What’s the difference between sukiyaki and teriyaki?

In this article, we will answer the question “What is the difference between Sukiyaki and Teriyaki?”. We will also discuss how did Sukiyaki and Teriyaki originate. 

What’s the difference between Sukiyaki and Teriyaki?

Teriyaki and Suriyaki are two of the most classic Japanese dishes that are still popular. However, they are quite different from each other. Here are the key differences between Sukiyaki and Teriyaki- 

  • About
  • Key Ingredients
  • Level of Spice
  • Healthy
  • Cooking Time


What is Sukiyaki?

Sukiyaki is a nabemono-style Japanese dish that is made and served. It consists of beef that is slowly cooked or boiled at the table in a shallow iron pot with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, along with vegetables and other ingredients.

What is Teriyaki?

Teriyaki- In Japanese, the prefix -Teri means “lustre.” It gets its name from the way the meat looks when it’s cooking. Because teriyaki beef is glazed with a sweet marinade sauce, it has a gleaming, lustrous appearance that looks delicious as it cooks on the grill. Teriyaki is a method of preparing and cooking beef meals that originated in Japan.

Key ingredients

Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish with several main ingredients. Enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, fatty beef, noodles, and tong ho, a chrysanthemum-family leafy green with a distinct, slightly medicinal flavour that complements the sweetness of the Sukiyaki sauce/broth.

Where Teriyaki being a method of cooking, doesn’t require any key ingredients except Teriyaki Sauce.

Level of Spice

By far the spicier of the two-  is teriyaki. Because it’s grilled or cooked over an open flame, it tends to have a spicier flavour. Then there’s the ginger, which is hot. The more ginger you use, the stronger the kick will be. In addition, some teriyaki varieties season their meats with ultra-spicy Japanese chilli powder for an extra kick of heat.

Sukiyaki, on the other hand, is much milder. Although you can spice up the brothy dish with your seasonings, it isn’t generally designed to be spicy. Sukiyaki is frequently referred to as a “friendship dish” since it is a light, easy-to-eat lunch for visitors unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine.


Both recipes can be fairly healthful when prepared traditionally with all-natural ingredients. Sukiyaki, in my opinion, is slightly healthier because it often contains more veggies. However, veggies are frequently incorporated into teriyaki dishes as well.

Aside from that, the sugar used in the marinade is the only “unhealthy” element in teriyaki. However, because only a small amount of sugar is needed, it rarely adds too many extra empty calories to the mix.

Cooking Time

Sukiyaki takes a little longer to cook than other Japanese dishes. Because this is a slow-cooking approach, you’ll need to boil the ingredients for at least 45 minutes until they’re all properly cooked. Teriyaki, on the other hand, normally only takes 20 minutes (or less) after it’s on the grill!

However, because teriyaki requires marinating ahead of time, it takes a little longer to prepare.

How did Sukiyaki originate?

Sukiyaki first appeared in Japanese cuisine in the late 1860s, near the conclusion of the Edo period, and gained popularity throughout the Meiji period. Sukiyaki’s origins are the subject of numerous legends. “Sukiyaki” is derived from the Japanese words “suki” (spade) and “sukimi” (thinly sliced meat), and “yaki” (grilled).

Suki, or spades, were used by Edo farmers to prepare fish and tofu. The beef was outlawed in Japan during the Edo period due to Buddhist beliefs and the fact that cattle imported from Korea and China were prized for their rice-growing abilities.

During the Edo period, there were only two exceptions against eating beef. When you were unwell, like the warriors who were ill. And for special occasions, such as year-end gatherings, which is why sukiyaki is such a popular dish at this time of year.

When Kanto residents returned to Tokyo, they brought with them the Kansai style of sukiyaki. Sukiyaki is still regarded as a special occasion dinner today due to its high price and premium beef quality.

How did Teriyaki originate?

The origins of teriyaki sauce can be traced back to the 1960s when early Japanese immigrants moved to Hawaii. They came up with a unique marinade using local ingredients such as pineapple juice and soy sauce. 

The original teriyaki sauce was a little different than what we have today. It was applied to the meat as a glaze at the end of the cooking process. It was made entirely of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, with no other ingredients.

In the United States, teriyaki dates back to the 1960s. After WWII, new Japanese eateries arose as a result of the influx of Japanese immigration. 

The combination of savoury meat and sweet teriyaki sauce became highly popular after they mixed traditional chicken and beef teriyaki with Hawaiian teriyaki sauce.

The sauce we now know as teriyaki was eventually created. The term teriyaki is derived from the noun Teri or glaze, which refers to the sheen or lustre imparted by the sugar content in the tare, and yaki, which refers to the grilling or broiling method of cooking.


In this article, we answered the question “What is the difference between Sukiyaki and Teriyaki?”. We also discussed how did Sukiyaki and Teriyaki originate. 

Hope this blog was insightful. If you have any queries, feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear from you!



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.