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Tender Japanese-style Pork Shoulder Steak; These Japanese Tips Help Your Pork Steak From Drying Out

Tender, Juicy, Moist Pork Shoulder Steak Marinated YAKINIKU SAUCE Food & Recipes

Pork shoulder (blade) steak is one of our favorite cut-meaty, juicy, and delicious fat and bone-in steak.

Generally, this lovely pork cut is pan-fried or grilled inside/on a patio and often gets chewy and dry.

Since it has bone-in, it takes longer cooking more than you expected, and it causes dry the meat out.

My hubby is a grill master and he throws his hands up for grilling this thinly sliced pork shoulder steak on the grill because of that reason.

Therefore, I bring my Japanese cooking skill-yes, we like a non-stick skillet to cook everything.

If you are a better grilling master, skip reading this post.

Yet, don’t forget to marinate the meat in my BBQ sauce because it helps to the meat tender.

I have three solutions to make your steak tender and moist.

  1. Marinate The Steak In My Japanese BBQ sauce
  2. Coat The Steak With Flour
  3. Cook The Steak Covered With A Lid

This pan-fired pork shoulder steak is a juicy, tender, moist steak that has been marinated in Japanese BBQ sauce often called YAKINIKU sauce!

This easy and delicious dinner is perfect for especially weekdays when you don’t have much time to make dinner or are not mood for grilling outside!

Store the steak marinated in sauce in a freezer, it becomes further easier recipe.

So, let’s break down my tender juicy pork shoulder recipe and cooking tips.

Marinate The Steak In My Japanese BBQ sauce

Have you made my Japanese BBQ sauce?

Marinating the pork steak in Japanese BBQ sauce plays a role not only to season it but also to tenderize meat.


Japanese BBQ sauce contains many ingredients that tenderize meat such as sake, sugar, honey, fresh fruits, and soy sauce.

Besides, you can enjoy the steak without an extra sauce since the steak will be seasoned in the sauce.

All right, let’s get cooking our favorite pork shoulder steak marinated in Japanese bbq sauce.

As an extra tip, make this Japanese BBQ sauce called YAKINIKU sauce as well the day before since the sauce will be more savory and the flavor combined well.



Marinate the pork shoulder steak for 30 minutes only.

Stop marinating it for over 30 minutes since the sodium in say sauce can dry the meat out.

If something happens (what’s something?), it’s better to freeze the marinated pork steak rather than keep marinating it for over 30 minutes.

I use this tip (storing the meat marinating in the sauce in the freezer) all the time for my meal prep.

Substitute For Homemade YAKINIKU Sauce

If you don’t have time to make homemade YAKINIKU sauce (or you don’t want to collect all ingredients), well, let’s buy YAKINIKU sauce.

Batchan sauce? Go for it.

Personally, I like more authentic Japanese BBQ sauce that I can feel like in Japan and this YAKINIKU sauce is a luxury sesame aroma and mildly sweet, and delicious.

Also, it doesn’t have viscosity so it can lightly marinate the steak that I like.

Jojoen Yakiniku Barbecue Sauce

You can use my Natto sauce if you already have a stock of the sauce for your homemade natto.

This Natto sauce is actually the perfect versatile sauce as well as my Japanese BBQ sauce.

My Natto sauce has a sweet and rich umami flavor of hondashi powder, it is recommended to use when you want to gentle Japanese flavor with a rich umami flavor.

Natto Sauce Recipe

It has similar ingredients to my Japanese BBQ sauce, but, it’s easy and quick to make since it’s for a fresh green salad.

This Asian dressing is light and delicious with a rich toasted sesame oil aroma.

Since it contains vinegar, it can tenderize the meat as well.

As I said you can use a store-bought YAKINIKU sauce, still, this sauce is recommended for those who prefer to make their own sauce with natural flavor.

Asian Sesame Dressing

Japanese miso paste has the magical effect of tenderizing and moist meat while adding savory flavor.

You can paste the miso paste itself on the meat, or make a mixture with sugar (honey) and sake (white wine).

If you want to stock my Nagoya-style sweet miso sauce in your fridge, you can use it anytime for the dipping sauce and the marinade sauce.
Since the miso paste burns easily, wipe off the paste thoughtfully before cooking.


The Secret About Coating The Steak With Flour

Coating the meat with flour (or starch) to prevent the meat dry out while cooking.

Actually, this process can bring several benefits for making delicious pork shoulder steak.

