Difference Between Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce (With Table)

Searching and finding the perfect taste and flavour has been something humankind has been searching for from the beginning of the era. On getting one satisfactory taste, they go in search of the next and this cycle goes on. For getting the perfect taste, we have developed various dishes and cuisines.

Some have been discovered by accidents. Sauces were also discovered as such and now we have different types of sauces like tomato sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc. Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce although different, have been the cause of confusion for a few regarding the dishes they can be used in.

Soy Sauce vs Teriyaki Sauce

The difference between Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce is that soy sauce has a salty taste as it is mainly used for pickling or as an additive whereas teriyaki sauce has a sweet taste that may differ depending on the added ingredients.

Soy sauce is the liquid taken from the paste of fermented soybeans in the presence of moulds and salt. They have been in use since 3000 years. It was first used in China for pickling of fishes by adding salt and wheat. It is now used for many other dishes and especially in Asian cuisines.

Teriyaki sauce is a type of soy sauce that was made by adding brown sugar. it was first used in Japan in the 17th century. The base of this sauce is soy sauce with added ingredients that depends on the dish it is being used for. Teriyaki sauce has a sweet taste and is orange or coppery in appearance with a think consistency.

Comparison Table Between Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce

Parameters of ComparisonSoy SauceTeriyaki Sauce
Origin3000 years ago in ChinaWith added ingredients in Japan in the 17th century
IngredientsFermented soybeans and sometimes wheatSoy sauce as a base with brown sugar and other added ingredients
TasteIs usually saltySince there is brown sugar, it is sweeter than soy sauce
AppearanceHas a dark colourHas a light, almost coppery or orange colour
ConsistencyHas a watery consistencyHas a thick consistency
UsesUsed in many Asian cuisines as an additiveIs used as a cooking agent

What is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce or commonly known as soy is a paste of fermented soybeans. Its origin can be dated 3000 years ago in China and has a watery consistency with a dark-coloured appearance. Since during fermentation, salt is added, the final sauce has a salty taste.

They can be directly added to the food to enhance the taste, much like what Indian spices do. They are also served as side dips for rice, noodles and sushi.

Since they can be stored at room temperature, they are kept on table-tops in restaurants. The different variations for soy sauce are seen due to differences during production and different methods used for it.

Traditionally, the fermented soybeans were stored with moulds and salt in large urns. It would take months for their preparation.

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What is Teriyaki Sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is a special type of soy sauce. It uses soy sauce as its base and depending on the other ingredients used for this sauce, the taste and the texture varies. Commonly, they have an orange-copper-ish appearance with a thick consistency.

Teriyaki is a type of cooking style that is prominently used in Japan. This method involves glazing, broiling and grilling of the food. This is done with soy sauce, mirin and sugar and this sauce is called teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki sauce is generally sweet due to the added brown sugar in most of them. But some countries also add mirin or wine for enhancing the taste and appearance of it.

They can be used for chicken wings in the west or simply as a dip like the soy sauce.

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Main Differences Between Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce

  1. Soy sauce originated 3000 years ago in China for pickling of fish. Teriyaki sauce is a type of soy sauce with added ingredients. It is dated back to the 17th century in Japan where it was used for ‘glazing broil’.
  2. The main ingredients of soy sauce are roasted and fermented soybeans. In some places, they add wheat or small amounts of brown sugar. On adding ingredients like sugar or vegetables, the soy sauce can be used to make teriyaki sauce. So, the ingredients of teriyaki sauce are soy sauce and added ingredients.
  3. Soy sauce usually is salty whereas teriyaki sauce is found to be sweet due to the added sugar. But the taste of teriyaki sauce can also differ based on the ingredients added.
  4. Teriyaki sauce is lighter than the dark-coloured soy sauce. It has an almost coppery colour or orange. This colour also depends on the ingredients.
  5. The consistency of soy sauce is rather watery. Teriyaki sauce is seen to have a thick consistency.
  6. Teriyaki sauce is used as a cooking agent. But soy sauce is popularly used in Asian cuisine as an additive and not as a cooking agent itself.


Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, though having different appearances have the same basic ingredients. They are both made from soybeans that are roasted and fermented. This is because soy sauce is the base for the preparation of teriyaki sauce.

Soy sauce or soy is a liquid condiment of East-Asia. They are the liquid from the paste of fermented soybeans but in some places, roasted grain or brine is used. They are mainly used as an additive in many Asian cuisines. It can also be used as a dip for rice, noodles, etc.

Teriyaki is a cooking method that is often observed in Japan and the sauce used for this is teriyaki sauce. It uses soy sauce as its base with extra ingredients like brown sugar, honey or garlic paste. They are used mainly for glazing of meat or other dishes. This sauce is also seen to be used for burgers of the western culture.

Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are different sauces and have different tastes. Soy sauce has a salty taste and can be used as a substitute for salt in dishes or simply used as a side dip. Teriyaki sauce usually has a sweet taste.


  1. Quality evaluation of teriyaki sauce processed with shrimp remnants and its physicochemical properties (koreascience.or.kr)
  2. Detection of gluten during the fermentation process to produce soy sauce (allenpress.com)

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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