9+ Ponzu sauce substitute (Make your Dish more Delicious)

I’m trying to show you how to make a delicious ponzu sauce substitute.

You can add many other ingredients, but this recipe is easy and quick! 

You’ll be able to make this dish in no time, and it’ll taste just like a real thing.

I love using this when cooking salmon or any type of seafood for dinner. 

It has a wonderful tangy flavor that everyone enjoys.

What is Ponzu Sauce?

Originating in Japan, Ponzu sauce is a citrus-based sauce typically made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and dashi. 

The sauce uses as a marinade or a condiment and is often served with sushi or sashimi. Ponzu sauce is also used as a salad dressing or a dip for appetizers.

The combination of flavors in Ponzu sauce is often described as tangy, salty, and acidic. The citrus flavor in the sauce compliments the flavors of seafood and sushi very well. 

Ponzu sauce is also available in bottled form and can be found at most grocery stores.

What does ponzu consist of?

Ponzu sauce consists of various umami flavors like 

Ponzu sauce ingredients

  • · simmering mirin, 
  • · Rice vinegar, 
  • · Katsuobushi flakes
  • · Seaweed (kombu)
  • · Citrus fruits Like- YuzuSudachiDaidaiKabosu, or Lemon.

13 Tasty Ponzu sauce substitute


Hoisin sauce is a staple condiment in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisine. It has a very distinctive sweet-smoky flavor.

Popular Chinese condiments are fermented soybeans, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It has a thick, reddish-brown texture and a slightly sweet and smoky flavor alternative to ponzu sauce. 

Hoisin sauce is used as a glaze for meats, a dipping sauce, or an ingredient in other sauces.

To use hoisin sauce in place of ponzu sauce, simply mix equal parts hoisin sauce and rice vinegar, then season to taste with soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste. You can also add a touch of honey if you want a sweeter sauce. 

Hoisin sauce is a fantastic way to add flavor to fish, chicken, or beef dishes. You can use hoisin sauce as a dipping sauce for dumplings or spring rolls or as a glaze for grilled meats or vegetables. 

Hoisin sauce is also great in stir-fries or mixed into chili or black bean sauces.


A new and delicious way to enjoy sushi night, consider using teriyaki sauce in place of ponzu sauce.

teriyaki sauce is a popular ponzu sauce substitute

Teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, mirin, and ginger. In contrast, ponzu sauce is made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, citrus juice, and other ingredients.

It’s often used in stir-fries and on grilled meats, but it can also add a delicious flavor to your sushi when you use it as a dipping sauce or salad dressing.

Read More- See best Teriyaki Sauce Substitute ( Homemade recipe included)


Worcestershire sauce is a British condiment fermented sauce used as a condiment. It is made with vinegar, molasses, anchovies, tamarinds, onions, and garlic. It has a similar tart flavor to Ponzu sauce.

For a quick and easy way to add some Asian flair to your dish, Worcestershire sauce is an excellent substitute for ponzu sauce. 

Just taste your dish before adding any additional salt, as Worcestershire sauce can be pretty salty.


Korean BBQ sauce is a type of barbecue sauce popular in South Korea. It is a thick, sweet, and spicy sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. 

It has a somewhat smokey flavor as well as a slightly sweet flavor. Combine lemon juice and BBQ sauce.


Tonkatsu sauce is a savory, brown, Worcestershire-like sauce used as a condiment for tonkatsu, a Japanese dish of breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet. 

tontaku sauce is a popular alternative for tonkatu sauce.

It’s also a dipping sauce for fried items like chicken karaage and agedashi tofu.

Tonkatsu sauce was first created by mixing tomato ketchup with Worcestershire sauce. Still, the former wasn’t fermented and contained less sugar than contemporary tonkatsu sauce. 

In general, Tonkatsu sauce is typically sweet with a hint of sourness from vinegar and/or lemon juice. That’s why it will go instead of ponzu sauce.


Soy sauce is a relish made from soybeans, roasted wheat, salt, and water. The soy sauce taste can be described as salty, savory, and umami. 

Soy Sauce is often used in East Asian cuisine as a seasoning or dipping sauce.

If you’re searching for a substitute for ponzu sauce, soy sauce is a good option. Because soy sauce has a stronger flavor than ponzu, you will need to use less of it.

Using soy sauce instead of Ponzu, I recommend using 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe and adding additional citrus (lime, lemon, grapefruit) juice to brighten up the sauce. 

