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How to make ponzu sauce?

Updated on March 12, 2013

Ponzu Sauce: “Oishii” in every Dip!

Ponzu Sauce Recipes

Tired of having those thick, sticky dips in your slices of grilled beef or chicken wings? Or are you a fan of native Asian cuisines? Well, here is a sauce that would kill out that blunt taste and would bring your tastes to an authentic Japanese cuisine! No need of preparing those passports, all you have to do is to travel through your kitchen and bring everyone to Japan with this very tasty Ponzu sauce!
So easy to prepare and make, Ponzu literally means “pon vinegar”, a combination of Dutch’s word for orchard (pon) and the Japanese’s word for vinegar (su). It is a watery, thin sauce, with a light yellow color. The Japanese call it Ponzu shōyu or ponzu jōyub when it is mixture is added with soy sauce, but it is widely referred as Ponzu.
Ponzu sauce is basically a simmered combination of mirin (a special kind of Japanese cooking wine), rice vinegar, katsoubushi flakes, and seaweed. Below is the usual preparation of this sauce.

What you Need

Rice Vinegar
Katsuobushi flakes (Dried bonito flakes, sometimes referred as dried mackerels)
Konbu (Seaweed, Kelp)
Daidai (Bitter Orange) or any variations of citrus fruits
Clean cloth for straining

What to Do

The Mirin. Mirin is a special condiment that could be bought from grocery departments of malls. It is different from the rice vinegar since it is not a vinegar after all, but a rice wine. However, there are some alternatives that you could use to produce this one.
Alternative 1: You could purchase sake and have it mixed with sugar. The proportion could be 1:1 up to 3:1. But it is recommended to have a 1 tsp sake to 1 tsp sugar combination. A good equivalent would be honey, to maintain a syrup-like liquid.
Alternative 2: Since Mirin is a Japanese rice wine, you could also utilize some dry wines for this sense. You could add a tablespoon of dry sherry and a half teaspoon of sugar. Another alternative would be a white wine, too.
The Rice Vinegar. Rice vinegar is a special and popular vinegar especially in China and Japan. As the term suggests, they are made from rice, but they are not a variation of rice wine. These vinegars have milder tastes and are less acidic. If you cannot find one in the groceries you could resort to apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. A combination of white vinegar and water of the ratio 3:1 parts is also recommended.
The Konbu. Konbu is a sea vegetable and is used to flavor dashi, a soup stock. This is a dry good, usually dark in color (nearly black), and is sold in strips, sometimes in sheets. One alternative for this is Monosodium Glutamate.


Boil all the ingredients in medium heat. If ever possible, remove the mixture once it boiled. After simmering, cool the mixture and prepare the cloth by putting it in a bowl. Pour the mixture in the clothed bowl to strain the katsuobushi flakes. Finally, squeeze your selected citrus fruit and use the cloth you have used earlier to strain the citrus juice.
To have that tangy taste, you could use orange as your citrus fruit. For straining, cheesecloth would be better.

Now, have that passport to Japanese taste with this sauce! This would be perfect especially for grilled meat and fish, or even barbecue! Now your family could finally utter “Oishii” as they dip in this very delicious condiment!

Fried Pork Dumplings with Ginger Ponzu Sauce


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