Teriyaki Sauce vs. Soy Sauce




teriyaki and soy sauce difference

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

If we had to name two appetizing items largely used in every country, we would probably speak out about Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce. The use of culinary items differs on every occasion based on their flavor and nutrients.

From Western cuisine to Asian, you can find both of these culinary elements in almost every dish you taste while visiting. It does not matter if you have interests in cooking or not, you should learn about every in and out of these sauces.

Teriyaki Sauce vs. Soy Sauce Comparison Table

Here’s a table comparing teriyaki sauce and soy sauce in terms of their ingredients, flavor, usage, and origins:

Aspect Teriyaki Sauce Soy Sauce
Ingredients Soy sauce, sweeteners (sugar or Fermented soybeans, wheat, salt,
honey), mirin, ginger, garlic water
Flavor Sweet and savory Salty and savory
Consistency Thick and syrupy Thin and watery
Usage Primarily used as a glaze or Fundamental seasoning in Japanese
marinade for grilled meats and cuisine; used in sushi, sashimi,
vegetables ramen, stir-fries, and more
Origins Originated in Japan Originated in China, widely used in
Japanese cuisine
Key Characteristics Contains soy sauce as a base Made through fermentation process;
ingredient but with added provides a distinct umami flavor;
sweeteners and flavors comes in various types (light, dark,
tamari, etc.)
Health Considerations Contains added sugars and higher Lower in calories and sugar compared
in calories to teriyaki sauce; high in sodium

Please note that this table provides a general overview, and specific brands or variations of these sauces may have slight differences in ingredients and flavors.

Teriyaki Sauce vs. Soy Sauce

Here, we will be discussing their differences on a set of areas in the following section:

Area One: Flavor

Asian cuisine has become popular in every part of the world besides its culture, and people now try their best to taste food while exploring cities. People use Soy Sauce as the conventional item in Asian cooking. China is among those countries that make soy sauce by using a few amounts of salt.

Soy Sauce

Chefs frequently generate a fermented paste of soybeans consisting of water and salt. The reason why soy sauce turns out to be a dark brown shaded color is that the fermentation procedure has to go through crushing down proteins and bringing up the amino acid. Here, the end of the product is a simple sugar that comes from the protein particles, also starches.

Photo credit- The Gate

Teriyaki Sauce:

It involves Tare, a seasoning, especially termed in the Japanese form. This Tare is used as a marinade sauce brush while grilling any food. Specifically, this tare seasoning is a compact form of soy sauce, sugar, and Mirin.

From seafood to vegetable dishes, this savory flavor of Tare brings sweetness in all senses. Well, there are further stories to talk about how this seasoning turns out to be a “must element” in other parts of the world. “Tare” has been passed through a lot of efforts given by Hawaiian Chefs. Hawaii is the first country that adds a local touch to this Tare sauce by providing new ingredients.

They use pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger. Eventually, these have become the core ingredients of this sauce, with the name well-known to us today as “Teriyaki Sauce.”

So, the difference in flavors comes from the difference in ingredients. Because of the massive use of salt, Soy Sauce tastes salty and pungent. Teriyaki sauce tastes sweet, as there is the combination of multi-elements.

Teriyaki Sauce vs. Soy Sauce

Photo credit- Food.com

Area Two:

The substitute of teriyaki sauces and soy sauces:

Teriyaki sauces tastes sweet and soft. You can find rice vinegar and fresh ginger as a substitute for teriyaki sauce. If you want to prepare teriyaki sauce with these ingredients, you need to add soy sauce, sugar, rice wine (in Japan), rice vinegar, and ginger.

Moreover, there is a sauce named “Worcestershire” that could be substituted for soy sauce instead.

Area Three: New Ingredients

Meanwhile, we have got ideas of the major elements of preparing both sauces. Now, let us tell you about new ingredients that some of the chefs of different countries tend to add.

These are Sesame Seed Oil and Green Onions. According to Chefs, these mentioned elements make teriyaki sauce more lively and delicious to eat. Although some people think this process is complicated, the demand for teriyaki sauce never goes away.

Area Four: The Ratio of Ingredients

Cooking is a form of art where there is no perfect ratio of using ingredients. It completely depends on the cook, the people who will eat, and availability. So, in this case, the constant ratio does not exist. Some cooks may go for extra gingers and garlic, or some may remove the use of oil-making the sauce.

Area Five: The Use

Though both of these sauces are multi-purposely used, soy sauce is more of a “core element” of dipping any dish. Spring Rolls, Sushi, and other famous platters do not come without having a soy sauce varnish. On the other hand, teriyaki sauce is used for glazing, marinating, dipping, and in every other way.

Some people agree on the matter that soy sauce is a sauce where teriyaki sauce is more like a part of the cooking technique to make dishes flavored. In some cases, soy sauce acts as an ingredient in teriyaki sauce making.

