How does Japanese BBQ work?

In this guide, we will be looking at “How does Japanese BBQ work?” and giving you a brief idea about the experience of Japanese BBQ. 

How does Japanese BBQ work?

Japan has a thriving barbeque culture. Yakiniku is the Japanese word for grilled beef of all kinds. This culinary tradition is still relatively new in Japan, yet it is closely entwined with the country’s religion and politics. 

Yakiniku translates to “grilled beef” from the Japanese terms yaki and niku. You might call this essentially Japanese barbeque, but it’s much more than that. 

Popular meat parts, such as beef tongue, poultry, chucks, ribs, and offal, can be found at any yakiniku establishment. Fresh fish and shrimp are also grilled and served with a wonderful dipping sauce. 

Yakiniku: A Taste of World-Class Japanese Barbecue

In the Meiji era, the Koreans are said to have introduced the method of grilling meat to Japan. Since then, the Japanese have embraced this cooking technique and transformed it into something uniquely Japanese. They’ve added Japanese tastes that naturally occur in locally sourced beef, as well as unique dipping sauces that differ by location.

Take advantage of every opportunity to eat out with your buddies in Japan! Foreigners are welcome in yakiniku restaurants, and even tourists may handle them on their own. To be fair, most foreigners may find the idea of having to make your meal in a restaurant unusual. So, if you’re going to a yakiniku restaurant, here is how Japanese BBQ works:

  • Choosing your meat
  • Cooking your meat
  • Eating yakiniku

Choosing your meat

In Japan, most yakiniku restaurants serve chicken and pork select cuts. However, most people identify yakiniku with Japanese meat. Wagyu is the Japanese word for beef. Wagy () means “Japanese cow.” 

Nonetheless, the term’s widespread use has given it a colloquial character, and it is now routinely used to refer to the flesh itself. The beef served in yakiniku restaurants is thinly sliced and served in bite-sized pieces. 

It cooks faster and is easier to eat as a result of this. There are many different types of meat to pick from, but karubi or short ribs are the most popular. This meat has a lot of marbling, which refers to the fat streaks that run through the lean areas of the meat. 

For BBQ, most yakiniku restaurants provide two serving options. You might opt for a 90-minute BBQ buffet with all-you-can-eat options. 

In Japanese, this is known as tabehoudai (). You can also order by the plate, in which case you select the type and quantity of meat to be cooked. Either way, you’ll be completely satisfied! 

Cooking the meat

You’re in for an exciting supper if you find yourself in a restaurant where you’d grill the meat yourself. In the beginning, a waiter will attend your group. They’ll take your orders before turning on the grill, which could be a mesh grill or an iron griddle.

The grill should be ready to use by the time they return with your raw meat selections. To avoid your meat clumping together, make sure your grill is heated to the proper temperature before cooking. 

When you first start cooking, your mesh grill may catch fire, but don’t be alarmed! That’s just the fats and liquids igniting. Simply move your meats apart to keep them from sitting over the heat for too long.

Another piece of advice is to cook the meat in the correct order. It’s best to start with cuts that don’t have much in the way of marinade or sauce. 

You don’t want the juices from other portions to taint the flavour of the rest of your selected cuts! One typical method is to cook beef tongue, horumon, skirt meat, and short ribs in that sequence. When in doubt, get guidance from your local friends!

Finally, limit your cooking to a single piece of meat per person at your table. Try to resist the impulse to cook all of the raw meat on your dish at the same time! There’s no need to rush. Begin softly, cherish the moment, and take pleasure in your company.

Eating yakiniku 

Finally, it’s time to eat! You’ve grilled your preferred cuts and are now ready to enjoy the tastes of your freshly prepared barbecue. With a semi-thick sauce, you can amp up the flavour even more! Soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic are combined in this recipe. Every restaurant, of course, has its secret recipe!

It’s also worth noting that various sauces complement particular slices better than others. Fatty slices of meat, for example, taste fantastic when served with sweet sauces! 

Salt-based sauces, on the other hand, bring out the distinctive textures and flavours of offal cuts. Experiment with the sauces to get the perfect flavour for your taste buds!

The traditional manner of eating yakiniku is to consume it with a dipping sauce. However, since the Koreans introduced barbecuing to Japan, you can anticipate a variety of side dishes to accompany your grilled meat! 

Most places will give you Korean lettuce to wrap your BBQ in before you eat it. Other popular side dishes, such as kimchi and spinach salad, are also available at some places. 

One of the finest ways to immerse oneself in Japanese culture is to eat at one of these restaurants. Discovering a country’s culture through its cuisine is the ideal way to do so. 

Whether you’re travelling alone or with companions, don’t miss out on the chance to sample some of the world’s best BBQ!

When you visit Japan, look forward to cooking this outstanding beef. After all, some argue that the greatest way to bring out the flavour of the meat is to grill it. In yakiniku restaurants, you can taste the difference for yourself!

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Does marinara sauce go on spaghetti?

Does marinara sauce have meat in it?

Does pasta sauce go bad?

Does Prego sauce have sugar?


In this guide, we discussed “How does Japanese BBQ work?” and gave you a brief idea about the experience of Japanese BBQ. 

If you have any queries or questions, comment below.