Top 24 Best Japanese Yakiniku Sauces to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

At mybest, we gathered a group of culinary experts and taste-tested 24 yakiniku sauces to find the best ones out there. We graded them on not entirely based on their flavor, but how well they paired with different yakiniku meats: chicken, pork, and beef. We also considered their level of spice and thickness.

Since the base of the sauce is what makes the flavor of the whole dish, we’ve separated our ranking into three categories: soy sauce-based yakiniku sauces, salt-based yakiniku sauces, and miso-based yakiniku sauces.

Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 24 Japanese yakiniku sauces available online.

※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.

Table of Contents

Top 15 Soy Sauce-based Japanese Yakiniku Sauces to Buy Online

Here are our top picks for yakiniku sauces made with a savory soy sauce base.

1. Morita Azabu-juban Sankouen Yakiniku Sauce

1. Narita Azabu-juban Sankouen Yakiniku Sauce (8.6 oz, 2 bottles)

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Price: $3.36

The Best Sauce for All the Meats

It’s rare to find a bottled sauce that is bursting with so much flavor and goes with whatever meat you’re grilling. This sauce has fruity and tart undertones thanks to the added lemon, and that’s mixed with a distinct garlic taste and a little spicy kick.

All three of our experts agreed that this sauce goes with chicken, pork, and beef. They also added that it has a refreshing aftertaste.

Japanese 盛田 麻布十番三幸園 焼肉のたれ Suits pork A
Spice level Medium Suits beef A
Suits chicken A Overall grade A+

2. Daisho Secret Yakiniku Sauce

2. Daisho Secret Yakiniku Sauce

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Price: $3.89

The Best Yakiniku Sauce with Sesame Hints

The powerful flavors of garlic and sesame battle in this Daisho sauce, and sesame comes out the victor (in a good way, of course). It also contains just enough chili pepper to give your taste buds a little spike.

We think this sauce is best paired with pork, giving it a taste akin to a ginger and pork saute. It also pairs nicely with beef, but we wish it had suited chicken just a little bit more.

Japanese ダイショー 秘伝 焼肉のたれ Suits pork A
Spice level Spicy Suits beef A
Suits chicken B Overall grade A

3. Nihon Kenkyu Bansankan Yakiniku Sauce, Roasted Garlic

3. Nihon Kenkyu Bansankan Yakiniku Sauce, Roasted Garlic

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Price: $4.33

The Perfect Balance of Garlic and Ginger

We loved the balance of two strong ingredients that Bansankan mixed together in this yakiniku sauce. The sauce suited all kinds of meat fairly well, but the ginger flavor paired particularly well with chicken and brought out its savoriness. Our experts also said it would likely go well with grilled vegetables.

Japanese 日本食研 晩餐館 焼肉のたれ 焙煎にんにく Suits pork B
Spice level Mild Suits beef B
Suits chicken A Overall grade B

4. KNK Kamikita Agricultural Processing Stamina Source Sauce in Gold

4. KNK Kamikita Agricultural Processing Stamina Source Sauce in Gold

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Price: $8.56

A Gingery Sauce Great for Chicken

The spice in this yakiniku sauce mainly comes from its dominating ginger flavor. While this goes great with chicken, experts agreed that it drowned out the taste of beef and pork a bit too much. If you’re looking for a great chicken pairing, this is a promising candidate.

Japanese 上北農産加工農業協同組合 スタミナ源たれゴールド Suits pork B
Spice level Medium Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B

5. Ebara Yakiniku Sauce Golden Taste (Ohgon-no-Aji), Medium Spice

5. Ebara Yakiniku Sauce Golden Taste (Ohgon-no-Aji), Medium Spice

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Price: $17.43

An Excellent Blend of Three Flavors

When experts tried this Ebara yakiniku sauce, they were pleased by how spice, sweetness, and a distinct garlic flavor blended together. The aftertaste is sweet, so we think it’s best paired with a lighter meat like chicken.

Japanese エバラ食品工業 黄金の味 Suits pork B
Spice level Medium Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B

6. Kikkoman Yakiniku-ya’s Medium Hot

6. Kikkoman Yakiniku-ya's Medium Hot

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Price: $20.26

Best Yakiniku Sauce for Kids

Kikkoman’s Medium Hot has a nice balance of sweet and salty flavor with just a hint of garlic, making it great for your child’s sensitive pallet. The sauce itself felt light on the tongue, so we think it can go well with any meat.

