Mouthwatering Japanese BBQ Sauce Recipe for Grill Lovers

Do you love Japanese cuisine? Are you a seasoned grill master looking for a new twist on BBQ sauce? Look no further than this mouth-watering Japanese BBQ sauce recipe. Made with authentic ingredients like soy sauce, mirin, and red miso, this savory sauce brings the flavors of Japan straight to your grill.

But why stop at just traditional BBQ fare? This versatile sauce can be used on everything from grilled veggies to rice bowls, adding a bold umami flavor to any meal. And with only a few simple steps, it’s easy to whip up a batch of your own signature barbecue sauce–Japanese-style!

Experience the rich cultural history and explosive taste sensation that is Japanese BBQ with this delicious sauce recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Japanese BBQ Sauce
Japanese BBQ Sauce

As a BBQ chef, I have tasted hundreds of different styles of BBQ sauce over the years. But the Japanese BBQ sauce recipe that I am going to share with you today is different than any other sauce out there.

What makes this Japanese BBQ sauce special is the way it blends sweet and savory flavors. The balance of sugar, sake, mirin, red miso, and soy sauce create a taste that is uniquely Japanese. The mirin adds a signature complementary sweetness while the miso adds depth and umami. This combination makes the sauce both complex and inviting.

Another reason to love this recipe is its versatility. You can pair it with chicken, beef, pork or even vegetables! This sauce is perfect for yakiniku (Japanese grilled meat) but can also be used as a marinade, dipping sauce, or even as an ingredient in stir-fries. The possibilities are endless!

Moreover, this recipe is easy to make at home with little fuss. Yes, you heard it right! This delicious sauce only requires 9 ingredients that you can easily find in your local grocery store. And the best part? You can make it with just one pot!

Finally, this Japanese BBQ sauce will transport you directly to Japan with every bite! You will experience a bold and unique flavor that will set your taste buds on fire. Trust me; once you try this sauce recipe on your meat or veggies, you won’t be able to resist eating them up in one go.

Inspire your taste buds and join me in experiencing the authentic flavors of Japan by following my simple steps to make the best original Japanese barbecue sauce ever! Once you try it out, you will surely love this recipe as much as I do.

Ingredient List

 A glossy, smoky Japanese BBQ sauce drizzled over charred meats and veggies.
A glossy, smoky Japanese BBQ sauce drizzled over charred meats and veggies.

Ingredients for the Japanese BBQ Sauce Recipe

The ingredient list for the Japanese BBQ Sauce recipe is a mix of savory and sweet, with unique ingredients that give this sauce its distinct flavor. From sake to soy sauce, red miso, and mirin, you’ll need a few specialty items to create the authentic Japanese BBQ flavor. Here are the essential sauces ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of mirin
  • 1/3 cup of sake
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of red miso
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced green onion

Most ingredients should be available at an average grocery store or Amazon but make sure to look for Japanese products for the most authentic results.

The Recipe How-To

Are you ready to make some scrumptious Japanese BBQ sauce that will knock your socks off? Look no further! The recipe is here and I’m about to show you how to make it. Let’s get saucy!

Ingredient List

First and foremost, let’s go through our ingredient list. It’s essential to have everything prepared before starting.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake (or white wine)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, let’s start the process. Here’s how you do it:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Cook over medium heat for four minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Then, simmer gently for an additional eight minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool before using.

Congratulations! You’ve just made your very own authentic Japanese BBQ sauce.

Substitutions and Variations

This recipe can be customized to fit your desired taste preference. If you want to add some kick, a pinch of chili flakes can be an excellent addition to the mixture. Don’t have sake on hand? Use white wine as a substitute instead.

If you prefer tonkatsu sauce over yakiniku sauce but still crave that Japanese flavor profile, add more tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce into the mixture.

Serving and Pairing

This savory sauce is perfect to serve with grilled meat such as beef or pork, but it also works wonders on vegetables and tofu.

For best results, serve with steamed rice or alongside your favorite Japanese dish such as udon noodles or teriyaki chicken.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

If not using the sauce immediately after preparation, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Before use, let it come back up to room temperature. If heating from a refrigerated state, warm up gradually at low heat while stirring constantly.

