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Homemade Hibachi and the 8 Best Hibachi Sauces from White, Yellow, Ginger, and Yum Yum Sauce (DIY and Bottled)

“Hibachi” and hibachi sauces are as Japanese as spaghetti and meatballs are Italian. The two have roots in Japanese or Italian food culture, although they are as American as a supersized McRib combo and a Doritos Locos taco.

Originally posted November 4th, ’21 and updated on June 9th, ’23

You won’t find a Taco Bell in Mexico (not like Taco Bell hasn’t tried twice), and you won’t come across yellow, white, mustard, ginger, or yum yum sauce in Japan. Except that does not matter because Taco Bell comes through at drunk o’clock, and my beef is drowning in “hibachi” sauce. 

As a Japanese American, here is everything you need for a legit homemade “hibachi” (Japanese teppanyaki). Everything, including the core ingredients, equipment, and dipping sauces (most popular hibachi sauce brands).

If you want to attempt the fiery volcano, I will also suggest the best fire suppression for kitchens.

As an American, my chicken or beef teriyaki is in a pool of sauce that looks like Vladimir Harkonnen emerging out of his mud bath (obscure Dune reference), and my spaghetti goes together with 1001 Dalmatians as much as meatballs do. 

Photo Description: a Japanese teppanyaki chef in Japan grilling up meat and veggies on a teppanyaki.
The only fiery volcano this dude in Japan understands is the one that comes after a night of drinking and spicy greasy food. Image courtesy of Jit Bag

In Japan it is called teppanyaki (a griddle)

The term “hibachi” was started in the Midwest by non-Japanese because, in Japan, it is a “room heater,” which has nothing to do with food.

For the sake of the article, I will sporadically call it by the Midwestern term to make it easier to understand (well, for Google to understand).

Yea, the steel griddle you see at a Benihana-style restaurant is called teppanyaki. In Japan, many of these restaurants grill up expensive cuts of wagyu (Japanese beef), minus the fiery volcano and flipping shrimp into rotund diners’ mouths like a harbor seal.

$150+ griddle by Made In, made in Sweden of carbon steel.

I would want both griddles (pictured), but as a starter, the Made In griddle (above) is the cost-effective option. The below option is for the commitment types getting married after a first date.

Also, are there cheaper hibachi versions on Amazon (generically branded products from China)? I am sure there are, but it is not always about price or profits because I am an Amazon affiliate, but I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission although I do not get a single cent from promoting these two businesses (the BBQGuys denied my affiliate request, yet I still promote them), and I do it because legit content is good content.

Misono is the first teppanyaki restaurant in Kobe, Japan, dating back to 1945. A set meal includes one drink, an appetizer, one dish of seafood, teppanyaki/steak 150g, salad, five kinds of grilled vegetables, and an assortment of desserts to choose from.

A meal with Japanese beef at Misono will set you back about $86-$172 (12,000-24,000 YEN).
For only $1,800+ from the BBQ Guys, a 32″ Heavy-duty 304 stainless steel teppanyaki. Now, you can get serious.

Japanese American and Asian Americans in the United States

With our ethnic diversity, we have a track record of tweaking thousand-year-old food cultures, and we do that by producing its fattier and sweeter self with a fanny pack cuz Murica.

The Food Culture of: Rome/Italy, 3,000 years old, Japan, 2,700 years old, The United States, 246 years old, The First Benihana, 58 years ago, The McRib, 41 years ago, Supersizing, 35 years ago, Doritos Locos Tacos, 10 years ago

The first Benihana opened in 1964 in New York, and the first legit sushi restaurant opened in 1965 in Los Angeles.

While on the opposing end, we Americans have a food culture where we tout our water is gluten-free, Kosher, and non-GMO (the yoga pants version).

You will not find yellow, white, mustard, ginger, or yum yum sauce in Japan.

Except, none of that matters because Taco Bell comes through at drunk o’clock, and my chicken, shrimp, and beef are drowning in sauce. So here are the best bottled and DYI hibachi sauces.

