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Umami Yakitori Glaze

Japanese-style glaze for barbecued and grilled meats and vegetables boasting umami flavor! Video instruction below

Meathead Goldwyn, BBQ God and author of The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, has a recipe for a Japanese-style Yakitori sauce that is UNREAL. It works out to be a magical mixture, amazing on pork, chicken, and fried rice. We adjusted the recipe to our pallet, reducing the sesame oil and increasing the sweetness but keeping to the bones of the ingredients.

Though it doesn’t appear to be a traditional yakitori sauce, the white wine was a great substitute if you’re having a hard time finding Sake. All in all, the recipe was easy enough to cook with our son and left the house smelling incredible. Also, this is not traditional - we know.


Makes about 1/3 cup. Good for 2 racks of ribs.

1/4 cup soy sauce (Tamari gluten-free but use what you have)

1/4 cup Sake (or dry white wine. We used Pinot Grigio cause that’s all we had).

1/4 cup orange juice

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tablespoons ginger

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water


  1. In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the cornstarch. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken.

  2. In a small cup, combine cornstarch with cold water. Pour mixture into the saucepan and continue to simmer for 15 minutes until well thickened. It should look like motor oil.

  3. Let the mixture cool. Grab a mason jar, funnel, and sieve. Strain the mixture through the sieve into the mason jar.


Glaze ribs, which we will do next week. Brush over grilled chicken in the last 5 minutes. Dress fried rice or toss with roasted vegetables.

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