Coating the meat with flour and starch helps

  • Trap umami flavor and moisture and also combine flavors.
  • The meat will be easily browned (the Maillard reaction)

Flour or starch contains “starch” and it makes the coat that traps savory flavor and moisture in the meat.

In addition, the meat is cooked like “steamed” because of the flour coating while keeping moisture.

We often describe “the golden color” to the dish, indeed, the color is deeply related to the delicious dish.

The golden color is caused by the reaction called Maillard reaction which is the browning reaction between amino acids and sugar.

The Maillard reaction is essential for delicious food.

The flour (or the starch) works to bring the reaction easily, and this tip is often used in Japanese home cooking.

Flour VS Starch ?!

So, which one should you use-wheat flour or potato/corn starch?

For example, potato (corn) starch with a high starch content which means it the great for trapping umami flavor and moisture in the meat, on the other hand, wheat flour with a high protein (amino acid) content which brings a delicious color and distinct flavor.

Note that coat the meat just before cooking, avoid leaving the coated meat with flour/starch for so long since the powder absorbs the moisture and will not work right.

I know it’s troublesome, but using a sifter to coat the steak is better.

I know, I am with you, but, I tell you, it is the way to get a better result.

A Non-stick Skillet Is Versatile

Using a skillet is by far my favorite and easy way to cook pork shoulder steak.


Because I am Japanese and we generally prefer to use a skillet no matter what kind of cooking like grilling, pan-searing, stir-frying, deep-frying, or steaming in home cooking.

I think it is because the Japanese cooking space and utensils are so limited.

A non-stick skillet, especially, it’s lightweight, easy-use, easy-clean, and a so much space-saver.

Anyway, in this recipe, I use the non-stick skillet and bring juicy, tender, moist pork shoulder steak.

Cook The Pork Steak Over Medium Heat

Keep the medium heat to cook the pork steak throughout the cooking process.

When cooking it over high heat, only the surface will be cooked and the inside will be still raw.

Also, bring the meat to sit out at room temperature before cooking to cook it evenly. You can avoid the steak burnt outside but undercooked inside.

Cook The Posk Steak Coverd

The important key and why I prefer to use a non-stick skillet is because I want to use “steam” cooking partially.

To evaporate moisture quickly and trap the steam with a lid, the temperature heat up quickly and evenly inside, so you can efficiently cook the meat faster.

Also, it keeps the meat moist and gets never dried out.

How Long To Cook The Pork Steak On The Stove

It should not be long to cook since we use “steam” cooking while covering the skillet with a lid, and it approximately takes 15 -20 minutes to be the perfect steak, over medium heat.

Since it has bone-in, so it can take longer depending on the size of the meat.

Especially, it’ll take longer when you cook 2 steaks at the same time in the same skillet.

You might be worried about the meat drying out, but we proceed with several hacks to avoid the risk.

  1. Marinate the steak in Yakiniku sauce (tenderize the meat)
  2. Coat the steak with flour (to keep moist)
  3. Keep cooking the steak over medium heat
  4. Cook the steak covered (to keep it moist)

Begin to sear the steak for 5-7 minutes and flip it and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. When the bottom side gets caramelized, pour 1 tbsp of sake / white wine along the skillet sidewall and put the lid on.

Continue cooking the steak for another 5-7 minutes while shaking the skillet occasionally.

You don’t need to flip over and over after covered.

To evaporate the moisture and make the coating crisp, sear the steak over high heat for 1-2 minutes.

Tender, Juicy, Moist Pork Shoulder Steak Marinated YAKINIKU SAUCE

Tender, Juicy, Moist Pork Shoulder Steak Marinated In YAKINIKU SAUCE

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
This pan-fired pork shoulder steak is a juicy, tender, moist steak that has been marinated in Japanese BBQ sauce often called YAKINIKU sauce! This easy and delicious dinner is perfect for especially weekdays when you don't have much time to make dinner or are not mood for grilling outside! Store the steak marinated in sauce in a freezer, it becomes further easier recipe. Tender, moist, delicious pork shoulder steak is made by marinating the pork in my Japanese BBQ sauce. Cook the steak with a non-stick skillet on the stovetop for an easy quick, less-messy dinner. Cook the steak covered with a lid so that the steak never dries out and is cooked effectively.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 Non-stick skillet pan with a lid


  • 1 pork shoulder blade steak thin-sliced, bone-in
  • ¼ cup My Japanese BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Japanese Sake or white wine
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Flour Or Corn/potato starch for coating
  • Vegetable oil