The same goes for Italians also not understanding Americans asking for spaghetti and meatballs, pepperoni pizza, Italian dressing, or a venti Frappuccino in Italy.

In this blog post, I am going old school, back to when Kyu Sakamoto’s Sukiyaki hit the Billboard 100 in 1963. The saucier side of Japanese American history, and a time not too long ago when soy sauce was a foreign condiment, and sushi was the brunt of jokes with punchlines involving fish bait. So it is no surprise to see so many Japanese restaurants in the U.S. that started as hibachi restaurants serving steak/beef drenched in sauces.

Photo Description: Hibachi sauces by Gojo in Kansas City, Missouri. From left to right is teriyaki, hibachi sauce, and miso ginger sauce. All you need for homemade hibachi.
Legit Japanese American’ness in a bottle, Gojo and a sauce the hue of Bart Simpson, there is nothing more American than that.

Below are the top recipes from all over the web on how to make or where to buy these 8 Japanese American hibachi sauces. I also cite the suspected origins of these sauces based on the ingredients.

The bottled versions/brands you can purchase off of store shelves, and you do not have to worry about how long it will keep in your fridge although the compromise is flavor.

The only thing that has not changed decades later is that we still like to drench our foods (like with Americanized sue-she) in sauce, so here is a list of some old-school hibachi sauces, along with links to the best recipes and where to buy them.

Now that has all been said, on to the best equipment, recipes, and sauces for Americanized hibachi or, by the Japanese name, teppanyaki.

The proteins and vegetables used in hibachi

Once you get your griddle/teppanyaki set-up, these are the best cuts of meat, vegetables, and seafood you will want for your next dinner party.

Cooking oil mix: sesame oil, a neutral oil, mirin, and soy sauce. Toss it all in a squeeze bottles (made in the USA) to feel like a pro. Also, the squeeze bottles can be filled with sake (Japanese rice wine), so you can drink like a baby.

Food bloggers get mirin (sweet cooking wine) confused with vinegar, but they are not the same.
Want real Japanese Wagyu, click the image on where to buy.

Japanese beef (Wagyu/above) is often served in Japan and teppanyaki restaurants, although if you want a more affordable runner-up, that is better than USDA Prime, that would be by SRF (below).

Starting at $18 for steaks (the cowboy pictured, $158)
Tenderloin, filet mignon, New York strip (where to buy Japanese wagyu)
Breast (like my dating preferences, I prefer thighs)
Shrimp, lobster tail, salmon, squid, scallops
Zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper
White button

Why do I not include full recipes you ask? 

Recipe sites garner a ton of web traffic, and I will not steal (copy and paste) recipes even though I am an avid cook who also grew up with some of these dishes and worked back of the house (BOH) as a line cook.

Many food bloggers steal recipes, and I will not contribute to that f****tardery. I will instead promote the sites, the individuals, or the media outlets putting in the work. is one of those plagiarizing sites, and they stole from my shabu shabu article with no shame.

What I will do is direct you to online resources I trust or leave it to you to figure out portions and measurements on your own, although I have put effort into listing the appropriate and critical ingredients required – I do this because some bloggers use ingredients that just sound “Asiany” to them (the types that do not know the difference between Thailand and Taiwan).

The best yum yum, ginger, teriyaki, to yellow hibachi sauce

The people and sites I have listed below are legit, they get it and are from being hacks.

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Garlic Butter

This ingredient is used a lot, especially with, well, everything.

Lima and Tareq

The only common ingredient with garlic butter to Japanese cuisine is the soy sauce although Clove and Cumin has a good Benihana copycat recipe.

I feel bad that the Japanese do not do butter and garlic for crab or lobster which is mandatory for me.

Basic Garlic Butter Sauce Ingredients/Brands

Minced garlic
Soy sauce: I would try either a koikuchi or usukuchi soy sauce (either Kikkoman or Yamasa)
I bet a dash of hon-dashi would be good in a sauce like this.

Is (Benihana) Garlic Butter Japanese?

