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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
Food & Recipes

What is Yakiniku in Japanese?

Literally grilled meat is a new-experience BBQ style for you when visiting Japan.

The secret of attracting grilled meat in Japanese style is not like a steak as you see every day.

Meat such as beef, pork, chicken, and even guts is thinly sliced, seasoned, or marinated, and, you can grill on an open-flame grill or tabletop by yourself.

So, I am not going to dive into Yakiniku in Japan today.

What I really want you to know about is the Japanese BBQ sauce.

The soy sauce-based BBQ sauce called “Yakiniku no Tare” in Japanese is sweet, mellow, tangy, savoy and so addictive(yamitsuki) and can be used for dip sauces, salad dressings, marinades of meat, etc.

What’s Yakiniku Sauce Made Of?

Basic Ingredients Of Yakiniku Sauce

The main basic ingredients of my Japanese BBQ sauce are,

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

Do You Need Mirin In Yakinku Sauce?

I explain mirin is necessary for Japanese home cooking in this post (Teriyaki sauce recipe), and I really don’t use Mirin in my Japanese home cooking recipes.

Instead of Mirin, I add the solution of mixed Japanese sake and *sugar evenly.

*I recommend using brown sugar or honey when you like to add extra umami sweet.

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.

You don’t have Japanese sake?

Use white wine instead.

Fruit-based Homemade Yakiniku Sauce Is Authentic And Mellow Sweet

Japanese BBQ sauce aka Yakiniku no tare is packed with sweet Umami taste and you can’t miss the fruity flavor in the sauce.

Grab one of these fruits and grind it.

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

If you don’t have time, you can use commercial 100% juice.

The fruit juice reduces tanginess in soy sauce and creates a savory flavor balance in the BBQ sauce.

Also, it can help tenderize meat when you use the BBQ sauce as marinate sauce.

Best Tips To Make Authentic Homemade Yakiniku Sauce

  • You need to cook Japanese sake or white wine to it to allow the alcohol to evaporate
  • Rest the sauce overnight to combine ingredients well

Allow The Alcohol To Evaporate And Make It Mild Sweet

The key to rich sweetness in this source is to simmer carefully Japanese sake or white wine and sugar to allow the alcohol to evaporate and make it savory.

We don’t want to blow away the umami flavor in sake or wine, so don’t be rushed to cook. Simmer it in low heat until the color gets golden brown. Mix it and sugar frequently.

Rest The BBQ Sauce Overnight

It’s better to make this sauce the night before rather than using a fresh-made sauce because it allows the flavors in the sauce to develop, especially when using freshly grated garlic, ginger, and fruit juice.

Store it in a refrigerator after use.

Since it contains grated fresh fruits, it will last in the refrigerator for about a week.

I actually freeze some in a jar.

The oil and sauce will be divine, but it’ll be fine when you shake it.

Besides, you can marinate meat with this BBQ sauce and freeze them.

You can’t believe how the meat is tender!

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.
Cuisine Japanese


  • 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ¼ cup grated fruit or 100% fruit juice see the list in the article *edited the amount
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 dried red hot chili pepper *optional
  • ¼ or less grated onion *optional


  • Put Japanese sake (white wine) and sugar in a milk pan and bring them to boil on LOW heat. (takes for a while…)
    *Use LOW heat to keep rich favor in Sake (wine).
  • Once it gets boiled, Simmer the solution on LOW heat to boil off alcohol content and enhance rich flavor in Sake for 1 minute.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients before the solution cools down.
  • Mix well and rest it in a refrigerator overnight.


  • Edited instructions in Jan 2022.
  • When you marinate the meat in this BBQ sauce, don’t let it marinate over 30 minutes since the soy sauce can make the meat dry. It’s better to freeze it rather than marinating over 30 minutes.
Keyword condiment, marinade, Sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Soy sauce

The Best Roasted Sesame Oil For Homemade Yakiniku Sauce

This soy sauce-based sweet BBQ sauce stimulates your appetite, how about the fluffy rice with grilled meat?

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.

So rich aroma and flavor.

Even you can smell its aroma in the pantry!

Since it has a rich flavor, it is great for fresh dishes rather than used as cooking oil.

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 My Homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce

Japanese-Style Pork Shoulder Steak

Marinating pork shoulder steaks in my Japanese BBQ sauce.

Tender, juicy, and yummy.

Packed with Japanese home cooking tips!

  • Learn how to make Japanese-style pork shoulder steak on my cooking channel in 6 minutes. (Click here!)

Asian Yakiniku Beef Salad

Yakiniku beef, salad, beef salad, Asian food, Japanese BBQ recipe, Japanese food, homemade bbq sauce, Yakinkunotare

It can be also savory salad dressing with an Asian breeze. If you want to eat more vegetables rather than rice, here is my hubby’s favorite BBQ beef salad bowl recipe.

BBQ Grilled Kalbi

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