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

Japanese BBQ sauce is known as YAKINIKU SAUCE and there are popular products such as EBARA or BATCHAN sauce.

The ideal complex flavor in Yakiniku sauce- tangy, sweet, and savory.

But, I recommend making homemade Yakiniku sauce for those who don’t like the store-bought sauce with sticky thick sweet sauce.

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


  1. Japanese dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Japanese Sake (or white wine)
  4. Toasted sesame oil
  5. Fresh fruit juice (or grated fresh fruit)
  6. GRATED ONION (optionally)


[OTTOGI] Premium Roasted Sesame Oil (Korea)

For those who are obsessed with strong rich sesame oil, you don’t have any other choice instead of this Korean sesame oil.

It is a popular product with the top market share in Korea. This genuine Korean sesame oil has a deep color and rich fragrant flavor, made by carefully pressing carefully selected sesame seeds after roasting them.

Richer flavor and aroma than Japanese products.

You can’t go back to any other product once you taste this sesame oil.


Fresh fruit flavor brings a natural savory sweetness and refreshing taste and makes the sharp flavor of dark soy sauce mild.

Moreover, fresh fruit juice or grated fresh in the sauce can play a role in making meat tender when marinating.

Ideally, use freshly grated fruit or fresh squeezed juice, but, you can use 100% fruit juice instead.

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


Grated onion brings more flavor and texture to YAKINIKU sauce. Honestly, it’s not optional but it’s essential.

Yet, my hubby doesn’t like fresh onion flavor much so I skip the great flavor.

Minced chives may be a good idea to use as a substitute for grated onion.

Do You Need Mirin In Yakinku Sauce?

In this blog, I often tell you that mirin is not an essential item for Japanese home cooking. (Also, you can check out my Teriyaki sauce recipe), and indeed, I really don’t use Mirin in my Japanese home-cooking recipes.

So, I don’t use mirin even if I make YAKINIKU sauce.

Don’t worry about running to a grocery store for it.


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, so let’s take time to boil off the alcohol content and combine sweetness with sugar slowly.


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 dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  • 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white/red wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 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.



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

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

I marinate 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 fall apart and dry.

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