My Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce recipe uses only four simple ingredients and is so quick to make! With savory, sweet, and tangy notes, it tastes just as amazing as Japan’s famous Bull-Dog Tonkatsu sauce. Serve it with tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlets), chicken katsu, or my favorite korokke (potato and beef croquettes).
Open my refrigerator and you’ll find a stash of Japanese condiments and sauces—a mix of store-bought and homemade goodies. Among them is tonkatsu sauce. This condiment is mandatory when it comes to serving Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet), Chicken Katsu, and more.
In today’s recipe, I’m sharing a simplified version of Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce using only four ingredients. You’re most likely already have them in the pantry so you can whip it up anytime you need. The great thing about making your own is that you can also adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Table of Contents
What is Tonkatsu Sauce?
Tonkatsu sauce mainly consists of vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, prunes, dates, apples, lemon juice, carrots, onions, and celery. It also includes more than 10 kinds of spices along with soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. It’s a lot of work to make it from scratch, so most Japanese people would use the store-bought one.
However, if you don’t live near the Japanese/Asian grocery stores or prefer to make your own, you can always count on my easy homemade recipe.
The Most Popular Tonkatsu Sauce Brand
The most popular tonkatsu sauce is the Bull-Dog Vegetable & Fruit Sauce (Tonkatsu Sauce). It’s easy to recognize the signature bulldog logo on the bottle. You can purchase it on Amazon and Japanese or Asian grocery stores.
How to Make Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce
The Ingredients You’ll Need
- Worcestershire sauce – I use Lea & Perrins brand. If you’re vegan, use vegan Worcestershire sauce.
- Ketchup – The sweetness of the ketchup varies, so adjust the amount of sugar based on the ketchup taste.
- Oyster sauce – Use Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce if you’re vegetarian or allergic to shellfish.
Yes, that’s it! The main flavor of tonkatsu sauce comes from Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Every brand of ketchup has different sweetness, so you may need to adjust the flavor with sugar.
The Cooking Steps
- Mix all the condiments together. I usually combine the Worcestershire sauce and sugar first. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved before adding the rest of the condiments.
Okonomi Sauce and Yakisoba Sauce
We have different sauces for okonomiyaki and yakisoba although these three sauces are quite similar.
Ways to Use Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce
Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce
- Gather all the ingredients. I included a bottle of Bull-Dog Tonkatsu Sauce in the image, but it‘s not needed for this recipe.
- In a jar or small bowl, combine 4½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 Tbsp sugar. Whisk well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Then, add 5 Tbsp ketchup and 2 Tbsp oyster sauce and whisk until combined. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Some ketchup is sweeter than others, so please adjust the amount of sugar to taste. Your Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce is ready to use.
- Enjoy this Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce as a condiment for breaded and/or deep-fried Japanese foods like Tonkatsu, Chicken Katsu, and Korokke (Potato and Meat Croquette) or their baked versions Baked Tonkatsu, Baked Chicken Katsu, and Baked Croquette. Tonkatsu sauce is also an ingredient in recipes like Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu), Keema Curry, and Meat Doria (Rice Gratin).
- Store in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2–3 weeks or freezer for 3–4 months.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on January 27, 2014, and was updated with new content and images in February 2023. It’s been republished on July 9, 2023.