Tips for Perfect Results

To achieve an authentic Japanese taste profile use genuine Japanese brands such as “Bachan’s” Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce Ingredients.

When cooking with this bbq flavor enhancer stir frequently during the simmering process to prevent burning.

Can’t find red miso? Substitute for white miso paste instead; though keep in mind that this substitution will alter the flavor profile slightly.

And finally,


Q: What’s the difference between Japanese BBQ and Korean BBQ?

A: The primary differences between these types of barbeque

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the umami flavors rain down with this savory and sweet Japanese BBQ sauce.
Let the umami flavors rain down with this savory and sweet Japanese BBQ sauce.

Bored of the same flavor of original Japanese BBQ sauce? Don’t worry, here are some substitutions and variations to spice up your Japanese BBQ game.

For a different version of this sauce, you can try swapping some ingredients with others that have similar flavors. Instead of using red miso, you might want to try white miso, which provides a milder but still complex taste. Additionally, tomato paste could replace the miso and give the sauce a sweeter impression.

If you prefer to have a sweeter Japanese BBQ sauce, replace granulated sugar with honey or brown sugar. Also, instead of making the foundational mirin-sugar combination as the sauce base, use tare Japanese sauce or Tonkatsu sauce to achieve a more dynamic flavor.

Furthermore, if you crave that extra spiciness in your Japanese BBQ sauce, adding ginger and garlic will satisfy your taste buds. You could also include green onions for additional boldness in flavoring.

Finally, let’s talk about alcoholic variations. If sake becomes an issue for you or one of your guests – no worries – the flavor of the traditional Japanese BBQ won’t be ruined if you swap it with white wine or sherry. Alternatively, try adding Worcestershire sauce into the mix to provide a savory twist.

These are just a few variations on how to make an excellent Japanese BBQ sauce. Try out these next time you have a craving for some delicious grilled goodness!

Serving and Pairing

 Brush on this mouth-watering sauce for unbeatable teriyaki vibes.
Brush on this mouth-watering sauce for unbeatable teriyaki vibes.

Now that you have made this flavorful Japanese BBQ sauce, you are probably wondering what to serve it with. This sauce pairs well with a variety of grilled meats, vegetables and even seafood.

For those looking for a traditional Japanese grilling experience, try pairing this sauce with Yakiniku, a popular Japanese style BBQ. Simply grill thinly sliced beef or pork and dip in the sauce for an authentic taste.

This versatile sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken, beef or shrimp, giving them a sweet and savory flavor with a kick of umami. You could also use this sauce as a dipping sauce for potstickers or spring rolls.

If you want to add some depth to your stir-fry dish, drizzle this Japanese BBQ sauce on top of your vegetables or meats. The sweetness from the sugar and mirin will balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce and red miso.

For those who love sandwiches, try using this sauce as a spread on your burger or sandwich instead of traditional ketchup. It will add a unique twist to your meal.

To complement the flavors in this Japanese BBQ sauce, pair your meal with a light beer such as Sapporo or Asahi. For non-alcoholic options, try green tea or jasmine tea to cleanse your palate between each bite.

Remember, this sauce is not just for Japanese cuisine lovers. The tangy mix of tomato paste and worcestershire sauce blended with the sweetness of cane sugar and honey adds savory flavor to any grilled meat or vegetable dish.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A sticky, syrupy sauce that's perfect for all your yakitori and yakiniku needs.
A sticky, syrupy sauce that’s perfect for all your yakitori and yakiniku needs.

One of the great things about this Japanese BBQ sauce recipe is that it can be easily made ahead of time and then stored for later use. In fact, the flavors develop even more over time, making it a perfect marinade or dipping sauce option for grilling enthusiasts who like to plan ahead.

To make in advance, prepare the sauce as directed in the recipe and transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to three months. Simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

When reheating the sauce, simply pour it into a microwave-safe dish or heat-resistant saucepan, and warm it up over low heat while stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to boil the sauce as this may change its consistency and texture.