Japanese キッコーマン 焼肉屋さん 中辛 Suits pork B
Spice level Medium Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B

7. Jojoen Yakiniku Sauce Special Made

7. Jojoen Yakiniku Sauce Special Made

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Price: $14.14

A Mild and Versatile Yakiniku Sauce

What we liked about Jojoen’s Special Made sauce is that it didn’t have a biting spice or an overpowering smell of garlic; it has a gentle and versatile taste that went well with all of the meats we sampled.

Japanese 叙々苑 焼肉のたれ 特製 Suits pork B
Spice level Mild Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B

8. Somi Shokuhin Yakiniku Sauce

8. Soumi Shokuhin Yakiniku Sauce

Price: $3.34

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The Best Yakiniku Sauce for Garlic Lovers

Out of all the sauces we sampled, this is the one that gave us the feeling of, “Garlic!” with a raw, grated garlic punch. If you’re a garlic lover, this is definitely the yakiniku sauce for you. It also has a pronounced sesame flavor to add to the mix, so we think it’s better paired with richer meats like pork and beef.

Japanese 創味食品 焼肉のたれ Suits pork B
Spice level Medium Suits beef B
Suits chicken C Overall grade B

9. Nippon Shokken Yakiniku Sauce, Kyouden

9. Nippon Shokken Yakiniku Sauce, Kyouden

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Price: $2.18

A Great Yakiniku Sauce for Beef

While we didn’t find this Nippon Shokken sauce to be too spicy, we did find that its salt content dominated the flavor. It’s also a bit on the thicker side of sauces we tried in our tests, so we think this would be a great pairing for a rich and fatty meat like beef.

Japanese 日本食研 焼肉のたれ 宮殿 Suits pork C
Spice level Medium Suits beef A
Suits chicken C Overall grade C

10. Gyu-Kaku Charcoal-Grill Soy Sauce Yakiniku Sauce (7.1 oz, 3 Count)

10. Gyu-Kaku Charcoal-Grill Soy Sauce Yakiniku Sauce (6.8 oz, 3 Count)

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Price: $9.80

A Smoky Sauce Great for Chicken

Gyu-Kaku’s charcoal-grill sauce gave us that exact impression – that we were seasoning our chicken with a smoky flavor. It was almost like we were eating yakitori-style chicken! You can pair this with other meats if you’d like, but we think pairing it with poultry will give you the best results.

Japanese フードレーベル 牛角 香り味わい焼肉のたれ 炭火焼風醤油 Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef C
Suits chicken A Overall grade C

11. Kikkoman Steak Sauce, Garlic Flavor

11. Kikkoman Steak Soy Sauce, Garlic Flavor

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Price: $16.27

A Great Sauce with a Garlic Taste

Kikkoman’s garlic steak sauce has a hint of spice in its aftertaste, giving the meat you pair it with an interesting flavor. We think it’s good with chicken, but we found the flavors of soy sauce and garlic too strong to be able to savor the flavor of richer meats.

Japanese キッコーマン ステーキしょうゆ にんにく風味 Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef C
Suits chicken B Overall grade C

12. Tomura Yakiniku Sauce

12. Tomura Yakiniku Sauce

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Price: $5.05

A Yakiniku Sauce with a Strong Flavor

The unanimous first impression of this sauce by all three expert taste testers was, “Wow, this is a strong flavor!” It’s not the garlic that makes it strong, but the base sauce itself. In fact, it drew away from the flavor of the meat. If you still want to try this one out, we’d recommend trying it with a rich meat like beef.

Japanese 戸村フーズ戸村の焼肉のたれ Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef B
Suits chicken C Overall grade C

13. Yakiniku Toraji Yakiniku Sauce

13. Yakiniku Toraji Yakiniku Sauce

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Price: $19.34

Too Thin to be a Great Yakiniku Sauce

When you look for yakiniku sauce, you want it to have at least a bit of thickness. We didn’t get any of that with Toraji’s sauce to the point where it didn’t taste like a yakiniku sauce at all. Because of this, it didn’t pair particularly well with any of the meats we tried.

