Sweet & Simple Yakiniku dipping sauce recipe with 9 ingredients

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 26, 2020

It’s summer, which implies it’s BBQ time! Japanese-style BBQ is called Yakiniku and in Japanese, it literally translates into grilled meat.

It’s a famous Korean-born meal. Each Japanese Yakiniku restaurant provides its own dipping sauce and is called Yakiniku no Tare (or just tare).

Tare is the key seasoning for Japanese BBQ because before grilling we don’t
typically marinate the meat.

Yakiniku Dipping sauce recipe

What is Yakiniku Tare Sauce?

The yakiniku sauce is fascinating because it is one of those items that you can purchase in the Japanese supermarket, but almost all yakiniku stores create their own distinctive variation (read my post on which Yakiniku sauce to buy here)

It’s a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and anything else the store intends to add to give it that special touch. I really enjoy the sauces that also add (many do) toasted white sesame seeds.

The outcome is a spicy, delicious, mildly dense sauce that the Japanese will use in most yakiniku establishments as a dipping sauce. I still haven’t found a restaurant with no yakiniku sauce.

As a marinade, this sauce is also amazing. In addition, in Japanese stores — directly in the meat segment next to the other meats — you will discover Japanese beef selections already in the marinade.

Here’s the variant Just One Cookbook made:

Also read about these other Japanese dipping sauces I’ve tried here

Japanese Yakiniku dipping sauce recipe

A sweet and simple Yakiniku dipping sauce recipe for Japanese BBQ.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $2


  • Sauce pan


  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce I use low-sodium to get it a bit healthier
  • ½ tsp miso paste
  • ¼ tsp katsuobushi bonito flakes
  • medium apple grated
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds roasted


  • Add mirin, sake, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, miso, dried bonito flakes to a pot and simmer for about 1½ minutes.
  • Once that time has passed, strain the sauce so it’s nice and smooth.
  • Add roasted white sesame seeds and the grated apple, and you’ll be ready to start dipping yakiniku in it. However, the best way to enjoy it is to let the sauce sit for about half a day or even better overnight in the fridge so all the flavors can meld together.

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

Organic Kyoto Shiro White Miso Paste by Namikura Miso Co.

Organic white miso paste, perfect for when you don't want discoloration of your dish from red miso, and get that authentic umami taste.

Enjoy Yakiniku without marinade

grilled meat and sauce

Bite-sized meat (generally beef and offal) and greens are grilled on a gas / electric grill or also on charcoals for Yakiniku.

Whether you enjoy Yakiniku dinner at home or at a restaurant, everybody is sitting around the barbecue grill and cooking the meat throughout the dinner.

It’s an excellent menu for 6-8 individuals as it requires very minimal preparation.

As I mentioned before, for yakiniku, meat is generally not marinated; therefore, meat quality is very crucial.

Usually, the well-marbled small rib is thinly cut and grilled over charcoal on each side for 30 to 60 seconds (you only need to turn the meat once to maintain sweet flavor) and then dive into the sauce to enjoy.

Many people also wonder what’s the best grill for Yakiniku or the best grill to help you enjoy the experience to the fullest. The most traditional grill is called a shichirin and you can find them in almost every Japanese hardware store.

However, if you don’t have one of those stores around you, you can also find a quality shichirin grill on Amazon, you can see our review here.

Some people might not find them very practical for Yakiniku though, but it’s a great little piece of hardware to complete the authentic vibe.

In the US, any stove that resembles shichirin is called a hibachi. However, a hibachi is actually a smaller Japanese heating device that isn’t typically used for cooking.

When they were introduced in the US market, the shichirin was accidentally marketed as hibachi which is why you’ll find many “hibachi” grills around but a shichirin might be harder to find.

Yakiniku Japanese grilled meat

Things to keep in mind:

The sauce alone, without dipping any meat, might be too salty. However, once you dip the meat in the sauce, both flavors will combine and complement each other nicely.

Final Thoughts

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.

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

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Read more: these are the tastiest bottled stir fry sauces you can buy

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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.