Beef Yakitori is a fun and delicious Japanese take on beef kebabs marinated in soy, sake and mirin tare. A bold, umami flavor the whole family will devour – and kids love any food served on a stick!
Table of contents
What is Yakitori?
Yakitori literally means grilled meats in Japanese.
Yakitori bars (or kushiyaki; they mean the same thing so either one is fine to use) are extremely popular drinking and eating establishments all throughout Japan where different parts of a chicken, pork and beef are used. You can order skewers of cartilage, gizzards, liver, neck, tail, intestines, tongue and heart. You can also order more common cuts like breast, wing or ground chicken (called tsukune).
Each skewer is dipped in a sweet soy sauce or sprinkled with salt before resting on a grill over charcoal until cooked to absolute perfection.
Beef Yakitori Ingredients
- Beef sirloin: For this recipe, the pieces of beef sirloin is our main source of protein. Pairing it with nutritious vegetables and then dipping them in a mouth-watering marinade is nothing short of delicious.
- Button mushrooms: The button mushroom might also be called the white mushroom or the table mushroom—one of my favorite ingredients. They are earthy, savory, and an excellent source of Vitamin D!
- Green bell pepper: Green bell peppers are a great source of Vitamin C. They add flavor and bright colors to whichever dish you use them in—in this case they will pair nicely with the beef!
- Yakitori sauce: A mix of mirin, soy sauce, sugar, sake, and sesame oil
Yakitori Style Beef Kebabs Instructions
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Put all of the ingredients for the marinade in a medium bowl or large bowl and stir until the sugar is completely melted.
- Grab a cutting board and cut the beef into cubes. Add the beef cubes to your container then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (no more than 7). Cooled marinade will make the best marinade.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- While waiting, soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning (especially if they are thin, small ones).
- Then thread meat and vegetables onto skewers. Leave space at the end of each skewer so there is room to hold your delicious bounty—and then lay them on a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the beef is cooked through and golden brown. Should be looking and smelling great.
- Bring a good appetite, serve, and enjoy!
What Is the Origin of Yakitori?
As mentioned above, Yakitori means ‘grilled meats ‘in Japanese, so it goes without saying that it’s a traditional style rooted in Japan. Its first documentation is noted in the midst of the Meiji Era, which was from 1868 to 1912. It’s called the Meiji Era because meijia means “enlightened rule” and this was the chosen name the emperor of this time took on to establish his official reign.
This was a great time of change in Japan—everything from politics to the general social structure of the economy was growing and adapting into a new state of being based on the looming influence of Westernization culture. It should be no surprise that with these new societal changes came new traditions. Traditions in most cultures are often rooted in the gathering of making and/or eating food together. Therefore, it makes sense that a new style of food was born in this new age with new traditions.
Yakitori Style Beef Kebabs Overview
For this recipe, I made something very close to a classic tare sauce but instead of dipping the meat in right before cooking, I marinated it for a few hours. This guarantees lots of umami flavors, a little sweetness and nuttiness from the sesame oil.
This marinade also works well with pork, chicken and firm tofu cubes. Now that you’ve made it once, it will be super simple to make again and can be your new go-to favorite to marinade whatever you want!
You will only have to spend a minimal amount of time on this Japanese skewered beef recipe—and friends and family will be wondering which Japanese restaurant you ordered from. If you’re not already the best home cook on the block, you will be after trying this Japanese skewered beef recipe. Pair with chow mein or any other noodle dish if you really want to round this meal out and make an impression!
Did you like this beef yakitori recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Beef kebabs marinated in soy, sake and mirin tare. Baked in the oven with mushrooms and bell peppers.
- 1 pound beef sirloin, cut into cubes
- 10 button mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Kebab skewers are also needed for this recipe
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a tupperware and stir until the sugar has completely melted.
- Add beef cubes, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and no more than 7.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes, to prevent them from burning (especially if they are thin, small ones).
- Thread beef and vegetables onto skewers and lay them on a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25, until beef is cooked through and golden brown. Serve.
You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and cook when ready. Keep any leftover beef yakitori in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 421
- Sugar: 14.5g
- Sodium: 408mg
- Fat: 9.9g
- Saturated Fat: 3.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 21g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 62.7g
- Cholesterol: 134mg
Keywords: Beef yakitori