Difference Between Light Soy Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce


Main Difference

The main difference between Light Soy Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce is that Light Soy Sauce is light, mild, and thinner type of typical sauces, whereas Dark Soy Sauce is the dark, strong and thick type of traditional sauces.

Light Soy Sauce vs. Dark Soy Sauce

Light soy sauce has a light color; oh the other hand, dark soy sauce has a dark appearance. Light soy sauce is also called as Usukuchi; on the flip side, dark soy sauce is also called as Koikuchi. Light soy sauce is saltier as compared to dark soy sauce, whereas dark soy sauce tastes sweet. The texture of light soy sauce is thin; on the contrary, dark soy sauce has a solid composition,


Light soy sauce is an addition to dark soy sauce recipes, whereas dark soy sauce finds its use in many recipes like red dishes. To produce light soy sauce, wheat, fungus, soybean, and flavoring agents are mixed. In the case of dark soy sauce, the composition is the same, but the wheat content Is greater.

The maturation process of light soy sauce completes in less time, whereas dark soy sauce needs several months for its maturation process. Light soy sauce is a flavor enhancer, whereas dark soy sauce makes caramel color of dish and appearance becomes attractive. The salt concentration is higher in light soy sauce and less in dark soy sauce. The aroma of light soy sauce is mild; on the flip side, the dark soy sauce has a strong smell.


Comparison Chart

Light Soy SauceDark Soy Sauce
Light soy sauce is a younger salty type of sauce.Dark soy sauce is an older sweeter type of sauce.
LightDark brown
With recipes of dark soy sauceMarinades, sauces, red dishes
Soybean, less wheat, salt, fermenting agentSoybean, wheat, salt, fermenting agent
Aged for less periodAged for a longer period
The flavor of any dishCaramel color of dish and sweetness
Japanese Name
Sodium Content

What is Light Soy Sauce?

Light soy sauce as the name shows it is light in color. Its origin was in china a 1000 years ago. The color is changing from reddish to brown. It has a thin consistency. Light soy sauce is famous in Chinese cooking. The taste of light soy sauce is salty as sodium adds in its preparation. Its uses can be as seasoning reagent or used for dipping purposes. During its aging processes of molasses, caramel or cornstarch is added.

The ingredients for the preparation of soy sauce are soybeans, wheat, and water. These are mashed. The aging process occurs in the presence of aspergillus fungus. The fungus grows into a mold. The mixture mixed with the salt solution and matured for several months this a brief chemical process of synthesis of raw soy sauce, which then cooked for flavor and other necessities. Light soy sauce is opaque. Taiwanese and Chinese people generally make use of light soy sauce. The Japanese name of light soy sauce is Usukuchi.

The flavor of any dish increases by adding light soy sauce. This sauce is used for dipping, marinating, dressings, and stir fry. When we used light soy sauce alone, it is salty; when used in mixture with dark soy sauce, it provides the best flavor. One tablespoon (15ml) of soy sauce supplies eight calories and a significant amount of carbohydrates, protein, and sodium content.

What is Dark Soy Sauce?

Dark soy sauce as the name shows it has dark appearing colors. The maturation process is long and often mixed with caramel and cornstarch. Hence the product possesses dark colors. It has thick consistency; the flavor is less salty and sweeter. The preparation process of dark soy sauce is the same as light soy sauce as a mixture of all ingredients is aged with a fungus, mixed with brine, and maturation occurs.

Taiwanese and Chinese people normally make use of in their dishes. The Japanese name of dark soy sauce is Koikuchi. It serves in stew-type dishes such as red-braised pork. The dark soy sauce gives a beautiful chocolaty color to the plate, which enhances the appetite of a person. It is mostly a thick liquid. Dark soy sauce provides macronutrients also provides some other nutrients. The fermentation process adds about 300 substances in it. These elements increase the aroma, flavor, and appearance of the soy sauce.

It is healthy as it provides a significant amount of sodium, reduces blood cholesterols levels, reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases. But soy sauce contains some elements which are health hazardous. The flavor enhancer, a carcinogenic mixture of compounds, excessive sodium, amines concentration, and allergic reaction in the form of gluten can impose adverse health impacts.

Key Differences

  1. Light soy sauce is thin reddish-brown fluid, whereas dark soy sauce is thick brown fluid.
  2. Light soy sauce is younger; on the flip side, dark soy sauce is older.
  3. Light soy sauce is salty, while dark soy sauce is sweeter.
  4. Light soy sauce is light in color; on the other hand, dark soy sauce possesses dark colors.
  5. Light soy sauce has thin appearance; conversely, dark soy sauce has a thick texture.
  6. Light soy sauce is an additional partner of dark soy sauce, whereas the dark soy sauce uses are in a variety of dishes.
  7. Light soy sauce preparation includes soybean, less wheat, the flavoring agents, and molds or yeast; on the flip side, the composition of dark soy sauce is the same, but the wheat content is higher.
  8. Light soy sauce matures for less time; conversely, the dark soy sauce maturation process takes several months.
  9. Light soy sauce enhances the taste of any recipe, whereas dark soy sauce is a color enhancer of a recipe.
  10. Light soy sauce is called Usukuchi in japan, while dark soy sauce is known as Koikuchi in japan.
  11. Light soy sauce has high sodium content; on the flip side, dark soy sauce has lesser sodium content in it.
  12. Light soy sauce has milder aroma; conversely, the smell of dark soy sauce is strong.


Light soy sauce and dark soy sauce both are types of traditional sauce. Light soy sauce is light flavoring agent of a recipe with a thin texture. Dark soy sauce increase attraction for a dish and have thick composition.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson