Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki

Japanese beef skewers are lightly seasoned and dipped in a sweet and savory umami sauce. Commonly served in Japanese restaurants, these delicious beef skewers come together quickly and are sure to please any crowd.

What is Kushiyaki, also known as Japanese Beef Skewers?

Kushiyaki refers to grilled meat or vegetables on a skewer.  You may have heard of yakitori which is a type of kushiyaki using skewered chicken.

Most commonly, kushiyaki is grilled over charcoal and includes meats, seafood, mushrooms and various vegetables.

This recipe does not use a marinade but instead is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then dipped in a sweet and savory sauce.

Japanese style beef skewers kushiyaki served on a white plate sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and a wedge of lemon.

What is the difference between yakitori and kushiyaki?

Yakitori literally means grilled chicken and is a type of kushiyaki.  Kushiyaki means grilled on a skewer.

However, in Japanese restaurants, they commonly refer to all grilled skewered dishes as yakitori.

What ingredients do you need and how do you make Japanese-style beef skewer?

  • Beef – thin strips of rib roast, chuck, or top sirloin.
  • Sesame Seeds – toasted is preferred.
  • Green Onion – also refereed as scallion, used as a garnish. (optional)
  • Tare / Sauce
  • Soy Sauce – we use low-sodium soy sauce.  If you are looking for gluten-free, make sure to use tamari soy sauce.
  • Japanese Sake – use Japanese cooking sake which is fairly inexpensive and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.
  • Monkfruit Erythritol Blend – this is our preferred sugar alternative.  It is low carb, keto friendly and has 0 calories.  Feel free to use your preferred sweetener or regular cane sugar.
  • Bonito Flakes – made from shaved dried bonito fish.  Commonly used to make broth and responsible for giving Japanese cuisine that signature umami flavor.
  • Garlic – diced for the sauce. The other few will be sliced for the beef skewers.
  • Lemon – if you decide to omit the sauce, a squeeze of lemon on the beef skewers is also just as tasty.

Japanese style beef skewers kushiyaki served on a white plate topped with roasted garlic and green onions.

What kind of beef should you use for beef kushiyaki?

Typically, Japanese beef skewers are made with beef strips rather than beef cubes which are more common in kabobs.  Look for thin strips of rib roast, chuck, or top sirloin.

What is the nutrition information for this Japanese Beef Skewer recipe?

  • 283 Calories
  • 3g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 38g Protein
  • 10g Fat
  • 62mg Cholesterol
  • 854 mg Sodium
  • 558mg Potassium
  • 26mg Calcium
  • 2mg Iron
  • 21ui Vitamin A
  • 2mg Vitamin C

Japanese style beef skewers kushiyaki served on a white plate sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and a wedge of lemon.

Were there any other yakitori recipes I can try?

Now, let’s making this Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki recipe!

  • Prepping Time 15M
  • Cooking Time 5M
  • Total Time 20M
  • Net Carb/Skewer ~1-2g
  • Serving 3-4 Skewers

Ingredients

Beef

  • 1/3 lb Thin Strips of Rib Roast, Chuck, or Top Sirloin (we used Top Sirloin)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3-4 Wooden Skewers
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed (optional)
  • 1/2 Stalk of Green Onion (optional topping)

Sauce 1

Sauce 2

  • 2 Wedges of Lemon

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (2)

2) Cut beef into 1 x 1 inch strips/squares and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.  For best results, let salt marinate into beef for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (14)

3) Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (1)

4) Slice optional green onions and set aside (we slice them at a 45 degree angle).

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (4)

5) If using Sauce 2, skip to step 7b).  If using Sauce 1, finely dice 1 clove of garlic and cut the renaming garlic clove in halves.  Set aside.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (5)

6) In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the sauce – Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, sweetener, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic – and bring to boil.  Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced.  Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes.  Note – if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.

Keto JapaneseKeto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (20) Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (20)

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (21)

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (22)

Keto Japanese Kushiyaki Beef Recipe 1

7a) For Sauce 1, skewer each piece of beef.  For every 2-3 pieces of meat, place garlic halve in between as shown in picture below.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (6)

7b) For Sauce 2, skewer each piece of beef.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (5)

8a) For Sauce 1, preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill.  Take a basting brush and generously brush sauce on each skewer and cook covered for 2 minutes.  Flip beef after 2 minutes and baste once again.  Cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minute until meat reaches your liking.  Discard remaining basting sauce.  Serve with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed and green onions.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (15)

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (17)

8b) For Sauce 2, preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill and cook covered for 2 minutes.  Flip beef after 2 minutes , cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minute until meat reaches your liking.  Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed and green onions.

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (18)

Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (19)

Hope you enjoy your Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki!

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Japanese style beef skewers kushiyaki served on a white plate sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki

Japanese beef skewers are lightly seasoned and dipped in a sweet and savory umami sauce. Commonly served in Japanese restaurants, these delicious beef skewers come together quickly and are sure to please any crowd.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese beef skewers, kushiyaki recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 Skewers
Print Recipe
Calories: 283kcal

Ingredients

Beef

  • 1/3 lb Beef Thin Strips of Rib Roast, Chuck, or Top Sirloin
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3-4 Pieces Wooden Skewers
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed optional
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onion optional topping

Sauce 1

  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Sweetener monkfruit erythritol blend, sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 Cup Bonito Flakes can sub with 1/8 tsp of hondashi
  • 5-7 Cloves Garlic

Sauce 2

  • 2 Wedges Lemon

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Keto Japanese Grilled Beef - Yakiniku Recipe (33)
  • Cut beef into 1 x 1 inch strips/squares and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. For best results, let salt marinate into beef for 10 minutes at room temperature.
    Keto Japanese Grilled Beef - Yakiniku Recipe (50)
  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
    Keto Japanese Grilled Beef - Yakiniku Recipe (32)
  • Slice optional green onions and set aside (we slice them at a 45 degree angle).
    Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (14)
  • If using Sauce 2, skip to step 7b). If using Sauce 1, finely dice 1 clove of garlic and cut the renaming garlic clove in halves. Set aside.
    Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (5)
  • In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the sauce - Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, sweetener, Bonito Flakes, and half of the diced garlic - and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes. Note - if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.
    Keto Japanese Beef Skewers Kushiyaki (22)
  • A) For Sauce 1, skewer each piece of beef. For every 2-3 pieces of meat, place garlic halve in between as shown in picture below.
    B) For Sauce 2, skewer each piece of beef.
    Keto Japanese Grilled Beef - Yakiniku Recipe (37)
  • A) For Sauce 1, preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Take a basting brush and generously brush sauce on each skewer and cook covered for 2 minutes. Flip beef after 2 minutes and baste once again. Cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minute until meat reaches your liking. Discard remaining basting sauce. Serve with sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed and green onions.
    B) For Sauce 2, preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill and cook covered for 2 minutes. Flip beef after 2 minutes , cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minute until meat reaches your liking. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle of optional Toasted Sesame Seed and green onions.
    Keto Japanese Grilled Beef - Yakiniku Recipe (51)

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 854mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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