Japanese フードレーベル 焼肉トラジ 焼肉のたれ Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef B
Suits chicken C Overall grade C

14. Kikkoman Steak Sauce, Japanese-style Grated Radish

14. Kikkoman Steak Soy Sauce, Japanese-style Grated Radish

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Price: $25.24

Not Enough Punch for a Good Yakiniku Sauce

Our expert tasters liked the refreshing flavor of this steak sauce, but they also commented that it didn’t have enough of the spicy kick typical of yakiniku sauces to be considered a good one. If this is the sauce you’ve chosen, we recommend meats richer in fat like pork and beef over lean-tasting chicken.

Japanese キッコーマンステーキ和風おろし Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef B
Suits chicken D Overall grade C

15. Kikkoman Steak Sauce, Onion Flavor

15. Kikkoman Steak Sauce, Onion Flavor

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Price: $18.78

More of a Steak Sauce than a Yakiniku Sauce

This Kikkoman sauce has a distinct onion flavor that pairs well with chicken, but we think it’s more of a steak sauce (as its advertised) than a good yakiniku sauce. Out of all of the soy sauce-based sauces we tried, we would be most likely to pass on this one.

Japanese キッコーマンステーキたまねぎ Suits pork C
Spice level Mild Suits beef D
Suits chicken B Overall grade C

Top 5 Salt-based Japanese Yakiniku Sauces to Buy Online

Here are our top picks for yakiniku sauces made with a salt base.

1. KNK Kamikita Agricultural Processing Stamina Source Sauce, Salt-Grilled

1. KNK Kamikita Agricultural Processing Stamina Source Sauce, Salt-Grilled

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Price: $8.28

The Perfect Salt-Based Yakiniku Sauce

Though this yakiniku sauce may look light and refreshing at first glance, it’s actually packed with flavors like garlic, salt, and black sesame that are balanced in a way that perfectly suits any yakiniku meat. The black sesame in particular pairs excellently with pork and chicken.

Japanese 上北農産加工農業協同組合スタミナ源塩焼きのたれ Suits beef A
Suits chicken A Overall grade A+
Suits pork A

2. Gyu-Kaku Tasty Salt Sauce

2. Gyu-Kaku Tasty Salt Sauce

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Price: $1.92

A Salt-based Sauce with a Perfect Punch of Garlic

We loved how the garlic and salt balance in this sauce brought out the richness of meat, and it even had a touch of spice as well. Our flavor experts thought it went best with chicken and beef, though it went pretty well with pork as well. If garlic is your thing, this sauce could be your next thing, too.

Japanese フードレーベル 牛角 旨塩だれ Suits beef A
Suits chicken A Overall grade A
Suits pork B

3. Kikkoman Yakiniku-ya Salt Sauce (6.9 oz, 3 Count)

3. Kikkoman Yakiniku-ya Salt Sauce (6.6 oz, 3 Count)

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Price: $29.90

A Great and Gingery Yakiniku Sauce

This Kikkoman sauce did a great job at bringing the power of ginger to the forefront of our yakiniku experience. It also had a subtle, sour flavor that we enjoyed during our taste test. Along with chicken and pork, we think this would be a perfect pairing for beef tongue.

Japanese キッコーマン焼肉屋さん塩だれ Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B
Suits pork B

4. Jokyu Soy Sauce Shop Salt Sauce

4. Jokyu Soy Sauce Shop Salt Sauce

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Price: $6.77

A Sauce that Goes a Little Heavy on the Salt

Though we agree that a salt-based sauce should be at least a little salty, it starts to lose its reputation when its sodium content takes away from the flavor of the meat it’s seasoning. That was unfortunately the case with this Jokyu sauce.

Japanese ジョーキュウ 醤油屋の塩だれ Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B
Suits pork B

5. Somi Shokuhin Salt Sauce

5. Somi Shokuhin Salt Sauce

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Price: $2.85

A Sauce that Dominates the Tastebuds

The flavors of sesame and salt dominate this yakiniku sauce to the point where it takes away the flavor of whatever meat you’re aiming to season. If you choose to try this sauce and find it too salty, you can apparently counteract it by adding lemon juice.

Japanese 創味食品 塩たれ Suits beef B
Suits chicken C Overall grade C
Suits pork C

Top 4 Miso-based Japanese Yakiniku Sauces to Buy Online

Here are our top picks for yakiniku sauces made a miso base packed with umami.

