This Japanese BBQ sauce recipe is sure to take your grilling game to the next level! A teriyaki-ish sauce with a crave-worthy flavor that will add a delicious and savory kick to your grilled meats and veggies.
A staple in Japanese cuisine, this bbq sauce is easy to make and will impress your friends and family with its depth of flavor. In this post, we’ll show you how to make the most amazing meals using Japanese BBQ sauce. Trust us, you’ll be hooked once you try it.
This type of Sauce adds a hint of sweetness to any dish, making it a popular addition to any BBQ or grilled dish. Made with just a few simple ingredients like soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, and sesame oil, this sauce is incredibly easy to make at home. It’s no wonder that it is becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world.
So why not try this sauce and see what all the fuss is about? Your taste buds will thank you!
What is Japanese BBQ Sauce?
Authentic Japanese barbecue sauce, also known as Yakiniku sauce, is a common condiment used in Japanese cuisine to flavor barbecued or grilled meats, vegetables, and seafood. The original Japanese barbecue sauce typically contained soy sauce, mirin (a type of sweet rice wine), sugar, garlic, and sesame oil, and is often enhanced with additional ingredients such as ginger, green onions, or sake.
The exact recipe can vary depending on the region and the chef, but the core ingredients and flavors remain consistent. Some versions of Japanese BBQ sauce may also include fruit purees, such as pineapple or apple, to add a slightly sweet and fruity flavor.
What To Serve With Japanese BBQ Sauce
Japanese BBQ sauce is a versatile sauce that pairs well with a variety of meats, vegetables, and seafood. It is a staple in Japanese cuisine and has become popular around the world for its unique and delicious flavor. In this section, we will explore some of the best meats to serve with this sauce.
Japanese BBQ sauce is a perfect match for grilled chicken. The sweetness of the sauce complements the smoky flavor of the chicken, while the sesame oil and seeds add a nutty flavor.
This sauce is also an excellent choice for beef dishes, such as beef steak or skewers. The savory and sweet flavors of the sauce enhance the natural flavor of the beef and can even be used as a dipping sauce.
How To Make Japanese BBQ Sauce
Combine Sake or White Wine and Brown Sugar
In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place the saucepan on low-medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for one minute to boil off alcohol content and enhance the rich flavor of the sake.
Add Aromatics and Sweeteners
Once the mixture has boiled for one minute, reduce the heat to low and add 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp of minced ginger, 2 tbsp honey, and 1/4 cup fruit puree or 100% fruit juice of your choice to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
Add Dark Soy Sauce
After combining the aromatics and sweeteners, add 1/2 cup dark soy sauce, such as Kikkoman, and continue to stir the mixture.
To add depth of flavor, add 2 tbsp of roasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp of white roasted sesame seeds, 1 tsp of chopped green onion, and 1 dried red hot chili pepper (optional) to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
Let the Sauce Simmer
Let the sauce simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the ingredients are well combined.
Cool the Sauce and Strain
After simmering for 10 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature before using. If desired, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solids.
Serve and Enjoy
The Japanese BBQ sauce is now ready to use. Serve it with your favorite grilled meats, vegetables, or seafood. The savory and slightly sweet flavors of the sauce are sure to complement your meal.
Adjusting The Flavor of Japanese BBQ Sauce
While this BBQ sauce recipes stay true to their delicious balance of sweet, savory, and umami flavors, you may want to adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Thankfully, it’s easy to customize the flavors to your liking.
Adjusting the Sweetness
If you prefer a sweeter Japanese BBQ sauce, you can increase the amount of brown sugar and honey used. Conversely, if you want a less sweet sauce, you can reduce the amount of sugar and honey or omit them entirely.
Adjusting the Heat
If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add more dried red hot chili peppers to the recipe. Alternatively, you can omit the pepper entirely if you prefer a milder flavor.
Adjusting the Tanginess
While the recipe does not call for any vinegar, you can add a small amount of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the sauce if you prefer a tangier taste.
Adjusting the Saltiness
The recipe calls for dark soy sauce, which is saltier than regular soy sauce. If you find the sauce too salty for your taste, you can reduce the amount of soy sauce or use a lower-sodium version.
Tips & Tricks For Making Japanese BBQ Sauce
If you’re new to making Japanese BBQ sauce, here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve a delicious sauce:
Japanese BBQ sauce is all about the depth of flavors, so using high-quality ingredients is important. Look for dark soy sauce, Japanese sake, and pure fruit juice to add complexity to the sauce.
Different Fruit Puree
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of fruit puree or 100% fruit juice of your choice. You can experiment with different fruit purees such as apple, pear, or pineapple to add a unique flavor to the sauce.
Japanese BBQ sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before using it, let it come to room temperature and give it a stir to recombine any separated ingredients.
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Japanese BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Small bowl
- 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ¼ cup grated fruit or 100% fruit juice
- 1/2 cup dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
- 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp chopped green onion
- 1 dried red hot chili pepper *optional
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine and 1/3 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil on low-medium heat. Boil for one minute to boil off alcohol content and enhance the rich flavor of the sake.
- Bring temperature down to low and add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger, 2 tbsp honey, and 1/4 cup fruit puree or 100% fruit juice of your choice to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Add 1/2 cup dark soy sauce (such as Kikkoman) and continue to stir the mixture.
- Add 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds, 1 tsp chopped green onion, and 1 dried red hot chili pepper (optional) to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Let the sauce sit on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool to room temperature before using. If desired, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solids.
- Serve the Japanese BBQ sauce with your favorite grilled meats, vegetables, or seafood.
Japanese BBQ Sauce FAQs
What Is Japanese BBQ Sauce?
Japanese BBQ Sauce is a sauce used in Japanese cuisine that is typically served with grilled meat, seafood, and vegetables. It has a savory, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of sesame.
Can I use Japanese BBQ Sauce as a marinade?
Yes, you can use Japanese BBQ Sauce as a marinade for your meats or seafood. Simply coat your protein in the sauce and let it marinate for a few hours before grilling.
Is Japanese BBQ Sauce gluten-free?
Most Japanese BBQ Sauce recipes contain soy sauce, which is not gluten-free. However, you can use a gluten-free soy sauce alternative to make the sauce gluten-free.
How spicy is Japanese BBQ Sauce?
Japanese BBQ Sauce is not typically very spicy like Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce (cold filled), but you can add more dried red hot chili pepper to make it spicier to your liking.