Homemade Yakiniku Sauce (Direct From My Korean Grandmother)

Homemade Yakiniku Sauce (Direct From My Korean Grandmother)

This is our family's secret recipe for yakiniku (grilled meat) sauce. My late first-generation Korean-Japanese grandmother used this sauce when she ran her yakiniku (barbeque) restaurant, and apparently she did very well.

Ingredients: Enough for a yakiniku (grilled meat/barbeque) party with 4 people

Usukuchi soy sauce
100 ml
1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons or to taste
Grated garlic
1 tablespoon
The juice from grated ginger
2 teaspoons
Red chili peppers (use Korean coarse or finely ground dried peppers if possible. You can use ichimi spice if you like, but it's very spicy so adjust the amount)
1 tablespoon
Cooking sake
To taste
To taste


1. Put all the ingredients in a container, and mix with chopsticks.
2. Simmer over medium heat to start, and when the surface starts to get wavy, turn down the heat to low and continue simmering and reducing. Adjust the sweetness and spiciness at this stage. When it tastes the way you like it, it's done.
3. To keep the sauce, pour it into a jar that has been sterilized with boiling water. Store in the refrigerator and it will keep for a while since it has no water in it.
4. Variation: Halve the sugar and add the equivalent amount of yuzu tea instead.
5. Here I used it with griddle cooked pork. It's also good in nikujaga (simmered meat and potatoes) and stir-fried vegetables.

Story Behind this Recipe

According to my grandmother, when she used to run her yakiniku restaurant her sauce became famous, and big food manufacturers asked her several times to sell them her recipe...I'm not sure if that story was true. Whenever I serve this sauce to my friends, they ask "Wow! Where is this sauce from?" and that makes me proud.