I remember as a kid, I had won an art contest for drawing my favorite recipe. That recipe was for my mom’s rib-eye steak in soy sauce, garlic, and green onion marinade. We never used butter, although if we had, I am sure Paula Deen would have awarded me at least three “scratch and sniff” stickers for the recipe.

Cuz America

This sauce should not be a shocker as to its origins, and this is a very Americanized recipe because of the use of butter, and if it were Japanese, it would be soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

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Ginger Sauce

(Has nothing to do with red heads and is 1 of the 3 most popular hibachi sauces)


This is a straight out Japanese recipe they use in Japan as a dipping sauce used for Japanese grilling in Japan (yakiniku no tare or grill meat sauce) via Also, for the Benihana Americanized version, Angela keeps coming through at of the 3 top sites.

Add in a neutral oil and you have a great salad dressing (it’s good to avoid the use of seed oils, but most Asian cultures do not extensively use olive oil).

Japanese Bottled Gilling Sauces

Ebara, $33+ (1.0L)

Yakiniku (means grilled meat) sauce does not contain ginger although it contains several types of fruit juice from pear, pineapple, lemon with sesame oil and a red chiles puree to finish it off.

You can use these sauces to marinate and baste foods and it eat straight out of the container.
Nippon Shokken 4.8lbs

Yakiniku sauce ingredients:
Water; Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt); Sugar; Salt; Garlic Puree; Modified Food Starch; Pear Concentrate Juice; Sesame Oil; Red Chiles Puree; Pineapple Concentrate Juice; Sesame Seed; Sodium Ascorbate; Lemon Concentrate Juice; Roasted Garlic Puree; Minced Garlic; Paprika Oleoresin Color; Yeast Extract; Spices Xanthan Gum.

Miso gives this dipping sauce more body ($27-$50)

Miso ginger sauce ingredients:
Water, sugar, soy sauce (water, salt, wheat, soybeans, alcohol, lactic acid, acetic acid), diced ginger, miso (water, rice, soybeans, salt, alcohol), modified food starch, salted sake (salted rice wine), salt, ginger puree, distilled vinegar, sodium ascorbate, paprika oleoresin color, xanthan gum.

Basic Ginger Sauce Ingredients

Yellow onion
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Lemon juice
Optional: sugar/brown sugar
Rinsing the onion will reduce the pungency.

Is (Benihana) Ginger Sauce Japanese?

Well, it’s Japanese and Japanese American, and you can thank Rocky Aoki and Benihana for that and at it does share some roots with other washoku (traditional Japanese) dishes such as yakiniku dipping sauce. The closest to a Japanese dish is ginger pork (shogayaki), and that is a stretch, but karaage aka JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken is a yoshoku dish). The soy sauce based marinade uses a final squeeze of lemon for the finished dish.

Cuz America

Since it’s a dipping sauce I would recommend using either a general purpose shoyu (koikuchi) by Kikkoman or Yamasa, although a San-J tamari (gluten-free) would work well with a sauce like this.

Ebara is a popular consumer brand and Nippon Shokken and their Banko brand supplies restaurants which is why it is 4.8lbs of sauce, yet is available through Wal-mart and on Amazon.

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Mustard Sauce


The most common mustard used in Japanese cuisine is karashi which is Chinese mustard (brassica juncea), except this is an Americanized recipe. So out of the 5 recipe sites, the best is Angela and who is ranked #1 (well deserved and Google was right).

A hard pass on Neha and her recipe suggesting Coconut Amino’s, yet this is a sauce that includes heavy cream if you are concerned with your health. Although the 5th result is a good runner-up, Nona and her recipe on

Mustard Sauce Ingredients

This is not “mustard sauce” ($4.50-$5.75+)

Be sure to use this sparingly, unless you want to clear you sinuses, because wasabi has nothing on karashi.

Nothing, no viable bottled sauce

Basic Mustard Sauce Ingredients

Toasted sesame seeds (common in Korean/Japanese food)
Soy sauce
Mustard powder (Japanese or Chinese brassica juncea)
Garlic powder (common in Korean food)
Water? Hmmm (I would substitute for a white onion)
Heavy cream
Many times when a restaurant is owned by other ethnic groups, they inject their flavors into the food.