Overall, this Japanese BBQ sauce is versatile and easy to store, with little fuss at all. You can make as much or as little as you need, with no worry about leftovers going bad. This convenience factor highlights its value even more!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Sweet, salty, and tangy, this sauce is the ultimate grill-side companion.
Sweet, salty, and tangy, this sauce is the ultimate grill-side companion.

I’ve spent countless hours perfecting this Japanese BBQ sauce recipe, and I’m excited to share some tips with you to ensure that your dish turns out perfectly every time. Here are the key things you need to keep in mind:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: The taste of the final product largely depends on the quality of the ingredients used. Therefore, it’s essential to use only fresh, high-quality ingredients such as red miso, mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.

2. Follow the recipe measurements precisely: Japanese cuisine values precision in measurements, and that’s why it’s essential to follow the recipe measurements precisely. Any slight change in measurement can affect the final taste.

3. Do not overcook the sauce: Overcooking can result in a sauce that is too thick or sticky. You want your sauce to be smooth with just the right consistency for glazing meat.

4. Balance flavors with sugar and mirin: The combination of sugar and mirin is what gives Japanese BBQ sauce its signature sweetness. Be sure to add them in equal parts, tasting as you go to ensure a well-balanced sauce.

5. Marinate meat for at least one hour: For best results when using this sauce as a marinade for meats, marinate for at least an hour before cooking.

6. Heat BBQ sauce over low heat: When heating up your Japanese BBQ sauce on the grill, do so over low heat to prevent burning or sticking to the grill grates.

By following these tips and remembering to balance flavors and focus on precision, you can make perfect Japanese BBQ sauce every time.


Now that you are familiar with the ins and outs of making this delicious Japanese BBQ sauce, it’s time to address some frequently asked questions. Before diving into any recipe, there might be uncertainties that need clarification to guarantee the perfect results. The following questions and answers will help you prepare flawlessly and troubleshoot any concerns without taking too much of your time.

What is Japanese BBQ sauce made of?

This recipe incorporates traditional Japanese shoyu, a soy sauce made with wheat, to give a savory and flavorful taste as its foundation. Adding cane sugar and mirin provide a hint of sweetness that complements the soy sauce well. Additionally, Bachan’s uses green onion, ginger and garlic to create an earthy and aromatic flavor profile that accentuates the sauce’s savoriness.

What is the difference between Japanese BBQ sauce and regular BBQ sauce?

When it comes to the taste of meat in Japanese BBQ versus Korean BBQ, the main contrast is the method of adding flavor. Korean BBQ uses marinades to infuse their meats with flavor, while Japanese BBQ leaves the meat plain and relies on a dipping sauce. These sauces, made with a variety of ingredients such as garlic, mirin, and soy sauce, add a distinctive taste to the meat when dipped before eating.

What is Japanese BBQ sauce called?

In this article, I’ll provide you with a guide on how to make a delicious Japanese-style barbecue sauce known as Tonkatsu Sauce.

What meat is best for Japanese BBQ sauce?

When it comes to yakiniku, the favored meat of choice typically lands on beef. However, it’s important to note that chicken and pork are also suitable for this style of cooking.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to take your BBQ game to the next level, then it’s time to try making Japanese BBQ sauce. Trust me, once you taste this sauce, you won’t go back to regular old barbecue sauce. It’s sweet, savory, and has a little bit of a kick that will leave your taste buds feeling satisfied.

Not only is the sauce simply delicious, but it uses ingredients that you may already have in your pantry or can easily find at your local grocery store. And with several variations and substitutions available, you can customize it to your liking.

So take a step outside of your comfort zone and give this recipe a try. You’re sure to impress your friends at your next BBQ get-together with this unique and tasty Japanese BBQ sauce.

Japanese BBQ Sauce

Japanese BBQ Sauce Recipe

I adapted this from another of my recipes, i really liked the taste but not the other ingredients. To use the sauce make up as per instructions, stir fry some vegetables and or meat and toss the sauce through at the end.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Japanese
Calories 57.5 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sake


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Add to a pan of stir fried veg/meat and stir until coated and sauce has thickened.



Serving: 36gCalories: 57.5kcalCarbohydrates: 9.6gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 720.2mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 5.5g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Beginner Cook, Easy, Healthy, Japanese, Low Cholesterol
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.