It goes well with various foods, including seafood, chicken, and vegetables.


Sauces can really elevate a dish and add a lot of flavors. Fish sauce is also a great option in place of ponzu sauce.

Fish sauce is made from fermented fish and has a salty, umami flavor that pairs well with many Asian dishes.

Try this Steamed Fish dish. This recipe is short and straightforward to prepare, yet it is packed with flavor.


  • · 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • · 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • · 1 tsp honey
  • · 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • · Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

For the ponzu sauce:

  • · 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • · 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • · 3/4 cup soy sauce ( You can substitute soy sauce with other)
  • · 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • · 1/4 cup honey ( you can use other natural sugar instead of honey)
  • · 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • · Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Whisk all of the ponzu sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Place aside.

2. In a big bowl, combine the chicken, bell peppers, and onions.

3. Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in a separate bowl. Pour the chicken mixture on top.

4. Toss well to coat. Allow for a 15-minute rest at room temperature before cooking.

5. If marinating longer than 30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook; 

Come back up to room temperature (about 15 minutes) before cooking.

6. Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. 

7. Grill the chicken and vegetables for about 5 minutes per side until cooked through. 

Serve with the ponzu sauce on the side.

8.NAM PRIK PLA- Thai Sauce 

Nam Prik Pla or Nam Pla Prik is a famous Thai sauce used for many dishes. It’s made with garlic, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, and sometimes chilies are used. 

I love it because it goes well with so many things. If you are thinking of trying it out on your pad thai or some other dish that calls for ponzu sauce.


Shoyu is a Japanese soy sauce made from fermented soybeans, roasted wheat, and salt. It has a slightly salty, savory, and umami flavor that pairs well with many dishes. 

It can be used as a condiment or ingredient in sauces, soups, stews, marinades, and dressings.

It is particularly well paired with Asian-inspired dishes, grilled meats, vegetables, fried food, and seafood.

10. DIY Alternatives to Ponzu Sauce

i. Mix soy sauce with vinegar at a ratio of 3 to 1.

Soy sauce and vinegar are both flavorful ingredients that can add a lot of depth to a dish. They also happen to be relatively affordable, which is another plus. 

If you are looking for a substitution for ponzu sauce, a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar is a good option.

Simply taste your cuisine as you go to ensure the flavors are balanced.

Depending on what you’re preparing, you may need to change the amounts of soy sauce and vinegar.

ii. Soy sauce + lemon

Soy sauce and lemon pair well together and create a similar flavor profile to ponzu sauce. 

Additionally, this mixture is likely to be less expensive than ponzu sauce. 

However, if you are looking for a more pronounced citrus flavor, you may use lime instead of lemon. 

iii. Mentsuyu+vinegar

There are some reasons why you would use Mentsuyu and vinegar for ponzu sauce in a recipe or meal.

For one, Mentsuyu is readily available at most grocery stores, while ponzu sauce can be harder to find. 

Additionally, Mentsuyu is less acidic than ponzu sauce, so it may be a better choice if you are looking for a milder flavor. 

Finally, it’s up to you to choose whether or not using Mentsuyu+vinegar is a good substitution for ponzu sauce in your recipe or dish.

How to Make Ponzu Sauce at Home

Ponzu sauce is a citrusy soy sauce often served with sashimi in Japanese restaurants. 

I make it at home because it’s easy and delicious! 

Make sure to use mirin for this recipe – if you don’t have mirin, just add 1 tbsp sugar or honey to the recipe instead of mirin( check non-alcoholic mirin substitute). 

The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


  • · 1 cup soy sauce
  • · 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • · 1/4 cup mirin
  • · 1 tbsp sugar or honey
  • · 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • · zest of 1 lemon or lime


1. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sugar or honey, garlic, and zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Once boiling, reduce to low heat for 5 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool before using or store in the fridge.

3. For best results, use after completely cooled.


Once your ponzu sauce is made, you’ll need to store it in the fridge. The good news is that homemade ponzu sauce will last in the fridge for up to one week. 

Just make sure to keep it in an airtight container to not spoil.

If you’re looking for a way to preserve your ponzu sauce so that you can enjoy it for a longer time, then you should freeze it. 

Freezing is the best way to keep your yummy sauce for up to two months (if not more). Simply transfer the ponzu sauce into an airtight container and place it in the freezer.

How is ponzu different from soy sauce?

