I’ve had a couple of commenters ask for gluten-free Japanese recipes and a couple of people ask for soy-free recipes. I started looking into what basic seasonings you can get for those with allergies. The common allergies that would cause the most problems seem to be soy, rice and gluten. Those of you with MSG allergies can use the gluten allergy guide. I’ve heard from several people with gluten allergies that MSG in Japan is usually derived from wheat and that they have reactions to MSG. All of the local products I’ve included will also be MSG free. Before you get started read Ashley’s post on food labelling and my post on allergy labelling on Surviving in Japan. I should warn you that allergen-free food is rather expensive. Luckily most of these staples last a long time. Most of the links below are for Amazon as they are easy to order from. I have also used A-soken (see a guide to searching in my post on allergy labelling on Surviving in Japan) as they seem to have a really good selection. If you do not read Japanese and would like to order from A-soken you can probably use Ashley’s post on signing up for a veggie box as a reference when signing up. If you order your groceries from a delivery service take a moment to look and see if they have a allergen-free catalog. Allergen-free products are becoming more available as awareness grows.
無添加 mutenka additive-free
有機 (yuuki) or オーガニック (ooganikku) Organic, 無農薬 (munouyaku) pesticide free
Japanese pantry staples
- This mirin (味の母 ajino haha) is made only from rice, malt rice and salt
soy sauce shouyu (醤油)
- This 白菊しょうゆ White Chrysanthemum soy sauce has only three ingredients sake lees, salt and rice.
- This quinoa soy sauce キヌア醤油 (kinua shouyu) contains no rice, wheat or soy
- This millet (non) soy sauce is made from only millet and salt
- here is a link to the Amazon “additive free miso” (無添加味噌 mutenka miso) search results
- This quinoa miso キヌア味噌 (kinua miso) contains no rice, wheat or soy
- This millet miso きび味噌 (kibimiso) is soy, rice and wheat free
“sauce” as in as in they type used on tonkatsu and okonomiyaki (chuunou soosu 中濃)
- This okonomiyaki sauce contains none of the big seven allergens
mayonnaise mayoneezu (マヨネーズ)
- This mayonnaise is egg and dairy free (also none of the 25 allergens)
- A reader pointed out that if you are gluten-free watch out for malt vinegar in mayonnaise as it can cause a reaction
mentsuyu (めんつゆ)(soup for soba/udon noodles)
- This mentsuyu contains only mirin, beet sugar and salt (no traces of any grains)
Online sources for allergen-free food
- A-soken (Japanese) – this site is dedicated to allergen-free food and has detailed information about ingredients and possible contamination. This site is in Japanese and since the product info is detailed I sometimes use it to find products and then look for them on Amazon.
- Amazon – there are quite a lot of allergen-free products, even imported products. You can find some products searching in English but you’ll find a lot more if you search in Japanese.
- Rakuten - You can find some products searching in English but you’ll find a lot more if you search in Japanese.
- Yoyo Market
- Tengu Natural Foods
- Foreign Buyers Club
- Gluten Free Foods (Japanese)