Ponzu Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: 2 cups , enough for about



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

In addition to many of the basic dipping sauce ingredients—soy sauce, mirin, bonito flakes, and konbu—Ponzu Sauce contains a large amount of lemon juice. In Japan, yuzu, a very sour lemon, is used, so recipes adapted for American readers usually call for a combination of lemon and lime juice.

In Japan, Ponzu Sauce is served as a dipping sauce for raw, very firm–fleshed fish that are sliced very thinly and traditionally served in a rosette pattern. (Fugu, the blowfish known to be fatal if improperly cleaned, is the most notorious and expensive example.) Very thinly sliced fish has too delicate a flavor to match the combination of soy sauce and wasabi or Tosa Sauce served with the more familiar, thicker-sliced raw fish such as tuna. Ponzu Sauce also lends a bright yet subtle complexity when dribbled over hot grilled or sautéed seafood in the same way as lemon juice in the West. A drop or two also makes a delicious accent to a raw oyster.

Like Tosa Sauce, Ponzu Sauce is best when allowed to mature for several months, but it can be used right away or as long as 1 year after it is made.


lime juice ½ cup 125 ml
lemon juice ½ cup 125 ml
rice vinegar or sherry vinegar 2 tbsp 30 ml
dark japanese soy sauce ½ cup 125 ml
mirin ½ cup 60 ml
bonito flakes (about 1 loosely packed cup/250 ml) ¼ oz 7 g


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a stainless-steel mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and store in the refrigerator in a bottle with a tight-fitting cap.