Japanese Condiment: Ponzu Sauce. Enjoy making this all-purpose Japanese citrus sauce at home!
A classic Japanese condiment, Ponzu Sauce is a citrus-based sauce with a tart-tangy flavor similar to a vinaigrette. It contains a mix of ponzu (citrus juice of sudachi, yuzu, and kabosu and vinegar), soy sauce, sugar or mirin, and dashi.
Because of its versatility & refreshing flavor, you can use the sauce in many different ways. Enjoy ponzu as a dipping sauce for shabu-shabu or seafood, as a marinade for grilled meats and vegetables or dressing for salads or cold noodles.
How to Make Homemade Ponzu Sauce
To make a ‘quick’ version of ponzu at home, you just need to combine equal parts of soy sauce and fresh lemon juice as well as a bit of sweetness from mirin.
If you have more time, I highly recommend adding a strip of kombu and a handful of bonito flakes. You can add more katsuobushi for rich, smokey, umami-rich ponzu sauce. Umami from kombu and katsuobushi really make this homemade ponzu to the next level. You will get a more balanced and richer taste. Umami is hard to describe, but you know it’s there when you taste it.
This homemade ponzu can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. I love this homemade ponzu sauce that I don’t buy the bottled ponzu anymore.
Delicious Recipes to Enjoy with Homemade Ponzu Sauce
- Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu Dressing
- Tuna Tataki
- Eggplant with Sesame Ponzu Sauce
- Pork Spring Rolls with Ponzu
- Grilled Oyster with Ponzu Sauce
- Shabu Shabu
I’ll be sharing more recipes using my homemade ponzu!
Watch How To Make Homemade Ponzu Sauce
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup citrus juice (recommend a mixture of juice from lemon, orange, or grapefruit; I used a mixture of 6 Tbsp lemon juice + 2 Tbsp orange juice)
- zest from one lemon
- 2 Tbsp mirin (substitute it with 2 Tbsp sake or water + 2 tsp sugar)
- ½ cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (packed; skip for vegan/vegetarian)
- 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) (2" x 3", 5 x 7.6 cm; 6 g)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Combine all the ingredients in a sterilized mason jar and mix well.
- Steep in the refrigerator overnight (minimum), for several days, or for up to a week. Some restaurants steep for a month, especially if you make a big batch.
- After steeping, drain over a sieve to get rid of katsuobushi and kombu. You can use leftover kombu and katsuobushi to make homemade furikake (Japanese rice seasoning).
- You can keep homemade ponzu in the mason jar for up to 1 month (to be safe); however, if you substitute mirin with water and sugar, please use it within a week. When you use ponzu, make sure not to cross-contaminate. The sauce can last for 6-12 months if you sanitize and keep everything clean during making the ponzu.
Editor’s Note: The original post was published on May 26, 2013. The post has been updated with the new pictures and video and the recipe has been updated in October 2017.