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Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce For Marinating, Grilling, Dipping, Dressing; Ingredients & Recipe

Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce For Marinating, Grilling, Dipping, Dressing; Ingredients & Recipe Food & Recipes

Japanese-style BBQ sauce is assumed inspired by Korean BBQ sauce.

This flavorful BBQ sauce called “Yakiniku no Tare” in Japanese is packed with complex flavors-sweet, tangy, savoy and so addictive (yamitsuki) and can be used for the dipping sauce, salad dressing, marinade sauce, stir-fry sauce…

The homemade Yakiniku sauce recipe is actually easy to make with simple ingredients, but, much more delicious than store-bought Yakiniku sauce.

Basic Ingredients Of Yakiniku Sauce

The main ingredients in this recipe,

  1. Japanese dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Japanese Sake
  4. Roasted sesame oil

Do You Need Mirin In Yakinku Sauce?

I often tell you mirin is not so essential item for Japanese home cooking in this post (Teriyaki sauce recipe), and I really don’t use Mirin in my Japanese home cooking recipes.

Surely, every kitchen has sugar and white wine and you can use them as substitutes for Mirin.

*Using brown sugar or honey provides a more rich flavor.

In this way, you don’t have to worry about running into a grocery store to get Mirin which even you don’t know you can use ever after, and still, Japanese sake and sugar can create mild sweetness in a dish.

Add Grated Fresh Fruit For Fruity Sweet Flavor

Japanese BBQ sauce is often added to fresh fruits (grated or squeezed juice) for the sweetness and refreshingness and to combine sweet flavors of other ingredients well.

Besides, the fruity flavor can reduce the tangy dark soy sauce flavor.

Also, it helps to make the meat tender when using the sauce for marinating.

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Asian pear
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mango

Let The BBQ Sauce Rest Overnight

It’s better to let the homemade Yakiniku sauce rest overnight in a fridge since the complex flavors of fresh and cooked ingredients combine well.

Boil Sake/ Wine To Remove The Alcohol Content

The key to rich round sweetness in this source is to simmer Japanese sake or white wine and sugar over low heat and boil off the alcohol content slowly.

Boiling off the alcohol content over high heat is quick and easy, but, the rich umami flavor burns off at the same time.

We especially, want to use this Yakiniku sauce as a dipping sauce, let’s take time to boil off the alcohol content and combine sweetness with sugar slowly.

How Store The Homemade Yakiniku Sauce

Store the homemade Yakiniku sauce in a refrigerator and will last for about 7-10 days since it contains fresh ingredients.

I actually store this sauce in a freezer for marinating the meat any time I like.

The oil and sauce will be separated, but it’ll be fine while shaking the jar well.

Besides, marinating the meat and storing it in a freezer is perfect meal prep.

Moreover, this Yakiniku sauce works well to tenderize the meat and add flavor.

You’ll be shocked tender meat!

Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce For Marinating, Grilling, Dipping, Dressing; Ingredients & Recipe

Japanese BBQ Sauce (Yakiniku no Tare)

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Everyone loves grilling meat, Japanese Yakiniku beef…Yum. I understand you all want to make THE AUTHENTIC Japanese BBQ sauce (Yakiniku sauce) at home, WITHOUT MIRIN. (YES!) This savory BBQ sauce will last for about 10 days. You can freeze it so it'll last longer. (about 6 months)
This All-purpose BBQ sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade sauce, stir-fry sauce, and salad dressing.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • ¼ cup grated fruit or 100% fruit juice *apple, pear, peach, nectarine, pineapple
  • ¼ grated onion *optional
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 dried red hot chili pepper *optional


  • In a small saucepan, add Japanese sake/ white wine and sugar. Bring to a boil over LOW heat, for about 5 minutes.
    *Use LOW heat to keep the rich flavor in Sake (wine) in the sauce.
  • Continue simmering to cook off alcohol content in Sake/wine and also combine the flavors in the sake/ wine and sugar to make a round flavor, for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat.
    Add the all remaining ingredients while the sake and sugar mixture is still hot.
  • Mix well and store it in a refrigerator overnight to let the flavors combine well.
  • Use this sauce for the dipping sauce, the marinade sauce, salad dressing, and the stir-fry sauce.



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Keyword baking soda, condiment, Easy, Grill, Holiday, marinade, Party, Sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Soy sauce, Traditional

The Best Roasted Sesame Oil For Homemade Yakiniku Sauce

This Japanese BBQ sauce will work well to satisfy your appetite with high-quality roasted sesame oil.

Premium Roasted Ottogi Sesame Oil (Korean)

Personally, I like Korean sesame oil better than the Japanese one and this one is my favorite. I can no longer switch to another since I had this.

Rich in aroma and flavor of roasted sesame seeds.

Since it has a rich flavor, it is great for fresh use such as salad dressing or adding dipping sauce rather than using it for cooking.

Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil (Japanese)

Contrary, it is recommended if you like mild but rich sesame oil flavor.

It is a long-selling product in Japan.

Kadoya Sesame oil is carefully pressed oil from roasting high-quality sesame seeds at a high temperature.

How To Use Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce

As The Stir-Fry Sauce

Korean Fried-Chicken Dish Inspired Sweet and Sour Chicken to use up fried chicken leftovers.

This sweet and sour chicken recipe takes just 20 minutes to make and tastes delicious with an Asian complex flavor for a weeknight dinner!

The homemade yakiniku sauce can provide the perfect balance of sweetness and light but rich sauce.

Tomato ketchup coats the fried chicken beautifully and adds gochujang for the rich and spicy flavor.

It’s great over rice or veggies.

Since this recipe uses fried chicken, we can skip the coating process to chicken, yet, you can use fresh raw chicken if desired, of course.

For the full recipe, click here.

As The Marinade Sauce

Japanese-Style Pork Shoulder Steak

Marinating pork shoulder steaks in my Japanese BBQ sauce.

Tender, juicy, and DELICIOUS.

Check out this recipe packed with Japanese home cooking tips for pan-frying pork steak without drying and chewy.

Authentic Yakiniku Kalbi

This iconic beef short rib cut called “kalbi” in Korea and Japan is one of the popular menus in Korean and Japanese barbecue.

In this recipe, the Korean style/ flanken style short ribs are marinated in a homemade Yakiniku sauce.

Tangy, sweet, and savory flavor with tender meaty short ribs!

The short ribs are quickly grilled over high heat. (Grilling is my husband’s job, )and then served with staples like steamed rice, or lettuce wraps.

Yakiniku Beef Salad

This Japanese-YAKINIKU-style BBQ steak salad is loaded with thinly-sliced beef steak (made on the grill or stovetop), glass noodles, cucumbers, carrots, and your choice of leafy greens.

The beef steak is super tender by marinating with Yakiniku sauce!

This meal salad recipe is definitely flavorful and filling.

You can also use the grilled Kalbi mentioned above.

Check out the recipe.

Easy Chashu With Rolled Chicken Breast

This chicken chashu is not the full version of rolled Chashu chicken from scratch, however, perfectly savory and sweet chicken breast for the topping on ramen, instant noodles, sandwiches, and fried rice.

Rolled chicken breast is just marinated in a flavorful YAKINIKU sauce for 10 minutes.

Avoid marinating the rolled breast over 30 minutes since the meat will be fallen apart and dry.

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