Teriyaki Sauce Vs Soy Sauce: A Culinary Clash of Flavors

Exploring diverse flavors and culinary wonders is my passion. I have got to taste a lot of different types of food. But one pair really got me trapped. I wanted to find out which one is more popular teriyaki sauce vs soy sauce. And it led me to detailed research on the two sauces

Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory glaze, made with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings, used as a marinade or glaze for grilled or broiled meats. Soy sauce, on the other hand, is a savory condiment made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and water, used to enhance the flavor of various dishes.

Join me in this journey where I will unveil the similarities, differences, and specialties of both teriyaki and soy sauce. 

Teriyaki Sauce Vs Soy Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce Vs Soy Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce vs Soy Sauce: An Overview 

Below is an overview and a comparison table of Teriyaki Sauce vs. Soy Sauce:

AspectTeriyaki SauceSoy Sauce
IngredientsSoy sauce, sugar, mirin (or sake), ginger, garlicSoybeans, wheat, salt, water
Flavor ProfileSweet and savorySalty and savory
UsageUsed as a marinade or glaze for meatsUsed as a condiment to enhance the flavor of dishes
Cooking MethodOften used as a marinade before grilling or broilingAdded during cooking or as a dipping sauce
ConsistencyThicker and more syrupy compared to soy sauceRunnier and more liquid
Typical DishesTeriyaki chicken, beef, or salmonStir-fries, sushi, sashimi, and various Asian dishes
Teriyaki Sauce Vs Soy Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce vs Soy Sauce: Detailed Differences

Let’s see the differences in detail to give you a proper idea about these two savory condiments:

Teriyaki Sauce Vs Soy Sauce


  • Teriyaki Sauce: Made with soy sauce as the base, combined with sugar, mirin (or sake), ginger, and garlic. 
  • Soy Sauce: Made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. Its simpler ingredient list results in a salty and umami-rich taste.

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Flavor Profile

  • Teriyaki Sauce: The combination of soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients gives teriyaki sauce a well-balanced sweet and savory flavor. It adds a delightful glaze to grilled or broiled meats.
  • Soy Sauce: Often used as a condiment to enhance the flavor of a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to sushi with its pungent and salty flavor.


  • Teriyaki Sauce: Used as a marinade or glaze for meats, especially chicken, beef, and salmon. It adds a caramelized coating when cooked on high heat.
  • Soy Sauce: Used during cooking to season and flavor a wide variety of dishes, and it can also be used as a dipping sauce.

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Cooking Method

  • Teriyaki Sauce: Often used as a marinade, allowing meats to soak in the flavors before grilling or broiling. During cooking, the sauce is brushed or poured over the meat to create a glossy finish.
  • Soy Sauce: Added directly to the cooking process, either during stir-frying or as a finishing touch to enhance the dish’s taste.


  • Teriyaki Sauce: Has a thicker and more syrupy consistency due to the added sugar, which contributes to the glazing effect on meats.
  • Soy Sauce: Has a runnier and more liquid texture, making it easier to mix into dishes and evenly coat ingredients.

Similarities Between Teriyaki Sauce vs Soy Sauce

Teriyaki sauce and soy sauce, while distinct in flavor, share some commonalities in their culinary role and usage.

  • Both sauces originate from Asian cuisine, with soy sauce having Chinese origins and teriyaki sauce originating in Japan.
  • Both sauces are used as umami-rich condiments, enhancing the overall flavor of various dishes.
  • They are used to complement meats, whether through marinating or as a drizzle during cooking.
  • Both sauces add depth and complexity to dishes, elevating the taste and creating a delightful culinary experience.
  • Both teriyaki sauce and soy sauce are widely popular and appreciated globally, finding their way into kitchens and restaurants worldwide.
  • They are versatile condiments, used in a wide range of Asian and international cuisines to impart distinctive flavors to the dishes they accompany.

Which One Is Good For What?

Teriyaki sauce is excellent for adding a sweet and savory glaze to grilled or broiled meats like chicken, beef, or salmon. Its caramelized coating enhances the flavor of these dishes. 

Soy sauce, on the other hand, is great for adding a salty and umami-rich flavor to a broad range of meals, including stir-fries, sushi, sashimi, and noodle dishes. It is a versatile condiment used during cooking or as a dipping sauce to elevate the overall taste of Asian and international cuisines.


Both teriyaki sauce and soy sauce bring their unique flavors and culinary prowess to the table. Teriyaki sauce delights with its sweet and savory glaze, elevating grilled and broiled meats. Meanwhile, soy sauce impresses with its bold and umami-rich taste, enhancing a wide range of dishes. 

While each has its distinct culinary applications, both sauces remain beloved staples in Asian and international cuisines, offering a delightful array of flavors to tantalize taste buds worldwide.

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