Ponzu is lighter in color and has a more tart, citrusy flavor than soy sauce. It’s made from a combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and citrus juice, giving it a slightly sweet and sour taste. 

Soy sauce has a deeper color and a savory flavor. It’s made from a combination of fermented soybeans, roasted wheat and barley, and brine.

Whichever type of sauce you use, we’ve found that both can add a lot of flavor to many Asian dishes. It’s absolutely a matter of selecting the one that works best for your personal tastes.

Are yuzu and ponzu the same?

The answer is a little bit complicated. Yuzu and ponzu are citrus sauces, but they are not exactly the same. 

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that is sour and slightly sweet. Ponzu is a Japanese sauce made from yuzu juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and dried seaweed.

Both yuzu and ponzu are used as dipping sauces for sushi or as seasonings for dishes like ramen. 

Ponzu is also sometimes used as a marinade for meat or fish. 

Yuzu is a bit sourer than ponzu, and ponzu has a slightly sweeter taste. Ponzu also has a stronger soy sauce flavor than yuzu.

So, are yuzu and ponzu the same? Technically, no. But they are both citrus sauces that can be used as dipping sauces for sushi or seasonings for dishes like ramen.

They both have a sour and slightly sweet taste, and they are both made from Japanese citrus fruit. 

So, if you are looking for a citrus sauce to use as a dipping sauce for sushi or as a seasoning for ramen, either yuzu or ponzu will work well.

Does ponzu sauce taste like fish?

The short answer is no. Ponzu sauce, pronounced pon-zoo, is a tangy citrus soy sauce used in Japanese cooking to add flavor to dishes like sashimi (raw fish), sushi (rice and toppings), and salads. 

It has a transparent bright yellow color that comes from the addition of yuzu, a sour Japanese citrus fruit.

Ponzu sauce does not have a fishy taste. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

Ponzu is a light, refreshing, and slightly sweet and sour taste that pairs well with savory and salty foods. It’s also low in sodium and contains no sugar or artificial flavors.

How to make gluten-free ponzu sauce?

Ponzu sauce is a citrus-flavored soy sauce used in Japanese cooking. The sauce can be made by mixing mirin, rice vinegar, and tamari (or soy sauce). 

“Gluten-free ponzu” uses lemon or lime instead of mirin. I would like to make ponzu using Kikkoman’s gluten-free soy sauce.


  • · 1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce (Kikkoman)
  • · 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • · 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • · 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • · 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • · 1 clove garlic, minced


1. Merge all ingredients in a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Shake or stir until honey is dissolved.

3. Pour sauce into a small serving dish.

4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

5. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Enjoy this delicious gluten-free ponzu sauce with your favorite dish! It’s ideal for dipping sushi or marinating chicken, fish, or shrimp. It may be used as a salad dressing.

Is ponzu sauce vegetarian?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are different types of ponzu sauce, some of which contain fish or shellfish ingredients. 

However, most commercially available ponzu sauces are likely to be vegetarian-friendly, as they typically do not contain any animal products.

FAQs Related to Ponzu Sauce & Its Alternatives

Q1. What Is Ponzu Sauce Similar To?

Ponzu sauce is similar to soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce.

Q2. Is it ponzu vinegar?

No, ponzu is not vinegar. It is a sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and citrus juice. It is often used as a dipping sauce or marinade. 

Ponzu can also make a dressing for salads or as a topping for seafood or meat dishes.

Q3. How long can you keep Ponzu sauce?

Ponzu sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Q4. Is ponzu sauce the same as hoisin sauce?

Yes. Ponzu sauce is also known as “Hoisin sauce,” a Japanese version of Chinese Hoisin sauce. 

Most people don’t know that these two sauces are actually the same thing. 

Hoisin sauce can be seen in most grocery stores, usually next to soy sauces and rice wines. It’s made mainly from sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic.

Ponzu sauce is a little bit different than hoisin sauce. It contains citrus juice, usually lemon or lime, which gives it a slightly tangy flavor. 

It’s also a little thicker than hoisin sauce, making it perfect for dipping sushi in.

Q5. Is Ponzu sauce gluten-free?

As with most condiments and sauces, it’s best to check the list of ingredients before consuming ponzu sauce. 

Suppose you have a gluten allergy or intolerance. In that case, you will want to double-check that the brand of ponzu you’re using does not contain any wheat products. 

However, most commercially available ponzu sauces are gluten-free, as rice vinegar is typically gluten-free.

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