What Is Ponzu Sauce?
Have you tasted ponzu sauce, Japanese seasoning?
It’s a little sour than soy sauce, and has great scent of citrus. The raw material of ponzu sauce depends on the manufacturers and the region, but basically it’s made from soy sauce, citrus juice, sugar, salt, etc.
In Japan, people often use ponzu sauce as the dipping sauce for shabu-shabu (a Japanese ‘hotpot’ dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water), gyoza (dumplings), sashimi, grilled fish dishes, and so on. If you mix it with mayonnaise, it’s going to be wonderful dressing for a salad.
Good Substitutes for Ponzu Sauce
You can probably get ponzu sauce at Japanese grocery stores, but some people might have a hard time finding it. Or maybe the one you buy at store is too much portion, and can’t use up.
Today’s idea of ponzu sauce substitute can help such people indeed!
Here, I will introduce 6 ways to make ponzu sauce substitute at home so easy. Please use this as a reference, and you may want to test this method by making a small portion of those.
Soy Sauce + Vinegar
If you like to cook Japanese dishes at home, those two seasonings must be familiar with you
To make ponzu sauce from them, please mix soy sauce with vinegar at a ratio of 3 to 1.
If you like more sour taste, please add a little more vinegar, on the other hand, if you are not good at sour taste, you should add a little sugar or mirin.
This mixture will be great dipping sauce especially when eating gyoza (dumplings), and also it’s recommended to add few drops of chili oil in it.
Soy Sauce + Lemon
Even those who don’t have vinegar at home, they may have lemon juice instead. Also, this combination is good for those who don’t like the smell or taste of vinegar. The ponzu sauce made from soy sauce + lemon is easier for them to eat, I think.
Actually, the real ponzu sauce usually contains some kind of citrus juice, so you can make the taste close to the real thing by using lemon juice.
If you don’t have lemon, it’s fine to use other types of citrus such as lime. Japanese people like to use yuzu, by the way.
Soy Sauce + Orange Juice
You may feel it’s a surprising (or strange?!) combination. But this is actually amazing substitute.
Since orange juice contains sugar, it will make the taste less sour than when you use vinegar or citrus juice. For those who don’t like sour taste or even for children, this combination (orange juice + soy sauce) is great way to choose.
Besides orange juice, you can also use grapefruit juice or other types of citrus juice.
Mentsuyu + Vinegar
Mentsuyu is very convenient seasoning that normally made from soy sauce, sugar, mirin, dashi, salt, and so on.
Since mentsuyu contains dashi stock and various seasonings including sugar, you can make more rich and sophisticated taste.
Each mentsuyu has different saltiness and sweetness, so please adjust the amount of mentsuyu while mixing it with a little vinegar. If you think your ponzu sauce has too strong taste, you can add some water.
Mentsuyu + Lemon
Just like #2 above, you can use lemon juice instead of vinegar when mixing it with mentsuyu. The lemon flavor will matches so well with dashi stock in mentsuyu, and the ponzu sauce will be just wonderful.
If the sauce lacks sourness, you think, please add just a little bit of vinegar.
Mentsuyu + Fruit Vinegar
If you have homemade fruit vinegar, it’s time for making the best use of that.
Because you use your own vinegar made from your favorite fruit, the ponzu sauce will be definitely with originality. It must make your cooking more fun!
By the way, if you use a fruit vinegar for this substitute, orange or apple (cider) vinegar is one of the recommendation to use. Again, please adjust the amount of each seasoning to your liking.