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How to Make Ponzu Sauce

I love ponzu sauce which is used as a gyoza dipping sauce but I like using it on everything else from noodles to meat.  The garlic and tanginess goes really well together.  So I’ve tried making my own which is pretty good in taste using garlic, soy sauce, sugar, water, and white vinegar.  The white vinegar didn’t seem right especially with the amount of sauce that I use.  I don’t use the sauce with my food, I use food with my sauce.

While I was at T&T, I decided to pick up a bottle of ponzu.  This stuff is expensive! For a small bottle, it can cost around $6.  So I looked at the ingredients and realized that the sourness is from lemon and orange juice.  Duh!

So when I got home, I tried to make the sauce.  After a few tries, I finally got it right and tastes like the ponzu sauce you get from japanese tapas restaurants.  I also realized that if they made their own, they must’ve dilated it heavily because a little goes a long way.

So here are the ingredients – minced fresh garlic, lemon juice, dashi, dash of sugar, rice vinegar (optional), and soy sauce.  There are no measurements because it should be entirely to taste.  Add more soy sauce for saltyness, squeeze lemon harder for more zing.  Well, you get it.

Dashi is a fish stock but can come in little pellets.  It gives japanese food that japanesey kind of taste.  For example, I love miso soup and when I tried to make it at home with real miso paste, it just doesn’t taste the same.  Until you add dashi and suddenly, it tastes just like the restaurants.  It’s also laced with MSG because it can make you thirsty afterwards.

Anyway, so here is what I did to make the ponzu sauce.

Chop garlic, add sugar and hot water until sugar is diluted, then add lemon juice.  The ingredient that you should add the least amount should be dashi.  It should be about a quarter of sugar added (which isn’t a lot, you don’t want it to taste sweet but the sugar somehow neutralizes the lemon juice a bit).  Taste to gauge the sourness and determine how much soy and water to add.  You will need to do a few taste testings in between adding each ingredient.  Of course, you don’t need to taste test once you have mastered your own ponzu recipe.

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2 comments on “How to Make Ponzu Sauce

  1. Sam Han
    June 8, 2013

    Hmmm… so ponzu is lemon? it’s getting very popular here too. i buy tetra packs ponzu juice. they are refreshing on hot humid days.

    • drunk ninja
      June 10, 2013

      I think it’s a mixture of lemon and soy. It’s actually a japanese sauce, mainly used for gyozas. I like adding raw garlic to give it a kick! But ponzu is not meant for drinking though! What you have sounds like Lemonade LOL

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