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Yakiniku Sauce 焼肉のタレ

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    Yakiniku sauce is a sweet & flavorful Japanese BBQ sauce. It’s perfect for dipping thinly sliced of well-marbled short rib and other grilled goodies.

    Marbled beef grilled on a charcoal.

    It’s summer and that means time to BBQ! In Japan, Japanese style BBQ is called Yakiniku (焼肉), and literary means grilled meat in Japanese. It’s a popular dish, which originated in Korea. Yakiniku is enjoyed with a dipping sauce. You can purchase a bottle of Yakiniku Sauce at Japanese grocery stores, but you can make it at home too!

    Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) Sauce

    Each Yakiniku restaurant in Japan offers its own dipping sauce and it’s called Yakiniku no Tare (焼肉のタレ), or simply tare (タレ). Tare is the key seasoning for Japanese BBQ because the meat is not generally marinated or seasoned prior to grilling.

    The quality of meat is very important for Japanese BBQ. The well-marbled short rib is usually thinly sliced and grill over charcoal for 30 to 60 seconds on each side (you only need to flip the meat once to preserve juicy flavor) and then dip in the sauce to eat.

    Typical “tare” is made of soy sauce mixed with sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, fruit juice, and sesame seeds. This particular sauce was inspired by my favorite Yakiniku restaurant in the Bay Area called Juban, which I’ve been going for many years. My sauce may not exactly be the same but I adapted from Juban sauce to my family’s liking.

    I also have another version Yakiniku Sauce in the recipe on my Teppanyaki post.

    Homemade Yakiniku Sauce in a small square dish.

    How to Enjoy Yakiniku At Home

    For Yakiniku, bite-sized meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables are grilled over gas/electric grill or charcoals. Whether you are enjoying the Yakiniku meal at home or in a restaurant, everyone sits around the BBQ grill and cooks the meat throughout the meal. It’s a great menu for 6-8 people as preparation is very minimal.

    Teppanyaki at home.

    Teppanyaki using an electric griddle.

    Homemade Yakiniku Sauce in a small square dish.

    This grill in the picture above is called Shichirin (七輪). I bought one from a Japanese hardware store in SF but you can also purchase on Amazon. It looks great on photography, but to be honest, it’s not practical for Yakiniku.

    Side Story… Shichirin vs. Hibachi

    In the US, small BBQ cooking stoves resembling Shichirin are referred to as “Hibachi.” Hibachi is actually a small heating device in Japan which is not usually used for cooking. Shichirin was marketed as “hibachi” by mistake when they were introduced to the US.

    Now you know the grill is called Shichirin and Hibachi is a heating device (heater)!

    Yakiniku dipped in the sauce.

    Itadakimasu!

    Dip the grilled items in the sauce to enhance the BBQ flavor. The well-marbled meat coated with this sauce is so delicious. Hope you enjoy!

    Watch How to Make Yakiniku Sauce

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.36 from 28 votes
    Yakiniku Sauce (Japanese BBQ Sauce) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Yakiniku Sauce
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    Steeping Time
    8 hrs
    Total Time
    8 hrs 10 mins
     
    Yakiniku sauce is a sweet & flavorful Japanese BBQ sauce. It's perfect for dipping thinly sliced of well marbled short rib and other grilled goodies.
    Course: Condiments, How to
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: sauce, yakiniku
    Servings: 3 (3 servings = ⅓ cup, 100 ml)
    Author: Namiko Chen
    Ingredients
    For the Sauce
    Instructions
    Make the Sauce A Day Before
    1. Gather all the ingredients. I highly recommend the sauce a day before.

      Yakiniku Tare Ingredients
    2. In a small saucepan, add sake, mirin, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, katsuobushi, and simmer for 1 ½ minute.

      Yakiniku Sauce 1
    3. Strain the sauce. If you plan to preserve the sauce for a longer time, pour the sauce in a mason jar (or airtight container) and do not add grated apple and sesame seeds (next step) yet. It will last longer without a grated apple. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.

      Yakiniku Sauce 2
    4. Add the sesame seeds and grated apple to the sauce. Now it's ready to use. I recommend keeping the sauce sit overnight in the refrigerator for melding all the flavors together.

      Yakiniku Sauce 3
    To Store
    1. Store in the refrigerator and use it within 3 days.

    Recipe Notes

    The sauce may taste too salty by itself without grilled meat. When you actually dip the meat in the sauce, the two flavors complements each other.

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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