Where to buy AMAZING Yakiniku sauce OR make your own

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Yakiniku (in Kanji: 焼き肉 or 焼肉), which means “grilled meat,” is a Japanese word that has a broad meaning but usually refers to any cuisine that has grilled meat in it.

During the Meiji Restoration (1872) the Japanese people did not know anything about the western barbecue or grilled food and when it was first introduced to Japanese society by writer Kanagaki Robun in his book Seiyo Ryoritsu which translates to The Western Food Handbook he coined the term “Yakiniku.”


However, during the Show a period, the term “yakiniku” became associated with Korean cuisines. This was due to the result of the Korean War where migrants from North and South Korea built their restaurants with different political ideologies just like how they were in their homeland. The North Koreans called their restaurants “Kita Chosen,” while the South Koreans named theirs to “Kankoku.”

You can make it yourself, I’ve even written a post about it here. But there are a few storebought options you can consider that have an excellent taste. In this post I’ll share my top choices with you, like my favorite this Daisho Japanese BBQ Yakiniku Sauce which has the most authentic flavor I found yet!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Best Yakiniku Sauces

The most common sauce is made of soy sauce mixed with sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, fruit juice, and sesame.

Additional Korean side dishes are also served to variate the flavors and they can include kimchi, nameul, and bibimbap.

The 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.

Daisho Japanese BBQ Yakiniku Sauce, 580 Gram (Pack of 12)

Authentic Japanese BBQ yakiniku shoyu sauce bursting with tons of flavors from natural ingredients!

Daisho Yakiniku sauce

Use it as a dipping sauce for cooked meats or vegetables, or you can also use it to marinade BBQ recipes that saturate the taste and creates amazing blends of delicious flavors to every BBQ recipe you’ll cook.

Get it on Amazon for a low price in a pack of 12 bottles included with free shipping!


  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Apple
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Soybean Paste
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Disodium 5’-Inosinate
  • Disodium 5’-Guanylate
  • Brewed Vinegar
  • Sesame Seed
  • Ginger
  • Caramel Coloring
  • Red Pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Xanthan Gum

Also read my post on this Yakiniku sauce recipe you can make yourself

Nippon Shokken Yakiniku Sauce (14.7 Oz)

a bottle of yakiniku sauce

One of the best and highly recommended yakiniku sauce this dipping sauce is all you’ll need for all your yakiniku recipes.

An all-original Japanese citrus BBQ sauce with no high fructose corn syrup or added preservatives.

You can use the Nippon Shokken Yakiniku Sauce as a dipping sauce for yakiniku recipes, or as a marinade for other BBQ cuisines.

This sauce cost under $15 per bottle on Amazon.


  • Water
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Garlic Puree
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Pear Concentrate Juice
  • Sesame Oil
  • Red Chiles Puree
  • Pineapple Concentrate Juice
  • Sesame Seed
  • Sodium Ascorbate
  • Lemon Concentrate Juice
  • Roasted Garlic Puree
  • Minced Garlic
  • Paprika Oleoresin Color
  • Yeast Extract
  • Spices, Xanthan Gum

Ikari Yakiniku Medium Hot Barbecue Sauce (235 grams)

A slightly hot and spicy yakiniku barbecue sauce by a truly Japanese brand name – Ikari.

Ikar Yakiniku sauce

Because it’s only medium hot most people will enjoy it as a dipping sauce for various yakiniku and other BBQ recipes.

The young, old, men, women and children of all ages will love this specially made yakiniku dipping sauce!

Made from a variety of choiced products including fruit, honey, chilli, spices, vegetables and sesame seeds this yakiniku BBQ sauce retains a delicious savoury flavor that perfectly balance sweet and slightly tangy taste, which is perfect for grilled meat.

You can buy the Ikari Yakiniku Medium Hot Barbecue Sauce at Japan Centre and on Amazon as well, although you will find it cheaper to buy at Japan Centre compared to Amazon.