  • [Prepare The Marinade Sauce] Make my Japanese BBQ sauce the day before. (recipe)
    *Or my homemade Natto sauce (recipe)
    Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce For Marinating, Grilling, Dipping, Dressing; Ingredients & Recipe
  • [Prepare The Pork Steak] Bring the pork shoulder steak to room temperature. Pierce the steak with a fork a few times.
    *It helps cook the meat evenly.
  • Marinate the steak for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the steak from the sauce and shake off the excess sauce. Towel dry lightly if needed for coating.
  • Season with fresh ground black pepper. Use a sifter, and coat the steak with the flour (or the starch) lightly on both sides.
  • [Cook The Pork Steak] Oil the skillet, and start searing the steak over medium heat, for about 5-7 minutes until the coating is caramelized.
    Avoid flipping or touching the steak since the coating falls off.
  • Flip the meat and continue cooking for 3 about 3 minutes until the coating is caramelized.
  • Pour Japanese sake or white wine along the sidewall of the skillet and cover it with a lid immediately to trap the steam. Continue cooking the meat for another 7-12 minutes while shaking the skillet to cook evenly.
  • Flip the meat, and continue cooking for another 7 minutes.
  • Uncover the lid and increase the heat to medium-high to evaporate the excess moisture and make the coating crispy, for 1-2 minutes on both sides.
  • Serve the steak immediately with the extra BBQ sauce if desired.
    *If you see blood or pink meat inside, return the steak back to the skillet and cook until it is done.



  • Edited the marinating and cooking time on May 2023. 
©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Easy, frying pan, marinade, meat, Pork, Sake, sesame oil, Soy sauce

Slice Up The Pork Shoulder Steak

We always love “easy, juicy, tender, delicious” dishes for weeknight dinners.

Shogayaki, one of the popular Japanese home cooking, the recipe is literally “easy, juicy, tender, and delicious”!!!

Slice up the pork shoulder steak thinly and make another delicious Japanese dish.

Pork is good for energizing you and Asian gingery sauce definitely makes you hungry.

It could be an easier dish than the pan-fried pork shoulder steak since sliced pork is easily and quickly cooked.

*Check Out The Recipe

Marinate The Pork Steak With Shio-Koji

Shio koji is a Japanese fermented condiment made of grain koji, water, and salt.

It has been used as a versatile condiment for stir-frying, making pickled vegetables, and marinade sauce to tenderize the meat and reduce the fishy flavor of fish.

Shio koji gives savory and unique koji natural sweet notes to foods while also tenderizing them.

Indeed, I always paste shio-koji to pork loin, pork tenderloin, and pork chops and keep them in a freezer to make the meat tender.

You can make shio-koji from scratch or buy a shio-koji product easily.


Easy Side Dishes To Serve With The Pork Steak

Fluffy Sticky Rice [Instantpot/pressure cooker]

Learn how to cook white rice (short, medium, and long grain rice) perfectly every time in easy few steps. It’s the absolutely foolproof rice-cooking way and I’ll never back to the rice cooker! Fluffy, sweet, delicious, easy, and quick. You can use your instant pot or your pressure cooker. If you’ve considered buying a rice cooker, get an Instant pot rather than it. *Check out the Recipe

Carrots & Celery Kinpira

Kinpira is a quick stir-fry with Japanese basic (sweet and salty) sauce. The popular comfort side dish for dinner and bento items. It can help add nutritional value to every meal. Stock in the fridge since it’ll last for almost a week once you make tons! Besides, add every salad, soup, and sandwich!! You can switch veggies to any root or less-water veggies. *Check out the recipe

Asian Grilled Romaine

Fresh Romaine lettuce tastes great by itself, when you want to search for different flavors, grill it! Try this grilled romaine with an Asian twist. It’s simple, healthy, and absolutely delicious. Cut the top few inches and slice it in half, to grill it easier and prevent burning it. *RECIPE


Japanese-Style Sauteed Radish Greens

Sauteed Radish green is a Japanese stir-fry with iconic Asian-Japanese flavors running through the dish, which is commonly served with a side dish of rice or tea time after meals. Also, it is a popular dish as the meal-prep ingredients such as adding fried rice, egg omelets, or miso soup…Incorporate this easy Japanese dish that everyone can enjoy, and reduce food waste using rich nutritious radish greens. *RECIPE

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