Beef Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ)

I am a very busy during the weekdays. By the time I get home from work, I am very exhausted already. So I try to put together meals that do not require a lot of time to prepare.

Grilling for me is a quick fix. Not too much fuzz.  For this dish,  I did my prep the night before (to give it more flavor).

Yakiniku means grilled meat Japanese. Is the Japanese version of Korean BBQ.  Yaki or “grill” in Japanese is a very popular way of preparing food in Japan.

I am very fond of Japanese food and for me, the cheapest way to have it is by fixing it myself.   


1 lb. thinly sliced beef ( use sirloin or rib eye )


½ medium apple, grated

1 clove garlic – minced

2.5 tbs soy sauce

1.5 tbs raw sugar (I used Organic Sucanat)

1 tbs sake (substitute – sherry wine)

1 tbs sesame oil

2 tsps sesame seeds, slightly ground


  1. Put sake and sugar in a small bowl. Put in microwave for 15 seconds and mix to dissolve sugar.  Let the mixture cool down.
  2. Mix the grated apple, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ground sesame seeds to the sake and sugar mixture.
  3. Marinate beef in mixture for at least 15 mins.  The beef slices are thin enough to marinate quick.
  4. In a hot grill or teflon pan heated to medium high heat, sear the beef.
  5. Cook the beef for 1 minute per side or until brown.
  6. Arrange beef on top of a bowl steamed rice in or put in in lettuce leaves to make a wrap.
  7. Decorate with slices of spring onions and additional toasted sesame seeds.
Choose beef that has good marbling. The little bit of fat keeps the beef moist when grilling.

Partially freeze the meat first so that it is easier to slice.

Using a very sharp knife is essential.  You can also use a bread knife in slicing the beef.

The longer you marinate the beef, the better the flavors mix resulting to a tastier dish. It is better to marinate the beef the night before.

When using a pan to cook the beef
  • Do not crowd the beef.  Crowding will result to a watery pan and you will not get a good browning.
  • Do not turn the heat to “High”.  It will burn the sugar in the beef and will leave a bitter taste on the beef.

2 thoughts on “Beef Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ)

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