Area Six: Consistency and Appearance

We have already said in the earlier part that soy sauce tends to be a darker brown, darkened color than teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce has a kind of light, orange-shaded color because of the upper toppings of chilies.

In the case of consistency, soy sauce has a more liquid cohesion than teriyaki sauce. Instead, teriyaki sauce has a thick solidity. Both of these sauces come in jars, bottles, and small cups in restaurants. Because they are temperature-resistant.

Area Seven: What if you want to replace soy sauce?

When you have to make the main dish using soy sauce in a limited time, the only possible way is to find a replacement. It will be unfortunate if you end up having a teriyaki sauce, as this sauce does not tend to be an appropriate replacement, rather it is more likely to be used as a substitute. Remember, the flavor of both sauces differ in a large context.

Area Eight: Price Range

Teriyaki sauce sometimes is pricey, where soy sauce has become budget-friendly. As we said earlier, teriyaki sauce needs more ingredients and effort to make than soy sauce. Because of the affordable range of soy sauce, it is commonly used in every dish possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the main difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce?

The main difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce lies in their ingredients and flavor profiles. Teriyaki sauce typically contains soy sauce as a base ingredient, along with added sweeteners like sugar or honey, mirin (a sweet rice wine), and sometimes ginger and garlic. Soy sauce, on the other hand, is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water, resulting in a salty and savory flavor.

Can teriyaki sauce be used as a substitute for soy sauce?

While teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce as a primary component, it is not an ideal substitute for soy sauce due to its additional ingredients. Teriyaki sauce has a sweeter and thicker consistency compared to soy sauce, which may alter the flavor and texture of a dish if used as a direct replacement. However, teriyaki sauce can be used as a flavor enhancer in certain recipes that call for a touch of sweetness.

Which sauce is more commonly used in Japanese cuisine: teriyaki sauce or soy sauce?

Soy sauce is much more commonly used in Japanese cuisine compared to teriyaki sauce. Soy sauce has a long history in Japanese cooking and is a fundamental seasoning in various dishes, such as sushi, sashimi, ramen, and stir-fries. Teriyaki sauce, although originating in Japan, is primarily associated with teriyaki-style dishes and is often used as a glaze or marinade for grilled meats and vegetables.

Are teriyaki sauce and soy sauce interchangeable in recipes?

Teriyaki sauce and soy sauce are not completely interchangeable in recipes, as they have distinct flavors and consistencies. Soy sauce provides a salty and umami taste, while teriyaki sauce offers a combination of sweet and savory flavors. When substituting one for the other, it’s essential to consider the impact on the overall taste of the dish. Adjustments may be needed to balance the flavors if replacing soy sauce with teriyaki sauce or vice versa.

Which sauce is healthier: teriyaki sauce or soy sauce?

In terms of health, soy sauce is generally considered the healthier option compared to teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce often contains added sugars, which contribute to its sweet flavor. Soy sauce, although high in sodium, is lower in calories and sugar. When consuming either sauce, moderation is key due to their high sodium content. Additionally, there are low-sodium and reduced-sugar versions of both sauces available on the market for those seeking healthier alternatives.


Pleasant savor will not come without taking troubles in the arena of cooking. Both teriyaki sauce and soy sauce come totally from disparate cultures and cuisine. We have discussed here the difference from the viewpoint of eight factors. We believe you would be able to differentiate and apply sauces keeping in mind these factors.

Having different appearances does not mean they don’t have similar ingredients. Instead, the flavor comes from teriyaki sauce when you utilize an adequate amount of soy sauce. Their differences in the application do not cause harm to their dependence on each other.

You may also like to read: Best Bottled Teriyaki Sauce

About the author

Latest posts

  • Top 5 Best Camping Kitchen

    Top 5 Best Camping Kitchen

    Are you ready to elevate your outdoor cooking game and savor delicious meals under the open sky? Look no further than the world of the Best Camping Kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newbie to the great outdoors, having the right kitchen setup can make a world of difference. In this guide, we’ll…

    Read more

  • Best Black Kitchen Faucet

    Best Black Kitchen Faucet

    Are you ready to transform your kitchen into a sleek, modern masterpiece? The key lies in one essential element: the best black kitchen faucet. It’s not just a fixture; it’s a statement piece that can revolutionize the heart of your home. In this article, we’re about to embark on a journey into the world of…

    Read more

  • Best Stain For Kitchen Cabinets

    Best Stain For Kitchen Cabinets

    Are your kitchen cabinets in need of a fresh, stunning makeover? Look no further, because in this article, we’re delving into the world of kitchen cabinet stains, revealing the secrets to achieving the best results. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and the cabinets are its soul. They bear the brunt of daily…

    Read more