5 Minute Recipes/ Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Japanese/ Recipes

Amazing Yakiniku Sauce – Japanese Grilled Meat BBQ Sauce

17/11/2022

Ready to make your new favourite sauce? This easy Japanese yakiniku sauce is the ideal BBQ companion for grilled meats. Use it as a marinade or dipping sauce!

A piece of grilled meat is dipped into a small bowl of yakiniku sauce.

Why We Love This

Sweet, savoury and with a hint of spicy heat, this easy yakiniku sauce is our go-to for home-cooked Japanese BBQ! 

It’s perfect for dipping meats and vegetables straight off the grill – but not just that. It’s actually an amazing marinade or sauce for just about anything. 

Use it in stir fries or pour it over your favourite rice bowl creations. Or use it for seasoning for a quick batch of chicken or tofu and stuffing into homemade rice paper rolls for dinner (like we discovered…and wow! Not traditional at ALL, but super tasty). 

Just one taste and you’ll be looking for ways to use it more often in your everyday cooking, it’s that yum!

While you could easily buy store-bought yakiniku sauce, we love how Japanese sauces are healthier and tastier when you make them yourself. That way you’re using real ingredients with no preservatives and no added MSG.

Related: Worcestershire Sauce / Yakitori Sauce

Swirls are shown in a bowl of freshly blended yakiniku sauce.

What is Yakiniku Sauce? 

Yakiniku (焼肉 or やきにく) means “grilled meat” and refers to a Japanese style of cooking inspired by Korean BBQ.

Bite sized pieces of meats and vegetables are cooked on a small grill in the middle of the table, then dipped in a special dipping sauce known as yakiniku no tare / 焼肉のタレ). 

Sarah created our yakiniku sauce recipe based on the commercial Ebara Yakiniku Sauce which is a blend of miso and soy sauce flavours sweetened with fruit.

What You’ll Need

  • Soy Sauce – For the best flavour and quality, use a Japanese soy sauce brand such as Kikkoman which has the perfect balance of flavour and salt without being too salty.
  • Mirin – A sweet rice wine for cooking. You can sometimes find it in regular supermarkets, otherwise head to your nearest Asian grocer or online. Sub with 1/2 tsp of extra sugar and 1 tsp of water if you need.
  • Sweeteners – We use honey and brown sugar for a richer, caramelised flavour, but you can use regular sugar if you need or to make it vegan.
  • Spice – While optional, some commercial brands like to add in fermented chilli as a spice, so we thought gochujang would be perfect for this! Sub with doubanjiang or 1/2 tbsp gochugaru chilli flakes to your mix.
  • Red Miso Paste – This adds extra umami flavour and depth to the sauce. Sub with white miso paste for a sweeter, lighter taste while keeping in the umami flavour.
  • Fruits & Vegetables – You’ll need some apple, onion, garlic and ginger. We love mincing them up in the blender for quick, easy and mess-free prep.
  • Other Ingredients – You’ll also need sesame oil, lemon juice and sesame seeds (fresh or toasted for extra nuttiness).
Ingredients laid out to make yakiniku sauce.

How to Make Yakiniku Sauce (Blender Method)

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements and alternative method by hand, no blender required.

  1. Place all your ingredients into the blender, in order of hardest to softest (mainly to avoid splashing!). This would be appleoniongarlicgingerred miso pasteoptional gochujang, brown sugarhoneymirinsesame oillemon juice and finally, soy sauce.
  2. Blend in short pulses to break down the apple and onion, then blend for a further 15-20 seconds until smooth.
  3. Pour into a bowl, add your sesame seeds and stir until combined.
  4. Serve into individual dipping bowls, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge and allow the flavours to develop overnight.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Store leftover yakiniku sauce in a glass jar or airtight container in the fridge. Use old empty soy sauce or teriyaki sauce bottles to store your sauce (be sure to clean and sterilise them before use).

FAQs

What’s the difference between yakiniku sauce and teriyaki sauce?

Both sauces are used for grilled meats, but there are a few key differences. Yakiniku sauce has a rich, concentrated flavour and is made with minced fruits and vegetables for depth and to thicken the sauce. It’s often paired with grilled beef, pork and vegetables.

Teriyaki sauce is much lighter and more subtle than yakiniku sauce, though still flavourful in its own right! It’s made with soy sauce, mirin and sake and sometimes dashi stock for extra umami. It’s usually paired with grilled chicken or used as a basting sauce for yakitori chicken or tsukune meatballs

How long does it last?

Yakiniku sauce should last a week or two in the fridge. You can also freeze it for later use in an airtight container.

Variations

  • Make it Vegan – Leave out the honey and use extra sugar instead.
A bowl of yakiniku sauce alongside pieces of onion.

More incredible homemade sauces to add to your collection:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A pair of chopsticks dips a piece of meat into homemade yakiniku sauce.

Amazing Yakiniku Sauce – Japanese Grilled Meat BBQ Sauce

Ready to make your new favourite sauce? This easy Japanese yakiniku sauce is the ideal BBQ companion for grilled meats. Use it as a marinade or dipping sauce!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Basics, Condiment
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 6 side serves
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $6

Ingredients

Optional

  • 1 tbsp gochujang sub ssamjang, doubanjiang or ½ tsp chilli powder

Instructions

Blender Method

  • Place all your ingredients into the blender, in order of hardest to softest (mainly to avoid splashing!). This would be apple, onion, garlic, ginger, red miso paste, optional gochujang, brown sugar, honey, mirin, sesame oil, lemon juice and finally, soy sauce.
    ½ cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp red miso paste, ¼ apple, ¼ onion, 1 garlic, ½ tbsp ginger, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp gochujang
  • Blend in short pulses to break down the apple and onion, then blend for a further 15-20 seconds until smooth.
  • Pour into a bowl, add your sesame seeds and stir until combined.
    1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Serve into individual dipping bowls, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge and allow the flavours to develop overnight.

By Hand Method

  • Finely grate the onion, apple, garlic and ginger into a small mixing bowl. Add in the red miso paste and optional gochujang, then use the back of a spoon to loosen and form a paste.
    1 tbsp red miso paste, ¼ apple, ¼ onion, 1 garlic, ½ tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp gochujang
  • Add the remaining ingredients (sesame seeds, brown sugar, honey, mirin, sesame oil, lemon juice and soy sauce). Note: If your honey is quite thick or hardened, warm in the microwave for 15 seconds so it’s nice and runny. Mix until combined.
    3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp lemon juice, ½ cup soy sauce
  • Serve in individual dipping bowls, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge and allow the flavours to develop overnight.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Amazing Yakiniku Sauce – Japanese Grilled Meat BBQ Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
78
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
2
g
3
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.2
g
1
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Sodium
 
1210
mg
53
%
Potassium
 
93
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
12
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
27
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Amazing Yakiniku Sauce - Japanese Grilled Meat BBQ Sauce

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