What’s the difference between Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the difference between Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ and also will give limelight to what Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ are.

What’s the difference between Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ?

Japanese BBQ and Korean BBQ are two distinct methods of preparing meat and veggies. Both of them, though, have a lot in common. Both Japanese and Korean BBQ are historically prepared with a variety of fuels, including charcoal, gas, and electricity. 

The following are some of the distinctions between Japanese and Korean BBQ: 

  • Subcategories
  • Serving style
  • Side dishes
  • Condiments
  • Types of meat
  • Manner of eating


Galbi and Bulgogi are the two main types of Korean BBQ. Galbi is made entirely of beef short ribs, whereas Bulgogi is made entirely of beef tenderloin or sirloin. The meat is chopped into small pieces and marinated before grilling. 

Bulgogi is the most popular Korean barbecue dish in the West. There are two primary subcategories of Japanese BBQ: Teppanyaki and Yakiniku. 

Yakiniku is thought to have originated in Korea, as there is Yakiniku specifically tailored to appeal to Japanese diners. Teppanyaki is simply grilled food served on an iron plate. 

Serving style

Although Korean BBQ involves cooking meat at the table, there are still a few preparations to follow before eating. The meat is traditionally wrapped in lettuce with a few toppings, such as spicy paste and kimchi, and served as a sandwich wrap. 

Japanese Yakiniku, on the other hand, is served in a much more straightforward manner. The meat is handled with chopsticks once it is cooked and ready and then dipped into a sauce for added flavour. 

Side dishes

When compared to Japanese BBQ, Korean BBQ is known for being served with a variety of side dishes. Korean BBQ is frequently served with a variety of unique side dishes known as banchan. 

Kimchi, dried squid, fishcakes, pickled radishes, and potato salad are all common banchan. (If you order Korean BBQ at a restaurant, the banchan should be served alongside it.) 

The banchan should not be confused with appetisers because they are little side dishes served as a dinner complement). In contrast, Japanese BBQ is frequently accompanied by a selection of raw veggies that are served alongside the grilled meat. 


The way the meat is seasoned is another significant distinction between Japanese and Korean BBQ. Korean BBQ uses marinades to flavour the meat, whereas Japanese BBQ is left plain and focuses on the sauce. Garlic, mirin, and soy sauce are among the components used in Japanese BBQ dipping sauces. 

Types of meat

Although beef is the most common meat used in both styles of BBQ, pig and chicken play an important role in Korean BBQ. 

When it comes to Japanese BBQ, however, beef is the most common item, with chicken being used on occasion. In Japan, grilled chicken is known as Yakitori and is typically served on skewers.

Manner of eating 

Most Korean BBQ meats are wrapped in lettuce leaves and eaten like a burrito with kimchi, garlic, and chilli paste. Although this eating style is a little sloppy, it is nonetheless regarded as part of the real Korean BBQ experience. 

However, in a yakiniku, grilled meats are dipped in various dipping sauces before being eaten with chopsticks. This is the tidier way to eat barbecue!

What is Korean BBQ?

The experience of cooking marinated meat over a hot grill in the centre of the table is known as Korean barbecue. Korean barbecue (abbreviated as KBBQ or Korean BBQ) is a way of cooking marinated meat slices. 

Before grilling the meat, marinade it in a range of seasonings such as soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, gochujang, and others. A gas or charcoal grill may be integrated straight onto the table at Korean BBQ restaurants. 

The experience of creating barbeque right at your table can be just as essential as the flavour of the dish in Korean cuisine. Kimchi, vegetables, rice, pajeori (green onion salad), and other Korean side dishes, or banchan, may be served alongside Korean BBQ. 

They are displayed in tiny bowls in the table’s centre. Korean chefs may offer banchan as a form of appetiser, then refresh it throughout the meal so that visitors can enjoy it with the main course, which is the Korean-style BBQ. 

What is Japanese BBQ?

Yakiniku (Japanese Barbecue) refers to thinly sliced, bite-sized pork morsels cooked at each table by guests. Yakiniku has a long and illustrious history as well as a rich cultural background. 

During the Korean War, Korean migrant labourers are credited with introducing barbecue to the Japanese. Because of its enormous popularity, Japan now has over 20,000 yakiniku restaurants. 

After World War II, yakiniku (grilled meat) culture is reported to have thrived. On the origins of Yakiniku, there is a widely recognised hypothesis. It claims that “horumon-yaki” (grilled beef or pork offal) is the origin of yakiniku and that it was introduced to Japan by Koreans. 

Yakiniku restaurants serve a variety of meats, including hog, chicken, and lamb, as well as Vienna sausage, fish, shellfish, and vegetables. They also provide a lot of side dishes including Korean-style rice and noodles. In Japan, grilled lamb meals (Mongolian mutton barbecue) are referred to as “Genghis Khan.” 

Can you exchange these 2 BBQs?

Korean BBQ relies heavily on marinades and requires the use of only the finest cuts of meat. It won’t fool anyone into thinking it’s Japanese barbecue, and it won’t please anyone looking for the clean flavours and beefy intensity that Japanese BBQ is known for.

The focus of Japanese BBQ is on the flavour of the beef. The Japanese take their meat very seriously, as evidenced by the several types of Japanese BBQ. 

This means that marinades are rarely employed, and the usual side dishes may be uninteresting. If you’re looking for a meal with a variety of flavours, Japanese BBQ might not be the greatest option. 

All of this is to say that they both feature grilled beef and Asian spices. If you aren’t familiar enough with either to make a judgement, both can be pleasurable. 

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

What is Japanese BBQ called?

What is Bachan’s good on?

What does Bachan’s Japanese BBQ sauce taste like?

What can I substitute for fish sauce?


In this brief guide, we discussed the difference between Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ and also gave some limelight to what Korean BBQ and Japanese BBQ are. 

Hope you found this blog informational. Comment down your thoughts.