This ponzu sauce recipe is a citrusy, vinegary dipping sauce essential to Japanese cuisine, so much better than store bought and so easy to make!
We're making homemade ponzu sauce in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends!
Nothing spicy here today, but big flavor nonetheless! We greatly enjoy sushi and sashimi in our home, and a good ponzu sauce is important for us to keep on hand when the sushi cravings strike.
You can definitely buy it from the store, but when you make it at home, you not only get a vastly superior sauce, you can also control everything that goes into it.
Never heard of ponzu sauce?
What is Ponzu Sauce?
Ponzu sauce is a Japanese citrus sauce made with vinegar, citrus juices, and sometimes soy sauce. It is a thin sauce flavored with kombu and bonito flakes, which makes it very umami rich.
It is often used as a simple dressing for meats and fish, or as a dip for sushi and sashimi, hot pot dishes like shabu shabu, or dumplings.
Today, most versions you'll find available at stores is made with soy sauce, though you can make it without it, instead focusing on the combination of citrus and vinegar.
We love it with soy sauce, as an alternative to soy sauce for our meals.
We enjoy it with thinly sliced sashimi, or when we pick up sushi from our corner sushi place.
I prefer making my own at home, as it's so easy to do, and tastes way better than anything you get from the store.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Let's talk about how to make ponzu sauce, shall we?
Ponzu Sauce Ingredients
- Soy Sauce.
- Citrus. Use any combination of lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, and/or grapefruit juice, or you can use yuzu juice (Japanese citrus juice). It is ideal with more lemon.
- Rice Vinegar.
- Bonito Flakes.
How to Make Ponzu Sauce - the Recipe Method
Combine the Ingredients. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl or jar.
Steep the Ponzu. Cover and let steep in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to let the flavors develop. You can steep for 2 days or more.
Strain Out the Solids. Strain and serve as desired.
Boom! Done! Your ponzu sauce is ready to serve. Easy enough to make, isn't it? How are you going to serve yours?
Recipe Tips & Notes
- You can easily adjust the ingredient ratios to make ponzu sauce your own way. Want more soy sauce? Go for it. More Japanese citrus fruit flavor, it's your choice.
- Spice it up a bit with a bit of sriracha sauce. This is how Patty likes it. She just swirls a bit into her ponzu sauce bowl when she enjoys her sushi.
Ponzu Sauce Uses
Serve your ponzu sauce with any of the following for dipping or as a simple dressing:
- Sushi and sashimi
- Grilled meats
- Shabu-Shabu (hot pot)
- Cold noodles - it really livens them up!
- Stir fry dishes - add a splash for a nice citrus blast.
Ponzu sauce will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this citrus ponzu sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
If you enjoy Japanese cuisine, I recommend the following cookbook, which I used to adapt this recipe. It has a lot of great recipes!
- Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond, by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat (affiliate link, my friends!)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Homemade Ponzu Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup citrus juice use any combination of lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, and/or grapefruit juice – best with part lemon – or use yuzu juice
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 6-inch piece kombu
- ¼ cup bonito flakes
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl or jar.
- Cover and let steep in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to let the flavors develop. You can steep for 2 days or more.
- Strain and serve as desired.