The 6 Best Yakiniku Sauce Substitutes (Recipe)

What Does Yakiniku Mean?

Yakiniku is Japanese BBQ: people grill beef, pork, tripe, and vegetables over an open fire. “Yaki” is Japanese for “grill”, and “niku” is Japanese for “meat”.

Unlike BBQ in the United States or other countries, Japanese style BBQ means eating grilled meat while sitting in the indoor restaurant. Sometimes people do that at home using electric grill.

What Does Yakiniku Sauce Taste Like?

The dipping sauce exclusively for yakiniku is very important item for enjoying yakiniku! Each yakiniku restaurants in Japan has their original recipe and each one has different taste, but it’s basically soy sauce based sweet-salty sauce.

Besides soy sauce, it contains sugar, mirin, garlic, onion, apple, etc. The taste is very strong and rich, but at the same time it has refreshing taste of a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Also, you can buy yakiniku sauce at stores, and it’s very useful when holding yakiniku party at home.

Good Substitutes for Yakiniku Sauce

Although you can get yakiniku sauce at Asian (Japanese) grocery stores, it’s not always possible to find it. Or, you may want to have just a little amount of the sauce to see if it’s okay taste for you.

Here, I want to introduce really easy recipe of seriously delicious yakiniku sauce. There are 6 yakiniku sauce substitutes, so please refer to the followings!
If you liked the taste, by the way, you can also use the sauce for other dishes such as stir-frying dishes.

Soy Sauce + Sugar + Sesame Oil

I think this combination is the most standard and easy to make at home. Soy sauce with some sweet seasoning are the crucial part of making delicious yakiniku sauce. And the flavor of sesame oil is amazing and increases your appetite!

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・4 tablespoons of Sugar
・1/2 teaspoon of Sesame oil

You can also add a little bit of grated ginger, and grated garlic to your liking. If you do that, please add them just a little by little while tasting. If you like spicy, add red pepper powder too. Adding a little bit of rice vinegar is also recommended if you want to make the taste more refreshing.

You can substitute white sesame for sesame oil, by the way.

Soy Sauce + Honey + Sesame Oil

In the idea #1, sugar can be changed to honey. Honey can produce the same level of sweetness even with a small amount. I mean, you can only need half amount of honey for the recipe when you substitute honey for sugar. (It depends on your taste though…)

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・2 tablespoons of Honey
・1/2 teaspoon of Sesame oil

Soy Sauce + Mirin + Sesame Oil

In the idea #1, sugar can be changed to mirin too. Although you will need about 1.5 times the amount of mirin compared to sugar, it gives the sophisticated sweetness to the dish. It’s said that amino acid contained in mirin produces umami (delicious taste) and koku (rich taste).

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・6 tablespoons of Mirin
・1/2 teaspoon of Sesame oil

Soy Sauce + Sugar + Apple Juice

Yakiniku sauce is often containing apple, and it gives gentle sweetness and fruity flavor to the sauce. To recreate the taste, the easiest way is using apple juice to your homemade yakiniku sauce!

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・4 tablespoons of Sugar
・2 tablespoons of Apple juice

Probably you should mix soy sauce with apple juice at a ratio of 3 to 1.

Soy Sauce + Sugar + Sesame Oil + Garlic

As I mentioned in the idea #1, grated garlic and ginger is always recommended to add the yakiniku sauce. The smell of garlic definitely increases your appetite, and make the sauce even more delicious.
Ginger is also great match with garlic, so add it to your liking.

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・4 tablespoons of Sugar
・1/2 teaspoon of Sesame oil
・1 clove of Grated garlic

Soy Sauce + Sugar + Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is containing soy sauce, sugar, vegetable paste, and fruit paste, which is very similar part to yakiniku sauce. The great thing about Japanese Worcestershire sauce is that it’s sweetness, saltiness, and sourness are well-balanced.

By adding this sauce, your yakiniku sauce will have more wonderful flavor with umami of vegetables and fruits.

Since Worcestershire sauce has a strong taste, be careful not adding too much of it.

Ingredients
・0.4 cup (100 ml) of Soy sauce
・4 tablespoons of Sugar
・1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce



How was 6 ways to make delicious yakiniku sauce at home?

You can adjust the amount of each seasonings to your liking actually. And, please feel free to add your favorite spice or red peppers.

Enjoy your YAKINIKU night with special sauce!!

Postscript – Another Great Recipe

I made this extremely delicious yakiniku sauce the other day. So, let me share this amazing recipe with you.

You can definitely recreate the taste of Japanese yakiniku restaurant!

By using coca-cola, it will be possible to make it easily and quickly.

Best Homemade Yakiniku Sauce Recipe with Coca-Cola

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