1. Fuki Food Yakiniku Sauce

1. Fuki Food Yakiniku Sauce

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Price: $5.56

The Best Yakiniku Sauce at Enhancing Flavor

We loved everything about this yakiniku sauce from its premium miso taste to its potent garlic flavor. This sauce is more on the mild side than on the spicy side, and we think it not only pairs well with any yakiniku meat – it enhances their flavor as well.

Experts also said the richness of the sauce would best suit chicken but also be good with a dish like tonkatsu (pork cutlets).

Japanese 冨貴食研 焼肉のたれ Suits beef A
Suits chicken A Overall grade A+
Suits pork A

2. Tomura Yakiniku Sauce, Miso

2. Tomura Yakiniku Sauce, Miso

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Price: $4.94

The Perfect Blend of Miso and Ginger

Our experts thought the balance of miso and ginger in this sauce were to die for. Despite having two strong flavors, the aftertaste of this Tomura sauce is actually quite refreshing. It’s the ginger that takes away some of that “meat smell” that may concern some people and makes it taste great with any meat and rice!

Japanese フードショップ戸村
戸村焼肉のたれ みそ
Suits beef B
Suits chicken A Overall grade A
Suits pork A

3. Ebara Yakiniku Sauce, Miso Soy Sauce Flavor(10.4 oz, 3 Count)

3. Ebara Yakiniku Sauce, Miso Soy Sauce Flavor(10.4 oz, 3 Count)

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Price: $32.37

A Deliciously Sweet Miso-based Yakiniku Sauce

Ebara’s miso-based yakiniku sauce has hardly any spice to it. Rather, it has a sweetness that accents its sesame seasoning quite well. Our testers said the flavor was a little too strong to go with pork, but it went great with chicken and beef.

Japanese エバラ食品工業焼肉のたれ 味噌醤油味 Suits beef A
Suits chicken A Overall grade A
Suits pork B

4. Kikkoman Yakiniku Sauce, Miso

4. Kikkoman Yakiniku Sauce, Miso

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Price: $41.97

A Scrumptious Harmony of Garlic and Miso

The last Kikkoman sauce on our ranking is a good one: the yakiniku miso sauce. It blends garlic and miso together in a way that draws out the richness of chicken, pork, or beef. Our experts said that the spicy aftertaste makes this sauce go best with beef, and it would probably taste great in a meat and vegetable stir fry as well.

Japanese キッコーマン 焼肉みそだれ Suits beef B
Suits chicken B Overall grade B
Suits pork B

Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge

This time around, we borrowed the knowledge of three certified experts, who have earned the title of both vegetable sommelier and and seasoning sommelier. They’re all active in their field, teaching, penning columns, and making media appearances.

Megumi Yoshiya, Etsuko Makino, Yoko Tsujii〉
Vegetable Sommeliers, Seasoning Sommeliers

Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge

{Left: Megumi Yoshida}
She’s a food expert that’s a certified vegetable sommelier pro and seasoning sommelier. She wears many hats, crafting and publishing family-oriented recipes, writing columns, teaching at a cultural center, running the Aomori Vegetable Marché, and making radio appearances.

{Middle: Etsuko Makino}
She uses her knowledge as a vegetable sommelier pro and seasoning sommelier to develop new recipes and products, introducing the charm and flavor of fruits and vegetables to all generations. She’s very active, making appearances on on NHK Radio’s “Saitamazu” and Television Saitama’s “Machikomi.”

{Right: Yoko Tsujii}
She’s a cooking professional that holds many certifications, including that of vegetable sommelier and seasoning sommelier. She works to share the joy that comes through food and cooking with children, who are our future. She conducts short courses for elementary schoolers and above.

How We Tested Our Products

We put the 24 yakiniku sauces to three tests, each designed to gauge a different flavor pairing. We tried each sauce with chicken, with pork, and then with beef to see how well each sauce suited the most common yakiniku meats.

Test ① Chicken

Test ① Chicken

The first meat we tried our yakiniku sauces with was chicken. We threw some poultry on our grill with some oil and dipped it in some of the sauce when it was nice and cooked. We then graded it on a scale of D to A+. It was interesting to see which sauces were too overpowering for the light flavor of chicken and which were more akin to a yakitori chicken experience.

