Is Fish Sauce Gluten Free?

Are you interested in trying fish sauce but not sure whether it is gluten-free? You’re doing the right thing to check. Besides, you can never be too careful. With that said, here is what you need to know.

So, is fish sauce gluten-free? Fish sauce can be gluten-free, but it does depend on the brand or the facility in which it was made. You can typically find gluten-free options, or make the sauce from scratch, to ensure it does not contain gluten.

I hate to say it, but it really does depend.

That word – depend.

Infuriating I know.

And unfortunately, you’re never going to be able to be fully confident until you check.

Whether that is directly on the bottle, asking the manufacturer directly, or even asking the cooks when eating out!

Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at what fish sauce is made of so we can understand whether or not this sauce does pose any risks!

We’ll be looking at gluten-free brands too – so keep reading.

Being able to try some fish sauce simply depends on it!

What Is Fish Sauce Made Of?

Fish sauce is made from salted anchovies, or other fish, that has been fermented for an extended period – usually 2 years +. Other ingredients in the recipe typically include salt, sugar, and water.

And that’s usually it.

Some brands may include other ingredients, including preservatives or other additives for flavor.

But for the most part, this really is a simple sauce with minimal ingredients.

Or at least it should be.

Why Is Fish Sauce Not Always Gluten Free

Anchovies, sugar, water, salt. How can fish sauce not always be gluten-free?

I get it.

On the face of it, fish sauce does look like a safe option.

And technically it should be.

Not so fast.

We have the issue of cross-contamination here.

Whether that is other products created at the facility, or pans and other cooking utensils that have been used in the making of it.

And it’s this cross-contamination that makes it potentially contain gluten.

Especially when eating out.

Pots and pans are used to cook noodles or other wheat-based foods.

And some brands may even use this infamous wheat protein as an ingredient in the sauce too – there is always that.

Not usually, not always – but it is sometimes the case.

It’s why you need to check and remain fully vigilant at all times.

What Brand Of Fish Sauce Is Gluten-Free?

Thai Kitchen, Red Boat, and Ayam are perhaps the most popular brands of gluten-free fish sauces, as stated by the manufacturers.

Other than this, it is essential that you first check the packaging of each fish sauce.

From there, it’s also a good idea to look on the manufacturer’s website or contact them directly.

They should usually contain an FAQ page, such as is the case for Red Boat.

For instance, here you can see the question ‘Are Your Products Gluten-Free?’ followed by:

“Yes. Our sauces do not contain any wheat or wheat by-products and are produced in a gluten-free facility.”

And I must admit, I absolutely love the flavor of Red Boat fish sauce.

I get mine for a great price over at Amazon.

I suggest you do the same; why risk it?


Fish sauce should be gluten-free.

There is really no reason why it shouldn’t.

But that doesn’t mean it always is.

Ultimately, it depends on how and where it was made.

And it also depends on brand recipes too to some extent.

Remember – it’s not just what ingredients that go into the recipe.

There is the matter of cross-contamination to consider here too.

Thankfully, most of the major brands are certified gluten-free – so there should not be anything to worry about 🙂

For the most part, of course.

If you’re out in a restaurant.

Do ask. Do check.

Perhaps even forgo it altogether.

Related Questions

Is Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce Gluten-Free?

Thai Kitchen’s fish sauce is gluten-free, as stated by the manufacturer on their website.

Is Ayam Fish Sauce Gluten-Free?

Thai Kitchen’s fish sauce is gluten-free, as stated by the manufacturer on their website.

Wondering what other sauces contain gluten? Then the following guides may be for you: