Teriyaki, shoyu and tamari – what’s the difference?

October 11, 2017 7:51 am Published by Leave your thoughts

At Naturally Good Food we stock a great range of soy sauces, including shoyu, tamari and teriyaki. They come from various brands and arrive in all different shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever wondered quite what was the difference between our various soy sauces, then wonder no more – we’re here to explain it all!

Tamari, shoyu, teriyaki - what makes them all different?

No self-respecting household would be without soy sauce! But what’s the difference between the various types?

What’s soy sauce?

Let’s start at the very beginning….around 2,200 years ago, to be precise. It was then that a sauce made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grains (generally wheat), brine and aspergillus moulds began to be used in cooking and as a condiment. Spreading from China, across Japan, it’s now something that no self-respecting household would be without.

Soy sauce adds a pleasantly salty depth of flavour to all kinds of cooked dishes – casseroles, stews, soups and so on – and is a vital ingredient in stir-fries and ‘oriental’ recipes.  It was probably originally a way to make a reasonably scarce ingredient – salt – stretch a little bit further. Nowadays, it still finds favour with those who are trying to cut down on salt in their diets. Because of its rich flavour, a little dash of it goes a long way.

Tamari soy sauce

Tamari is sometimes called ‘gluten-free soy sauce’. It’s a sauce made entirely from soybeans, with no wheat. Its name translates as ‘puddle’ – tamari is the liquid that pools on top of soybean miso as it ferments.

Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to standard soy sauce.

We have bulk tamari, as well as smaller bottles.

As well as being a great way for those with gluten intolerance to eat soy sauce, it’s popular for other reasons. It often has a thicker texture than standard soy sauce (which can be very runny), a richer colour and a stronger taste.

Shoyu soy sauce

Shoyu soy sauce is, essentially, a catch-all name for slightly different varieties of standard soy sauce. If it’s labelled ‘shoyu’, it won’t be gluten-free. You may find shoyu soy sauce slightly runnier than tamari soy sauce and with a bit of a sherry-like taste.

Teriyaki sauce

Teriyaki isn’t just soy sauce – it’s soy sauce with a number of other ingredients (including ginger, garlic, rice wine, apple juice concentrate and so on). It’s a sweet marinade, great for stir-fries and Asian cooking.

Teriyaki is soy sauce with other ingredients added.

Teriyaki makes a really good marinade.

Our soy sauce stock

We stock a good selection of all of these types of sauce at Naturally Good Food. We have large bulk bottles and smaller taster bottles too. We’ve got organic and non-organic (sometimes called ‘natural’) varieties, and sauces with reduced salt levels. Try a few out and see which one works best for you!

Click here to see all our soy sauces.



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This post was written by Yzanne

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