What is Japanese BBQ called?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What is Japanese BBQ called?” and discuss the various types of Japanese BBQ.

What is Japanese BBQ called?

A Japanese BBQ is called Yakiniku. Yakiniku (or yakiniku) is a Japanese word that means “grilled meat” (Yaki=grilled, niku=meat). Grilling small, bite-sized portions of meat and vegetables over a charcoal flame is a traditional Japanese method. 

Yakiniku is a Japanese version of a BBQ! On top of a charcoal flame, juicy, bite-sized chunks of beef or pig are grilled. Binchotan charcoal is the most common type of charcoal used in traditional cooking. 

Binchotan charcoal is created from white charcoal made from the wood of the native Japanese Ubame oak tree. Binchotan charcoal burns cleanly at high temperatures and produces little odour. 

The Yakiniku grill is a circular grill that is recessed into the table’s centre. To grill the meats, use a typical charcoal grill or a flat teppan (a flat, solid, griddle-style surface). The Japanese place a premium on bringing out the natural flavour of the meat, therefore marinades and pre-seasoning are rarely used. 

What are some types of Japanese BBQ Grills?

Depending on the style of Japanese BBQ restaurant you attend, the type of grill at your table may differ significantly. Japan has developed a variety of grills for usage in a variety of scenarios and settings while grilling dishes over the years. Here are some common types of Japanese BBQ Grills-

  • Hibachi
  • Shichirin 
  • Konro
  • Irori 
  • Teppan


A hibachi is a tiny heater with a container made of porcelain or other fire-resistant materials. 

The name “hibachi” was co-opted to advertise conventional tabletop barbeque grills worldwide, although the original hibachi was largely used for heating rooms rather than cooking. 

As a result, outside of Japan, the term “hibachi” is commonly used to refer to any tiny Japanese charcoal grill or grilled Japanese cuisine in general. 

Hibachi is available in a rectangular shape made of cast iron, stainless steel, or aluminium, as well as the classic round porcelain shape. 


Binchotan charcoal is used in shichirins, which are small portable charcoal grills or stoves. The shichirin is a portable, lightweight, and compact cooking stove. 

Shichirin braziers are best suited for cooking for 2 to 3 people and can only be used for a few hours at a time due to their modest size. Traditional shichirin braziers were made of pottery, however, modern shichirin braziers could be made of a variety of materials. 

The most common fuel is charcoal. Shichirin is claimed to be created similarly today as they were during the Edo period, but both ceramic and diatomaceous earth variants were popular. The most common shapes are cylindrical, square, or rectangular, with varying sizes.


A konro is a popular type of Japanese grill with a compact form, often box-shaped, with ceramic or aluminium lining. They can be used to cook using binchotan charcoal, but in recent years, gas-fueled barbecues have grown very popular. 

Konro is often narrow in shape, allowing skewered meals to be placed atop the grill without falling in. A Konro grill is a charcoal grill with a small footprint. The Japanese construct them in such a way that heat is retained to the maximum extent possible. 

They have a flat grilling surface. This surface is typically composed of galvanised iron, which heats up quickly and allows for easy grilling. 


A traditional Japanese open hearth is known as an irori. Irori hearths were first dug into the dirt floor of buildings, but once houses were built with raised floors, the central hearth was put into the wooden floor. 

To protect the wood of the house from the burning charcoal, the irori hearth is filled with sand and ashes, and food is cooked in this sandpit or a kettle held on a hook over the irori hearth. 

Irori are hard to come by in modern Japanese houses, although you might come across one in a traditional restaurant or izakaya. 


A teppan is a type of open iron cooktop that became popular in Japan as contemporary iron fabrication became available. 

It’s used to grill meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as to produce savoury mixed pancakes with shredded cabbage, fried pork, and other toppings, such as okonomiyaki. 

Teppanyaki is a Japanese-style eating experience in which clients have a front-row seat as a chef prepares their dish on a scorching iron griddle right at their table. 

Teppanyaki is a mixture of “teppan,” which means iron plate, and “yaki,” which means grilled or pan-fried in Japanese. 

What are some of the Sauces & Seasonings provided at Japanese BBQ?

Because most of the meats in Japanese Yakiniku are not marinated, a variety of dipping sauces (Tare) and seasonings are supplied. Tare, Shio Dare, and Miso Dare are the most common sauces.

The following are some of the most popular:

  • Tare 
  • Shio Dare
  • Miso Dare
  • Shio 
  • Lemon 
  • Soy Sauce ( with Wasabi )
  • Gochujang 


Soy sauce, sugar, sake, garlic, black pepper, ginger, and other ingredients are used to make this simple sweet and tasty sauce.

 Other sauce varieties have a spicy bite, but most people prefer the sweet version. It goes well with fattier cuts like Karubi (short rib) because it cuts through the richness of the meat.

Shio Dare

Salt, sesame seeds, and sesame oil are used to make this basic salt-based sauce. Other ingredients, like lemon, might be used for a stronger flavour. Best served with leaner cuts of meat, such as rib roast!

Miso Dare

Miso Dare is a creamy, rich sauce created with thick Miso paste. Miso is made from fermented soybean paste, rice, or barley, and is made using salt, water, and koji (a fungus). Horamon (offal chops) go well with this, especially as a marinade. However, Miso Dare is prone to burning, so keep a watch on the meat! 


Simple salt, often known as rock salt, is a simple condiment that can enhance the umami flavour of your meat. 

To bring out the natural umami flavours, it works best with beef cuts with high umami content, such as brisket and chuck, but it also works with high-fat content cuts. 


After it’s been grilled, beef tongue is always served with a dash of lemon to give it a tart kick!

Soy Sauce ( with Wasabi )

Soy sauce, like salt, is a very basic condiment that enhances the flavour of meat! Wasabi provides an earthy, rooty flavour that may not be to everyone’s taste. Soy sauce goes well with any meat, however, some offal pieces may not.


Red chilli paste, often known as gochujang, is a thick, spicy-sweet sauce made from red chilli flakes, fermented soybeans, and glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice). You may use it to give a fiery flavour to any cut! 

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

What is Worcestershire sauce made of?

What is hoisin sauce made of?

What is yuzu sauce made of?

What is German BBQ?


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “What is Japanese BBQ called?” and discussed the various types of Japanese BBQ.

Hope this blog was informative. If you have any queries or questions, comment down below.