Is Benihana Mustard Sauce Japanese?

No, it is another Japanese American/Asian American sauce and the closest thing I can think of would be goma (link to Shirakiku brand sesame seeds), with Karashi (Chinese mustard link to Just One Cookbook).

Cuz America

This one sounds like a tasty sauce and aside from the ginger sauce, and I would be down for this one . What makes it American is the use of heavy cream (a lot of Asians, like my friends are lactose intolerant, although heavy cream is low in lactose, but milk-based products in general are not used cuz upset stomach and fart storm).

The garlic/garlic powder isn’t commonly used either. Also, it doesn’t seem too far off from Japanese flavors, but I would not say it’s an “Oriental recipe” which I have to laugh at one blogger who cited using ‘Oriental mustard.’ Oh, jeebus, they are most likely citing the Japanese brand S&B although Chinese mustard will work too.

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Teriyaki Sauce

It’s plant-based bruh.


It’s 3-4 ingredients at its most basic

So I am posting the only recipe you will find on this site.

Bottled Teriyaki Sauce


I just made some teriyaki this morning, and I did not measure anything. It’s easy to do, and all you need is Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman or Yamasa brand), mirin, sake (optional), and cornstarch to thicken it up like Murica because we like our sauces and S.O.’s, thick and sweet.

Optionally I also toss in garlic, ginger (I didn’t have any, and I used the SE Asian ingredient lemongrass), etc, but if you really need a recipe, JustOneCookbok has one.

Basic Teriyaki (Tare) Sauce Ingredients

Great for basting

Your nearest liquor store.

These are ratios by volume and it’s an easier when scaling your recipes. So if you are producing 1.0 or 2.0 cups of teriyaki sauce it would be 1/2-1.0 Cup soy sauce, 1/4-1/2 Cup mirin, 1/4-1/2 Cup sake,

1.0 part, Soy Sauce1/2 Cup1 Cup
1/2 part, Mirin1/4 Cup1/2 Cup
1/2 part, Sake1/4 Cup1/2 Cup
1/4-1/2 part, Sugar/brown sugar2-4 Tbsp4-8Tbsp
Optional: ginger, garlic, white onion
orange zest (used a microplaner)
to tasteto taste
Optional: Stock/drippings from whatever protein
you are preparing to chicken/beef stock (in the
restaurant I was at, we would used the chicken carcass)
Optional: Cornstarch or flour to thicken1/2 Tbsp1 Tbsp
I have a list of the top Japanese American teriyaki sauces.

Is Teriyaki Sauce Japanese?

In Japan, this would be based on a ‘tare‘ which is used to lightly baste foods during and after the grilling/broiling of: chicken (yakitori), beef/pork (yakiniku), to seafood (unagi). So, what most of us eat is more Japanese American, and it is not “truly Japanese.”

Cuz America

In the U.S., we use it to drench foods in a pool of sauce cuz we love sauce, and teriyaki sauce is at the heart of a million and one teriyaki bowl restaurants popping up throughout the country (from Toshi’s Teriyaki, Teriyaki Madness, to Flame Broiler and their ‘magic sauce’). Also, if you want to buy it off the shelf, try Bachans, a Japanese American product.

Many of these recipes cite using “soy sauce,” and if you want to take your recipes to the next level, you can learn about the 5 types of Japanese soy sauce in my last blog post.

There is noticeable taste difference between Chinese, Korean, and Hawaiian soy sauces.

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Spicy Mayo

The epitome of Asian American food culture.


Come on, it’s two ingredients

Japanese mayonnaise and sriracha, and you can figure this one out (my guess, a 12:4 to 9:1 ratio).

Americanized hibachi is like Americanized sushi, it loves to be covered in sauce and spicy mayo is a popular one.

Here are all the popular sauces used in an Americanized sushi bar.
Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise

If I was going to tweak this, I would also use a Korean gochujang or sambal oelek (it’s a fusion thing anyways).

