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Reduced Sodium Japanese BBQ Sauce

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Total: 15 min


  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium tamari
    • low sodium soy sauce; liquid aminos
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 heaping tablespoons coconut sugar
    • brown sugar, cane sugar, stevia
  • 2 tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • white vinegar, ACV
  • 1 green onion, roughly chopped or cut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot + 2 tablespoons water
    • cornstarch


Step 1

Add sauce ingredients to a blender OR a tall cup and use an immersion blender.

Process until smooth and season to taste according to your preferences. However, be mindful of more calorie-dense ingredients such as sesame oil, coconut sugar, and/or tamari.

Step 2

Pour the sauce into a nonstick skillet and set on medium heat.

Bring to a gentle simmer until small bubbles form (almost like foam), and the sauce turns shiny.  Stir using a silicon or wooden spoon and reduce the heat if necessary—it should not be boiling.

In a separate bowl, mix together arrowroot and water to create a slurry.

Step 3

Reduce the heat in the skillet and/or remove it from the heat. Pour in the slurry and stir immediately and continuously so the arrowroot does not clump and the sauce does not become slimy.

Pro-tip: if the skillet is very hot and the sauce is boiling, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before adding arrowroot.  This should result in an even sauce, not slimy or clumpy.

Step 4

Store in the fridge and use as a condiment for meals and/or as a sauce for protein.

For instance, I decided to smoke salmon and baste it the final 1 hour of smoking about every 15- 20 minutes.

Should last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (but I seriously doubt it will last that long – it’s that delicious). 

And remember, you can use this BBQ sauce in nearly any recipe that calls for a saucy condiment, such as this BBQ salmon pizza on naan.

bbq salmon pizza