the amount negligible?

The best scientific and nutritional analyses to date have shown overall that gluten-freers should opt for gluten-free soy sauce (obvious), but also that small to moderate amounts of the stuff might actually have no effect on those with a gluten intolerance (interesting). To read a little more about gluten and soy sauce, take a look at fellow wordpresser ‘Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s great post on the raging debate:

Anywho. Like most of y’all, I’m guessing, I pretty much avoid the stuff when eating out. There are many great brands of certified gluten-free soy sauce ( offers several), but the ambiguity of information out there has thus far kept me quite cautious when eating Hibachi or sushi. And this can really be quite a bummer.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon a small, tasty surprise the other day. Tin Drum, with 3 locations in metro Atlanta, features a gluten-free menu.

Gluten-Free Menu at Tin Drum!

No this isn’t one of those necessary-to-bring-Chinese-speaking-friend authentic places as mentioned above, but it is delicious, very reasonably priced Asian food. Check, check, check. And I was extremely impressed by the layout of the menu, offering nutritional allergy information dish by dish. Hats off, Tin Drum. Had the Thai Green Curry, and it was excellent. I’ll be back.

Thai Green Curry

For now, I’m headed back to the kitchen. Fig season is upon us, and I’ll be taking this fruitful occasion very seriously this year.



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