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Yakiniku Recipe (Japanese BBQ)

Yakiniku (Japanese Grilled Meat/BBQ)
Yakiniku (Japanese Grilled Meat/BBQ) pictures (2 of 8)

Yakiniku (焼き肉) or Japanese grilled meat/BBQ is my favorite.

I love playing with my food. When I was a child, I often engaged myself in masak-masak (literally means cook-cook in Malay language)—a childhood cottage cooking game where I would “steal” ingredients from my mother’s kitchen and then cooked them into “food” using candles and kid’s cookware. I had the whole set up: two bricks in between a candle, a mini “wok,” and a wooden stick for stirring. I was like mad playing masak-masak, it was the best childhood game ever.

Half of the fun of yakiniku is the cooking part, where you grill little pieces of meat and vegetables over gas or electric grill, or charcoals (the traditional way). Making yakiniku at home is a lot simpler than you thought. I got myself a bottle of Japanese yakiniku no tare (Japanese BBQ dipping sauce) and a grill rack. I placed the grill rack on top of my gas stove and immediately have the perfect set up for yakiniku. (Check out the gallery above to view my set up.)

Yakiniku is mostly beef, but I had chicken drumsticks. I cut the chicken meat into tiny pieces and then marinated them with some miso paste, sake, and lots of chopped scallions (the white part). This hot-off-the-grill yakiniku was just as delightful as the ones served at my favorite restaurant Manpuku, at only a fraction of the cost. Try it yourself!

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21 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. It looks really good, but really not like the yakiniku I am used to.

    Usually, the meat is very finely sliced pieces of beef (steack, tongue,…) and/or pork, not that much chicken (as you write in your notes). And veggies, as you mention, we are talking about asian food after all! They are sometimes marinated, but sometimes they leave at it is. The grill, though, is really like the one they give you.

    Sauces can range from the teriyaki one (probably a mix of soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake, although I tend to buy it as well :-) ) to ponzu and simple soy sauce.

    The problem is, not all of us are lucky enough to have a gas stove, and it does not look like it will work on vitroceramic :-(

    I use the miso marinating on pork meat I am going to freeze. Then you simply unfreeze it, cook it and it’s delicious.


    • Yes, yakinuku is mostly for beef, but I am not much a red meat eater. Actually, in my favorite yakiniku restaurant, they serve all sorts of stuff: beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetables. For the marinate, it’s either marinate with shio (salt) or tare (sauce).

  2. Mike

    Good stuff, but this is more like Yakitori than Yakiniku…but delicious none the less!

    Keep up the great blogging!

    • Yakitori is in skewers and they don’t use yakiniku sauce for dipping. This is how yakiniku is, well, at least the restaurants I have been to, except the professional set up.

  3. Hi RM,

    What I usually do with my Yakiniku Tare is putting a ratio of 1:1 mirin and shoyu. Add some crushed garlic and some gochujang *the spicy korean miso* :D

  4. UnglaViche

    Sorry to be pedantic but I believe that Yaki Niku is actually Korean. I live in Japan and the Japanese always refer to it as “Korean BBQ”. I could be wrong but I’m sure the Koreans have their own word for this style BBQ and perhaps it would be better to this recipe in the Korean section of the website. Again sorry if this is wrong!

    • ptait

      Yaki Niku (“grilled meat”) is the Japanese name for the Korean dish, Bulgogi.

      Korean food is hugely popular in Japan and the basic ingredients eg. kimchi (“kimuchi”) are available in all supermarkets.

      Many yaki niku restaurants are, unsurprisingly, owned by Koreans.
      They also own many of the pachinko parlours.

      There are nationwide and more local chains of Korean restaurants eg. Pyon Pyon Sha in Morioka, the capital of Iwate Prefecture.

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