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Spicy Yakiniku Sauce (Japanese BBQ Sauce)

Authentic Yakiniku Sauce Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Yakiniku Sauce in a green Japanese dipping bowl

Yakiniku is a social trend popular throughout Japan that entails cooking bite-sized meats and vegetables on tabletop open-flame grill and dipping them into a tangy sauce called yakiniku sauce. While the meat often steals the show, I would argue that the yakiniku sauce is the key ingredient when making yakiniku. This mix of savory, sweet, and sometimes spicy flavors is hard to beat. In fact, my family likes it so much that we use yakiniku sauce in several other dishes as well.

In this article and video we will walk you through how to make this quick and delicious sauce step-by-step.

Spicy Yakiniku Sauce in a small bowl.

What is Yakiniku Sauce?

Yakiniku sauce (Japanese BBQ sauce) in a Japanese dipping bowl.

Yakiniku sauce is a tangy Japanese take on Korean barbecue. It is composed of soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar and roasted sesame seeds which gives it a mix of savory and sweet flavors. In addition, I like to add crushed red pepper to give it a spicy kick.

Widely used as a dipping sauce for yakiniku beef and vegetables, this sauce is a must try for anyone that enjoys anything on the grill.

How to Make Yakiniku Sauce

As with many sauces, yakiniku sauce is surprisingly quick and easy to make. As mentioned above, I like to add crushed red pepper as it gives the sauce a spicy kick. If you enjoy a little heat in your sauce, I would add one tablespoon as the recipe calls for. For those who really love spicy food, you can try two tablespoons of crushed red pepper. If you don’t like spicy food, I would leave the crushed red pepper out.

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to prepare this flavorful sauce.

1. Assemble the ingredients. I always like to pre-measure all the ingredients prior to cooking. I think this takes the stress out of it and allows you to move quickly when things are cooking.

Assemble ingredients for yakiniku sauce (Japanese barbecue sauce).

2. Roast sesame seeds in pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Once the sesame seeds are browned and releasing aromas, remove from heat.

Roast sesame seeds in a pot to add to the yakiniku sauce.

3. Combine all ingredients except the sesame seeds into a sauce pan and stir to combine.

Add all ingredients to the pot for yakiniku sacue.

4. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Reduce heat once the sauce comes to a boil, and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes continuing to stir frequently.

Simmer yakiniku sauce for five minutes stirring constantly.

5. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better).

6. Strain into a mixing bowl.

Strain yakiniku sauce into a bowl.

7. Add sesame seeds and gently stir sesame seeds into sauce.

Add the sesame seeds to the yakiniku sauce and add to a bowl

8. Your sauce is ready! Enjoy!

Yakiniku Sauce Recipe

Yakiniku Sauce in a green Japanese dipping bowl

Yakiniku Sauce Recipe

Authentic Yakiniku Sauce Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Print Pin
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese barbecue sauce, Japanese BBQ Sauce, Yakiniku, Yakiniku sauce, Yakiniku sauce recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 Cup
Calories: 256kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Sauce pan
  • 1 Mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup. Mirin
  • 1/4 Cup Sesame oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh ginger grated
  • 1 Tbsp. White sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Roast sesame seeds in pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Once the sesame seeds are browned and releasing aromas, remove from heat.
  • Combine all ingredients except the sesame seeds into a sauce pan and stir to combine.
  • Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Reduce heat once the sauce comes to a boil, and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes continuing to stir frequently.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. This allows all the flavors to meld together making for a more complex sauce.
  • After sauce has cooled and rested, strain into a mixing bowl, mix in the sesame seeds and enjoy!

Video

Notes

My recipe calls for one tablespoon of chili flakes. This provides some heat but is not too over-powering. As I enjoy spicy food, I will sometimes add two tablespoons of chili flakes to give it some serious heat. If you don’t enjoy spicy food at all, I would leave out the chili flakes entirely from the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 3oz | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20.7g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Sodium: 485mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.25mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Is yakiniku sauce gluten-free?

Most yakiniku sauces are not gluten-free as they contain soy sauce. However, you can make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free soy sauce in your recipe. All other ingredients are naturally gluten-free.

Where is yakiniku sauce used?

Yakiniku sauce is most widely used as a dipping sauce for Japanese style grilled meats (yakiniku). However, it can be used as a seasoning or condiment in many other dishes as well.

Final Thoughts on Yakiniku Sauce

Yakiniku sauce is a quick sauce to make that my whole family loves. While most often used as a dipping sauce for yakiniku beef, I also think it goes well with chicken or pork. However you use it, we hope this recipe is helpful in spicing up whatever you make. Happy cooking!

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