This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
It’s easy to make a delicious homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce for grilled meats, shrimp, vegetables and more.
Make a delicious Japanese BBQ Sauce at home
It seems like Japanese BBQ Sauce is all the rage these days. It’s a nicely balanced, salty-sweet, syrupy sauce often used as a dip for meats, seafood, and vegetables, to drizzle on foods as a condiment, or even used as a marinade.
After recently buying (and loving) the Bachan’s brand of Japanese BBQ Sauce from our local Costco – we used up a seventeen-ounce bottle so quickly – Jack and I decided we needed to make our own copycat version at home. I think we’ve come close!
Why you’ll love this Japanese BBQ Sauce recipe
- It’s a versatile sauce with so many different uses – dipping, drizzling, and marinating. We made this delicious Grilled Shrimp recipe with our homemade Japanese BBQ Sauce.
- The flavor is fantastic – salty and sweet with umami flavors as well. This sauce complements so many different foods – not just Asian cuisine.
- You can make it at home for a fraction of the cost of buying a bottle at the store.
What is Umami?
Umami is recognized as one of five basic tastes – along with salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Umami is the “savory” taste in foods and sometimes described as “meaty” or “broth” flavors.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Soy sauce – Start with a good quality soy sauce. (San-J Tamari is a good Japanese soy sauce with a mild flavor and a thicker texture than some Chinese soy sauce brands. This brand is also gluten-free.)
- Mirin – This is a Japanese cooking wine with a sweet rice taste and a slightly syrupy consistency. You can find it at most supermarkets in the Asian foods aisle. Or you can buy it online.
- Granulated sugar
- Toasted Sesame Oil – Another ingredient found in the Asian section of your supermarket – look specifically for the toasted (or roasted) sesame oil, as it has a more intense flavor than the non-toasted version.
- Fresh Ginger
- Tomato Paste
- Sea Salt (or coarse Kosher salt)
Special Tools Needed
- Small saucepan
- Blender or Immersion Blender
- Fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth)
How do I make Japanese BBQ Sauce?
- Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and whisk to combine.
- Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend until smooth.
- Strain to remove any solids from the sauce.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Brush on shrimp or chicken, serve as a dipping sauce, or use as a marinade.
Use a very fine mesh strainer to strain out all solids after simmering. Or, use two layers of cheesecloth over a strainer. With either option, use the back of a spoon to press the solids into the strainer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Japanese BBQ Sauce ahead of time? Yes
- How do I store leftovers? Store refrigerated (in a covered jar or bottle) for up to four weeks.
You might like these other Homemade Sauce recipes:
We love seeing what you made! Tag us on Instagram at @afamilyfeast or hashtag #afamilyfeast so we can see your creations!
Japanese BBQ Sauce
Use as a marinade or as a condiment on meat, fish, chicken, pork or vegetables.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons good quality soy sauce
3/4 cup Mirin
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated fine
4 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 each whole scallions, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Place all ingredients into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower to a medium simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Use a blender or an immersion blender and puree for one minute.
Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth, using the back of a teaspoon to press the solids into the bottom of the strainer. Discard solids.
Store refrigerated for up to four weeks.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
Leave a Comment