Yakiniku Sauce for Grilled Meat

Yakiniku Sauce

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 8 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
438 Calories
13g Fat
72g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 438
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2586mg 112%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 12g
Calcium 242mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yakiniku sauce is a mixture of savory and sweet flavors with bold sesame essence that is used to season grilled meats in Japanese cuisine.

The term yakiniku is derived from the Japanese term yaki, which means "grilled," and niku, which means "meat," or "beef." It is a term that is used broadly to describe various grilled and cooked meats, including American outdoor BBQ style meats and Korean style BBQ, which is meat that is often marinated and cooked on a tabletop, open-flame grill. Yakiniku may also refer to meat that is cooked either in a pan or griddle on the stove or on a teppanyaki tabletop grill. 

Regardless of the cooking method, grilled meat is often served with a yakiniku dipping sauce, or it is seasoned with yakiniku sauce prior to being cooked.


Click Play to See This Yakiniku Sauce for Grilled Meat Recipe Come Together


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted white sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Peel and chop 1 garlic clove.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce
  3. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Heat over medium to high heat until sugar dissolves -- about 3 minutes. Stir constantly to help dissolve sugar and to prevent burning. Allow the sauce to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Using a strainer, pour the sauce into a small bowl to separate the garlic pieces. Discard the garlic.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Add ground, roasted white sesame seeds and whole, roasted sesame seeds to the strained sauce in the bowl. Mix gently.

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce
  7. The yakiniku sauce is now ready to use! Use to dip meats and vegetables, or as a sauce to pour over meat. 

    Yakiniku Sauce recipe
     The Spruce


  • The sauce may be stored in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days. 
  • The sauce has a concentrated flavor, so a little bit goes a long way. If you're going to use it as a dipping sauce for yakiniku, for younger children, or for those that prefer a milder flavor, simply add a bit of hot water to the sauce to dilute it. 
  • The sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a quick, weeknight meal. My favorite way of using this yakiniku sauce is to stir-fry thin shabu-shabu or sukiyaki cuts of beef in a frying or griddle pan until well done then pour some of the sauce over the cooked meat, toss, and serve.

The Flavor Complexity of the Ingredients

Typical ingredients for making yakiniku sauce include soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sesame seeds. The addition of sesame oil and garlic adds more complexity and boldness to the sauce. The key to yakiniku sauce, however, is sesame seeds, and in this recipe, the addition of roasted, ground sesame seeds takes the sauce to an entirely new level of "wow." The ground roasted sesame seeds impart a complexity of flavors that makes the sauce mouth-wateringly delicious.