Huy Fong sriracha (the originator)

Basic Spicy Mayo Ingredients

Sriracha and any hot sauce that sounds ‘asiany’ to food bloggers/influencers.

Is Spicy Mayo Japanese?

Not a hibachi sauce, but since most ‘hibachi’ places also do sushi, I have added it for anybody wondering about mayo-based sauces.

Any legit spicy mayonnaise utilizes a Japanese mayo made of yolks called Kewpie. The other half is the spicy side, and only the Koreans, Thai, and the Vietnamese have that end of the recipe down. So you have Sriracha (Thai, Vietnamese American, Huy Fong company link), gochujang (Korean, recipe via my Korean Kitchen), and Sambal oelek (Indonesian, recipe by Michelle because I won’t endorse Bon Appétit) to choose from.

Cuz America

You know what is better than just sauce? Sauce within sauce on top of other sauces so this would be used in conjunction with a sweet sauce such as a unagi/teriyaki sauce.

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White Sauce

Not what you think unless (I am offering up two )

I have two basic sauces for you to try

A. Dynamite sauce for seafood
B. Artichoke and aspragus dip

Caroline from Charleston, SC, may want to tweak her”Japanese White Sauce” title because this sauce is strictly a Japanese American/Asian American concoction and has little to do with Japan.

“White sauce” *wink *wink (I’m actually providing a seafood dynamite recipe).
Nothing, nada, zip.

I am giving you the recipe to seafood dynamite which can be dolloped atop mussels or a seafood mix which is then put under the broiler/salamander (heated from above). I produced this daily in the Japanese owned and operated business I worked BOH at and it was one of our most popular items.

Basic White Sauce Ingredients

Tomato paste/ketchup
Garlic powder
Paprika and cayenne
This recipe has roots closer to Chinese sweet and sour sauce (ketchup, sugar, and rice vinegar).

Is White Sauce Japanese?

Nope, and when I see this recipe, I can not help and think of that scene from Undercover Brother where they are eating the mayonnaise sandwich, and the most mayonnaise based Japanese American recipe that I can think of is dynamite which is mayonnaise with masago. BTW, white sauce is basically ‘yum yum sauce.’

Bonus Recipes

Seafood Dynamite Recipe

The kewpie and masago mixutre must be mixed really well, if not the masago will be exposed to the broiler and give your finished char a pock mark scared surface. Also, give it time to settle in the fridge, at least a half day. The finishing toppings coming out of the broiler are sesame seeds and diced green onions.

Kewpie (Japanese brand) mayonnaise
Tobiko (flying fish roe) or masago (smelt fish/my preferred)

Basic Ingredients for Soy/Mayo Dipping sauce

I am giving up another great random and simple artichoke or an asparagus sauce/dip recipe that my family would use. All it is, is mayonnaise and soy sauce. That is all, but it’s great for dipping. Also, depending on how much soy sauce you use, it is no longer a ‘white sauce’ but a brown sauce, although that does not sound as appetizing (I only included it because it is mayonnaise based). Anton would love it.

Mayonnaise (Miracle whip will do)
Soy sauce (koikuchi/general purpose Kikkoman soy sauce)

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Yellow Sauce

Many of these sauces go by different names, but a few are the same.

You know these are Americanized sauces when they are just broadly described by their color. Except, yellow, white, and yum yum sauce are all basically the same.

Simpsons and Asian colored sauce.
The Gojo KC yellow sauce available on Amazon or Goldbelly and my take on it.

About Gojo from Kansas City, MO

I personally want to support this brand with a bias because they represent the next generation of a Japanese American business (the Yamanaka family, and you can click the link for the full interview) which is part of the problem with the product.

Before buying a bottled yellow sauce, know that there is going to be a difference from a sauce made daily in-house at a restaurant vs. a bottled version with a shelf life that does not have to be refrigerated.

The struggle is real for producers of bottled sauces.

