Sweet and dark soy sauce are popular ingredients in the kitchen that elevate the color and taste of dishes.
However, you may be wondering what sweet and dark soy sauce are, and if there is a difference. I looked up the facts, and here’s what I found!
Sweet Soy Sauce Vs Dark Soy Sauce
Sweet soy sauce is a thick and noticeably sweet soy sauce that comes from Indonesia and is popularly used for satays. Dark soy sauce has a thinner consistency than sweet soy sauce, and most people use dark soy sauce to add color to their dishes. While both are dark soy sauces, they have different uses in the kitchen.
Do you want to learn more about sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce’s uses, differences, and more? Keep on reading to find out!
What Is Sweet Soy Sauce?
Sweet soy sauce is an aromatic and sweet soy sauce that comes from Indonesia, and sweet soy sauce is called kecap manis in Indonesia
What makes sweet soy sauce unique is that sweet soy sauce has a thick consistency, similar to maple syrup, because sweet soy sauce has added palm sugar.
As you can guess from the name, sweet soy sauce has a very sweet flavor, but you will still taste some saltiness.
Typically, sweet soy sauce contains a lot of palm sugar, and many brands may have up to 50% palm sugar in their sweet soy sauces.
What Is Dark Soy Sauce?
Dark soy sauce is a soy sauce with a slightly thick consistency, and dark soy sauce has a salty and savory flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness.
Typically, dark soy sauce is mixed with caramel or molasses to achieve a slightly sweet taste, but dark soy sauce is not as sweet as sweet soy sauce.
Moreover, dark soy sauce also gets mixed with a little cornstarch to achieve a thicker consistency, but dark soy sauce is not as thick as sweet soy sauce.
Are Sweet And Dark Soy Sauce The Same?
Sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce are not the same because they have different textures and flavors.
While dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce both have sweeteners in them, sweet soy sauce is noticeably sweeter than dark soy sauce.
Moreover, sweet soy sauce has a very thick texture while dark soy sauce has a more liquid consistency.
Additionally, sweet soy sauce was invented in Indonesia whereas dark soy sauce originates from China.
What Do You Use Sweet Soy Sauce For?
Sweet soy sauce is commonly used for satay because of sweet soy sauce’s thick consistency, which can include recipes that involve stir-frying.
Additionally, sweet soy sauce can counteract overpowering flavors in recipes because the sweetness can balance out saltiness, bitterness, etc.
Moreover, people also use sweet soy sauce to mix with other liquid ingredients to create a delicious sauce or dip.
Sweet soy sauce may also add some color to your recipe if the sweet soy sauce looks too light because sweet soy sauce is very dark brown.
However, sweet soy sauce is often used sparingly in recipes because sugar is the main ingredient, and sugar is often the first ingredient on sweet soy sauce bottles.
What Do You Use Dark Soy Sauce For?
Dark soy sauce’s primary purpose is to add color to dishes because dark soy sauce has a dark brown or nearly black color, which is why dark soy sauce is commonly used in fried rice, stews, and more.
However, dark soy sauce still has lots of flavors, making dark soy sauce a good choice for marinades, dips, glazes, etc.
Dark soy sauce can also help foods like meat caramelize because there is some sugar in dark soy sauce, which is why it is popular for barbecues.
Which Is Better, Sweet Soy Sauce Or Dark Soy Sauce?
Neither sweet soy sauce nor dark soy sauce is directly better than the other because they serve different purposes in cooking.
Each of these soy sauces will shine best in their respective recipes, so it is best to have both soy sauces in your kitchen.
For instance, sweet soy sauce will always be best in a satay because of its consistency and sweetness, but dark soy sauces will blend better in a stew.
Can You Substitute Sweet Soy Sauce For Dark Soy Sauce?
You can substitute sweet soy sauce for dark soy sauce by diluting your sweet soy sauce and adding a bit of salt.
However, using this substitution may lack the bold flavor that dark soy sauce has, so you may not achieve the same results.
Can You Substitute Dark Soy Sauce For Sweet Soy Sauce?
You may add sugar to dark soy sauce to make a replacement for sweet soy sauce, but you will not get the same consistency that sweet soy sauce has.
Using this method will only create a similar flavor that sweet soy sauce has, but it may water down your recipe if you are not careful.
Can I Use Sweet And Dark Soy Sauce Together?
You can use sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce together, but you may only need one of the soy sauces for your recipe.
Sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce are both dark soy sauces, so either option will give you the color that you need.
Moreover, both of these soy sauces have strong flavor profiles, so you do not need to add both to your recipe.
If you wish to mix two soy sauces together in the same recipe, it would be best to choose light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
Read our other articles to learn what thick soy sauce is, what sweet soy sauce is, and sweet soy sauce substitutes.
Sweet soy sauce and dark soy sauce are both dark soy sauces, but they have different consistencies and flavors that make each soy sauce uniquely shine in various recipes.
You can try to substitute sweet soy sauce for dark soy sauce and vice versa, but they may not give you the best results.