A Guide to Japanese Sauces| Mizkan Chef
Japanese sauce being poured in an empty white bowl

A Guide to Japanese Sauces

2nd November, 2021

Japanese cuisine has an extensive range of sauces that can go well with a variety of dishes. From all-purpose sauces such as miso sauce to sauces that are perfect for grilling like Yakiniku sauce or those that go well with deep-fried dishes such as Tonkatsu.

Let’s explore three Japanese sauces that are extremely popular in Japan due to their versatility as they have a base flavour that complements many different dishes. Learn how chefs can recreate these sauces using Mizkan Chef’s specially crafted ingredients.

Ponzu Sauce

This classic citrus-based sauce can be used in a variety of ways such as:

  • As a dipping sauce for seafood dishes
  • As a marinade for grilled dishes
  • Or, as a dressing for salads, noodles, or rice

Beyond adding a citrusy and tangy taste, ponzu sauce brings an umami flavour and subtle sweetness into dishes. Let’s find out how chefs can create the sauce using our high-quality ingredients.

Ponzu Sauce Recipe


  • 300ml Honteri
  • 300ml Rice vinegar
  • 5g Bonito flakes
  • 2pc Kombu
  • 450 ml Citrus juice (yuzu, lemon, kabosu, sudachi)
  • 2 Sliced Oranges and Lemons

Preparation method:

1. Mix Honteri, rice vinegar and bonito flakes over medium heat and simmer.

2. Remove from heat and add konbu. Once cooled, strain the liquid to remove bonito flakes, keeping konbu.

3. Add citrus juice and the ponzu sauce is ready to be served.

Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu sauce can also be used alongside deep-fried dishes such as karokke, chicken katsu and katsu udon.

Let’s learn how chefs can make this sweet and tangy flavoured sauce using Mizkan’s ingredients for extra depth and flavour.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe


  • 100ml Ketchup
  • 200ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5g Sugar
  • 100ml Soy sauce
  • 150ml Honteri
  • 2g Garlic powder
  • 2g Mustard

Preparation method:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Refrigerate for 24 hours to combine all the ingredients and achieve a deeper flavour.

3. Serve with any deep-fried dish of your choice.

Yakiniku Sauce

Lastly, we have yakiniku sauce, which is a Japanese BBQ sauce used alongside grilled foods including meats, vegetables, and seafood.

Due to the variety of both sweet and savoury ingredients, this dark-golden sauce has a sweet and savoury flavour – making it perfect for grilled dishes.

Let’s find out how chefs can make it for their restaurants.

Yakiniku Sauce Recipe


  • 200ml Sake
  • 200ml Honteri
  • 10g Sugar
  • 100ml Rice vinegar
  • 300ml Soy sauce
  • 5g Dried bonito flakes
  • 100ml Apple juice
  • 2g Toasted white sesame seeds
  • 50ml Sesame oil
  • 3g Grated garlic
  • 3g Grated ginger

Preparation method:

1. Mix sake, Honteri, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, bonito flakes, garlic and ginger in a pan on medium heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent sugar from burning. This should take around 3 minutes.

2. Turn off the heat and strain the sauce to remove garlic, ginger and bonito flakes.

3. Add sesame oil, toasted white sesame seeds and apple juice to the strained sauce, mix together and serve either as a dipping sauce or pour over the dish.

Now that you know the three traditional Japanese sauces that are a staple within Japanese cuisine, recreate them to be served alongside fusion and Japanese dishes in your restaurants.

Learn more about our high-quality products through our FAQs page and get in touch with us for any further queries about purchasing the ingredients for your restaurants.

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