What Is Yakiniku Sauce?

Have you seen a recipe that calls for Yakiniku sauce? Perhaps you’ve seen it on the shelf or someone has even mentioned it to you. Are you wondering what it is; what it is made of, tastes like, and how to use it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here all is everything you need to know.

So, what is Yakiniku sauce? Yakiniku sauce is a bold and complex sauce from Japan. It combines sweet and savory flavors and is most commonly used as a marinade on grilled meat, primarily cooked BBQ-style, or as a dipping sauce for meats, vegetables or fish.

The clue is in the title with this sauce.

Well, at least if you know Japanese.

That’s because Yakiniku literally translates to “grilled meat”:

Yakiniku Sauce Meaning
In fact, if you want to get technical, the yaki part is in reference to the grilling, the niku, the meat.

But what is this sauce typically made from and taste like?

Let’s find out!

What Is Yakiniku Sauce Made Of?

Yakiniku sauce is typically made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sesame seeds. Sometimes it is also made from sesame oil and garlic too.

Depending on the recipe, or brand if you are buying, you may also find other ingredients too.

Sake, rice vinegar, miso, and ginger are all such examples.

Nevertheless, one of the fundamental ingredients of this sauce is undoubtedly the sesame seeds.

It is this ingredient that gives this sauce its complexity and bold flavor, setting it apart from your typical soy sauce which it does also contain.

What Does Yakiniku Sauce Taste Like?

Yakiniku Sauce is both sweet and savory. You will also notice a nutty, earthy flavor from the sesame seeds, and a subtle hint of fiery heat too.

Of course, the exact flavors to expect will depend on the recipe or brand a little.

What To Eat Yakiniku Sauce With?

Yakiniku Sauce is traditionally eaten with meat; primarily as a marinade or as a dipping sauce. In regards to as a marinade, it is most commonly eaten with meats cooked via grilling, barbecuing, over a griddle, or over an open flame.

That being said there really is no limit to what you can eat this sauce with.

It’s incredibly versatile, and it’s great for all kinds of meat, including chicken and pork, fish, vegetables, or even tofu too.

Can You Buy Yakiniku Sauce

Yakiniku sauce is sold at some of the large major grocery store chains, including Walmart. However, you will be much more likely to get some from Asian markets, specifically Japanese markets. Then, there is always online too.

Perhaps the easiest place is directly from Amazon.

This particular brand on Amazon is a best seller and has amazing reviews.

So do check it out.

Besides, it saves making it.

Although a great recipe can be found below.

How To Make Yakiniku Sauce

The following Yakuniku sauce recipe can be made from just seven ingredients, and is designed to taste as authentic as possible!


  • 1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Mirin
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Roasted White Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Whole Roasted White Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic.


Step One: Begin by peeling and pressing your garlic clove.

Step Two: Add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic to a saucepan.

Step Three: Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. This should take around 5 minutes. Stir continuously to help the process and to stop any burning. Once complete, turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes.

Step Four: Pour the sauce through a collander/strainer/sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps or strands of garlic. Throw this collected garlic sediment away.

Step Five: Add your sesame seeds (both varieties) to the sauce, combine and mix by stirring.

Step Six: Try a little and test the flavor. If it appears too rich or concentrated, try adding a teaspoon of water at a time to reach a flavor you desire.

Step Seven: Serve and enjoy. Either pour over your meat or add to a separate serving bowl to be used as a dipping sauce!


Yakiniku sauce is incredibly delicious.

But do consider that this is a bold and rich sauce.

You do not need to use much.

So do consider that, and be mindful of the taste palettes of those who will be eating it.

Nevertheless, this really is a sauce to try.

Either eating out, buying a pre-made version or making some up yourself.

And once you do, be sure to try it in various ways with various dishes; both as a marinade and as a dipping sauce.

You won’t regret it.

Believe me.