Create the perfect Ponzu Sauce quickly and easily with this irresistible recipe! A staple in Japanese cuisine. Ponzu Sauce is a versatile condiment ideal for dipping, marinating, and dressing. Blending soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, yuzu, ginger, katsuobushi, and kombu, it delivers an umami-rich flavor that's perfect for enhancing a variety of dishes.
Ponzu Shoyu Dipping Sauce
Experience the authentic taste of Japan with this homemade Ponzu Sauce recipe. It's a perfect blend of tangy, sweet, and umami flavors, ideal for dressing salads, marinating meats, or as a dipping sauce.
Making your own Ponzu Shoyu is simple, whether you have a good Asian market nearby or use my handy list of ingredient alternatives! You'll easily find the right flavors to create a fantastic Ponzu Sauce.
Once you try this Japanese sauce, you'll love using it for everything from dumplings (gyoza) to marinades and stir-fry sauces!
- Mirin: ½ cup - Adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor.
- Soy Sauce: ¼ cup - For that essential umami and salty depth.
- Katsuobushi (Bonito Flakes): ¼ cup - Brings in a smoky, fishy taste.
- Kombu: 3 grams (about a 2-inch piece) - This edible kelp adds a unique sea flavor.
- Rice Vinegar: 2 teaspoon - Introduces a mild acidity.
- Fresh Ginger: 1 tsp, peeled and grated - Gives a spicy, warm note.
- Yuzu Juice: ¼ cup (or 2 tablespoons each of lemon and lime juice) - Provides a citrusy zing. If yuzu is unavailable, lemon and lime juice make a great substitute.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🍢 Ingredient Substitutions
- Soy Sauce - The soy sauce can be swapped out for tamari, or you can read more about great soy sauce substitutes here.
- Mirin - Some of the best substitutes that are readily available are white wine, dry sherry, or marsala cooking wine. However, you can use any of these great mirin substitute options.
- Rice Vinegar - My favorite quick and easy swaps include white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but you can check out all the best rice vinegar substitutes.
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) - If you have nori on hand, you're in luck! Shredded nori is a quick and easy vegetarian substitute for katsuobushi. However, shellfish stock or shellfish powder (for our recipe) are the best flavor matches. Dulse flakes will work as well. Just be sure to double the amount.
- Kombu - Again, if you are using nori seaweed sushi sheets, this will suffice to add flavor for both the bonito flakes and kombu. Break a single sheet apart, and start with half for a mild 'fishy' taste, or use one sheet for more flavor.
- Yuzu Juice - Or sudachi, kabosu, or daidai. Any of these are hard to find here in the States. You're most likely to find some bottled yuzu juice; you'd be smart to mix it with a blend of lemon and lime juice to make it last longer. Use your yuzu in a 1:1:1 ratio with both lemon and lime. Or, just use lemon and lime together as a substitute. Grapefruit juice is another great citrus option!
You'll need a small saucepan for combining and heating the ingredients, a fine mesh sieve for straining, and measuring cups for accurate ingredient portions.
This recipe will make 6 portions of sauce.
Step 1: Combine Ingredients. In a small saucepan, mix together ½ cup of mirin, ¼ cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup of katsuobushi, 3 grams of kombu, 2 teaspoon of rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a low boil. This process allows the flavors to meld together.
Step 2: Cool and Strain. Once the mixture has boiled, remove it from the heat and let it cool completely. Straining the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a clean container ensures a smooth texture.
Step 3: Add Citrus. Stir in ¼ cup of yuzu juice (or your lemon and lime juice mixture) into the strained sauce. This adds a fresh and tangy flavor that's characteristic of traditional Ponzu Sauce.
Step 4: Marry the Flavors. Transfer the sauce to an airtight storage container. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using. This resting period allows the flavors to 'marry' and intensify. Shake the container occasionally while it's refrigerated and before use.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Substitutions: Check the post body for a detailed section on substitutes for almost every ingredient, ensuring you can always make this tasty sauce with what you have on hand.
- Lemon Zest Tip: For an extra lemony flavor, use freshly zested lemon juice and consider adding the zest while heating the sauce.
- Storage: This sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month.
🥢 More Fantastic Asian Recipes
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📖 Recipe Card
Ponzu Sauce (Japanese Dipping Sauce with Umami Flavor!)
- Combine the mirin, soy suace, katsuobushi, kombu, rice vinegar, and ginger in a small saucepan and heat to a low boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat once boiling and allow to cool completely.½ cup mirin, ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup katsuobushi, 3 grams kombu, 2 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon ginger
- Once cooled, strain the ponzu sauce into a clean container through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the yuzu (or lemon and lime juice).¼ cup yuzu juice
- Store in an airtight storage container and allow the flavors to 'marry' for at least 24 hours before serving. Shake occasionally while refrigerated and before using.
- There is a whole section devoted to what your options are as substitutes for almost every ingredient here in the post body. You're bound to find items you can use to make this tasty sauce!
- Freshly zested lemon juice is best as you can also add the lemon zest while heating the ponzu sauce for an amazing boost of lemon flavor.
- Store for up to 1 month in the fridge.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!