Basic Yellow Sauce Ingredients

There is a difference between Japanese and American mayonnaise and Japanese mayo is richer because it does not use egg whites (yolks only, so it is yellow in color). More information on Japanese mayonnaise can by found in my post on Japanese condiments.
Rice vinegar
Options (these put you more on par with ‘yum yum’ sauce): turmeric, tomato paste, ketchup to paprika.

The sauce that everybody loved at Gojo in Kansas, Missouri was prepared daily to every so many days “in-house.” After, closing the restaurant, the family was left reliant on a food producer to produce a viable product in bottled form since the family has no background or experience producing a CPG product.

Add in that the family is now competing globally, not locally and the game board has change dramatically (Kansas city is not Los Angeles or Tokyo), yet consumers only see a product on a global scale like loving sriracha, they are not thinking of it’s origins (ethnically Chinese guy living in Vietnam who left via a Taiwanese freighter, the Huey Fong) or where it was produced (the 626 in Los Angeles, and a tour of the facilities is impressive minus the ‘pepper spray’ like effect at the unloading docks). Unfortunately, the world is not Kansas City, MO.

Is Yellow Sauce Japanese?

If you scored high on your SAT’s, you may have picked up on a pattern here, so you might be able to answer this one on your own. Although, if scored low, you will just want to try a ‘proprietary’ sauce from a four-decade old Japanese American teppanyaki/hibachi restaurant out of Kansas City, Missouri, Gojo.

Cuz America

Butter to garlic are almost foreign ingredients with Japanese food, and with shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine), you will not even find onions in this vegetarian/vegan diet either.

Homemade hibachi sauces allow you to control the flavors although store bought sauces have the advantage of being able to chillax in your refrigerator or pantry shelves for a prolonged period of time. As for how you grill a steak or shrimp, YMMV.

The miracles of refrigeration and preservatives can’t save you from overcooked meats and seafood.

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Yum Yum Sauce

This is the best yum yum sauce recipe

Jessica repeatedly says “it is a very Americanized ‘Japanese’ recipe,” so guess whose recipe I am including? Normally it is hard to find or endorse any sauce because there are so many oblivious food bloggers, but I happily giveth them a link to their yum yum sauce recipe (the best on the internets).

I love people like this which is why I do not steal recipes, and I promote them. BTW, I looked up who is behind Savory Experiments and it is a Jessica, an “author, business coach, photographer, recipe deve”…. ok, I’m stopping there (I had to truncate her lengthy skillset).

Yea, nothing because it’s not close to anything Japanese which is why Terry Ho, a Taiwanese family out of Albany, GA offers up a bottled Yum Yum sauce. This is probably the best Yum Yum sauce to buy.

Basic Yum Yum Sauce Ingredients

Tomato paste/ketchup
Non-Asians and sites like America’s Test Kitcehen put out bad information on mirin and rice vinegar, so you might want to read up on the difference here.
Rice vinegar:
read the above on mirin.
garlic and onion powder.

Is Yum Yum Sauce Japanese?

Nope, because only the mayo, mirin, and sugar are the only ingredients used in Japanese cooking, and you probably can’t name one Japanese recipe to use tomato or ketchup.

Cuz America

Mayonnaise is a tell, but add in tomato paste/ketchup, sugar, cayenne, paprika, and butter says Murica because all of these ingredients are foreign to Japanese food.

Many hibachi restaurants, if not the majority are now owned by Chinese/Chinese Americans, so this sauce will have similarities to Chinese sweet and sour with the use of ketchup rice vinegar, and sugar (recipe via Woks of Life).

Don’t let that flaming volcano onion take out your hibachi dinner, or the curtains your aunt Gertrude bought you, so have one of these nearby, a Kidde kitchen fire extinguisher.

Want an affordable sake to squirt generously in each others mouths (remember, alcohol is flammable), click the link.

If you want to know what spices and condiments the Japanese use, you will want to read my post on Japanese condiments and for the record, they are all yum yum (like, try yuzu kosho).

Thank you Rocky Aoki (15 things about Rocky Aoki and Benihana)/Benihana for introducing Japanese cuisine to the United States.

Iconography by Flaticon.

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