Test ② Pork

Test ② Pork

We tested pork in a similar way, trying the grilled pieces of meat with each of the 24 sauces. We graded it on a scale of D to A+ and noticed how certain seasonings like sesame went particularly well with pork.

Test ③ Beef

Test ③ Beef

We tested beef last because of its rich flavor. Again, we graded the flavor pairings on a scale of D to A+. Our experts noted that it takes a strong flavor like garlic to mellow out the equally strong flavor of beef.

Tips on How to Choose a Yakiniku Sauce – Buying Guide

Here are two big things to look out for.

① Choose a Sauce by its Base Flavor

In this ranking, we’ve rated yakiniku sauces with soy, salt, and miso bases.

The Versatile Soy Sauce Base

The Versatile Soy Sauce Base

Out of the three types of sauces we tried, we found sauces with a soy base were able to be paired with different kinds of meat the best. Most soy sauce based yakiniku sauces often include strong and sweet ingredients like garlic, ginger, green onion, lemon, and sometimes even apples and pears.

Soy sauce-based yakiniku sauces are best at bringing out the flavor of beef as it has a rich smell and taste. This is the kind of sauce you’re most likely to find in restaurants or households.

Miso-based Sauces are Great for Innards

Miso Base Sauces are Great for Innards

If you’ve had yakiniku, then you know it’s not just the short ribs or tender belly meat that’s consumed; it’s the whole animal. That includes parts like hearts, livers, and intestines. If you find yourself facing a plate of innards, then a miso-based sauce will take it from good to delicious.

Miso-based sauces, like soy-based sauces, are often accented with potent flavors like grated garlic and chopped green onion. It can add a distinctly Japanese element to your yakiniku experience.

Got Meat and Vegetables? Pick a Salt Base

Got Meat and Vegetables? Pick a Salt Base

A typical salt-based yakiniku sauce is refreshing and flavored with garlic or lemon. It’s great with veggies as well as meat, and you can amp up the flavor by adding some sesame oil. Salt-based sauces are becoming more popular with home cooking due to their compatibility with chicken and innards.

② Pay Attention to Spice

② Pay Attention to Spice

Yakiniku sauces usually come in three levels of spice: mild/sweet, medium, or spicy. Mild sauces often contain sweet ingredients like apple and honey that children tend to enjoy. Sauces with a medium spice are often enhanced with garlic. Spicy sauces contain a red chili paste that amps up the heat.

Obviously, you’re the one that knows your flavor preferences the best. However, if you are having yakiniku with a large amount of people, we would recommend using a mild sauce. Why? Because you can season it however you want; it’s easier to add spice than to take it away. You can also make it taste more refreshing with a dash of lemon or lime juice.

Recommended Links

Looking for other Japanese delicacies? Our culinary experts have reviewed some other Japanese foods so you know you’re getting the best.

Summary

We rounded up culinary experts, purchased the 24 most popular Japanese yakiniku sauces, and tested them all.

We learned that your yakiniku experience is defined by the base of the sauce and the type of meat you’re going to eat. Soy-based sauces are fairly versatile with all types of meat, but miso and salt are delicious with pork and chicken, respectively. A good sauce should also have a bit of spice and a little thickness so it doesn’t feel like a salad dressing. Pay attention to these factors when considering your yakiniku sauce choices and have an incredible dining experience.

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    Yamanashi has been pushing its way into the forefront of the wine world in recent years, taking multiple medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Its alcohol has begun appearing as selections on lists of fine wines at international establishments. It’s contributed to the current surge in Japanese wine tourism. The wine industry in Japan is still continuing to grow and develop, and we thought it was high time for an updated list of the best Yamanashi wines available to consumers now. So we pulled up a list of famous Yamanashi wineries, including the award-winning L’orient Winery and Grace Wine, and ordered their 19 most popular wines from Japan’s e-commerce giants. We also consulted certified wine experts and sommeliers and hosted a wine tasting. We tested for the following point(s): 1. Deliciousness This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Yamanashi wine. We’ve got a good line-up, ranging from reasonable selections you can enjoy after every evening meal and more expensive

  • Top 7 Best Natural Bones for Dogs to Buy 2018
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