  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Fruits (Apple and Lemon)
  • Salt
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Melted Muscovado
  • Fermentation Seasoning
  • White Sesame
  • Honey
  • Moromi
  • Spices
  • Garlic

Read more: different kinds of Japanese noodles explained

Sweet & Simple Yakiniku dipping sauce recipe with 9 ingredients

These ingredients might be some that you don’t yet have, here’s where to get them:

Kaneso Tokuyou Hanakatsuo , Dried Bonito Flakes

(view more images)

Shirakiku Miso Shiro

(view more images)

Even though Yakiniku Dipping Sauce or “Tare” is an item particular to Japanese culture, they’ve shared their recipe with the rest of the world so we can create our own delicious yakiniku at home.

By following the recipe shared here today and using traditional Japanese grilling methods, you’ll be able to obtain a delicious result that is bound to surprise all your guests and maybe even yourself.

FAQ about yakiniku sauce

Is Yakiniku Sauce Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is commonly found in many sauces, including yakiniku sauce. However, not all yakiniku sauces contain gluten.

Most yakiniku sauces will contain soy sauce, which has gluten. But a lot of the restaurants that make their own sauce use tamari, a soy sauce alternative that doesn’t contain any.

Ingredients to Look Out For

If the label does not list “gluten-free,” it is important to check the ingredient list for potential sources of gluten. Some ingredients to look out for include:

  • Soy sauce: Some soy sauces contain wheat, which means they are not gluten-free. However, there are gluten-free soy sauce alternatives available.
  • Malt vinegar: This type of vinegar is made from barley and is not gluten-free.
  • Wheat starch: This ingredient is commonly used as a thickener in sauces and can contain gluten.

Dependence on the Brand

It is important to note that the ingredients in yakiniku sauce can vary depending on the brand. Just because one brand’s yakiniku sauce contains gluten does not mean that all yakiniku sauces contain gluten.

Is yakiniku Sauce Sweet or Salty?

Yakiniku sauce is a Japanese-style sauce that is used as a dipping sauce or marinade for grilled meat and vegetables. It is also referred to as “tare” in Japanese cooking. Yakiniku sauce is a blend of sweet and savory flavors that are perfect for adding extra taste to your grilled dishes.

Is yakiniku Sauce Spicy?

Yakiniku sauce is not typically a spicy sauce, but some recipes call for the addition of red chilli paste or Korean gochujang to add an extra kick. If you are looking for a spicy yakiniku sauce, you can easily make your own by adding some chilli paste or gochujang to a regular yakiniku sauce recipe.

How to Make Spicy Yakiniku Sauce

Here is an easy recipe for making spicy yakiniku sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp red chilli paste or Korean gochujang
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
2. Allow the sauce to sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
3. Serve as a dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables.

Yakiniku Sauce Alternatives

If you’re looking for a soy sauce substitute for yakiniku, here are some options:

  • Coconut aminos: This is a soy-free and gluten-free alternative that has a sweet and salty taste.
  • Tamari: This is a gluten-free soy sauce that’s made with little to no wheat.
  • Liquid aminos: This is a soy sauce substitute that’s made from soybeans and has a similar taste to soy sauce.

Other Dipping Sauces

If you’re not a fan of yakiniku sauce, here are some other dipping sauces you can try:

  • Ponzu sauce: This is a citrus-based sauce that’s perfect for dipping grilled meat. It’s made with soy sauce, vinegar, and citrus juice.
  • Goma dare: This is a sesame-based dipping sauce that’s sweet and salty. It’s made with sesame paste, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Wasabi mayo: This is a spicy dipping sauce that’s made with mayonnaise and wasabi. It’s perfect for those who like a little kick in their dipping sauce.

Inside a Yakiniku Restaurant

The reference to a “yakiniku restaurant” arose as a politically correct term for restaurants of either origin.

These days, however, “yakiniku” is commonly referred to as a Japanese cooking style where bite-size meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables are cooked over an open flame grill with wood chips or charcoals as fuel, or in some cases, they are cooked by the gas/electric grill.

The chef prepares the raw ingredients (individually or as a set) for whichever kind of menu the diners’ orders, then it is brought to their table by the waiters and waitresses.

The diners cook the ingredients on the grill right in front of them built into the tables themselves. They cook the ingredients several pieces at a time and it is for this reason why people love to dine in yakiniku restaurants – they enjoy cooking their own meals.

Yakiniku dishes are always eaten with specially made dipping sauces called “tare.”

Also read: what is Tokoroten exactly and how do I make it?

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.