Japanese BBQ sauce, also known as “yakiniku” sauce, is a popular condiment in Japanese cuisine. It is commonly used as a dip for grilled meats and vegetables, adding a sweet and savory flavor to the dish.

But what exactly is Japanese BBQ sauce made of? Let’s explore the ingredients and how they come together to create this delicious sauce.


The traditional recipe for Japanese BBQ sauce includes the following ingredients:

  • Soy Sauce
  • Mirin
  • Sake
  • Brown Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce:

Soy sauce is one of the main ingredients in Japanese BBQ sauce. It provides the base flavor and gives the sauce its distinct salty taste. Soy sauce is made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and water.


Mirin is a sweet rice wine that adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the sauce. It also helps to tenderize meat when used as a marinade. Mirin is commonly used in Japanese cuisine as a seasoning ingredient.


Sake is another type of rice wine that adds depth to the flavor of Japanese BBQ sauce. It has a mellow and slightly sweet taste that complements the other ingredients in the sauce.

Brown Sugar:

Brown sugar provides sweetness to the sauce and helps to thicken it up. It also adds some caramelized flavors that enhance the overall taste.


Garlic is added for its pungent aroma and flavor. It gives the Japanese BBQ sauce a savory kick that balances out its sweetness.


Ginger is another common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It adds a slightly spicy and refreshing flavor to the sauce, making it more complex and interesting.

Sesame Oil:

Sesame oil is added for its nutty flavor and aroma. It helps to bring all the ingredients together and create a cohesive taste.


To make Japanese BBQ sauce, first, combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, and brown sugar in a pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely.

Then add minced garlic and ginger to the pot and let it simmer for a few minutes until fragrant. Finally, remove the pot from heat and add sesame oil to the mix.


Japanese BBQ sauce is a simple yet delicious condiment that adds flavor to grilled meats and vegetables. Its unique combination of sweet, salty, savory, and tangy flavors makes it a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. So next time you’re grilling up some meat or vegetables, try adding some Japanese BBQ sauce for an extra burst of flavor!