Ponzu Sauce (Japanese Citrus Dipping Sauce) Recipe

A small dish of ponzu sauce.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Why This Recipe Works

  • Sweet mirin, refreshing citrus, and smoky/savory bonito flakes and kombu join forces for one flavorful powerhouse.

Ponzu sauce is a classic Japanese citrus sauce that can be used without the addition of soy sauce, but is most commonly served with soy included. It's a great dipping sauce for cold noodles, salads, dumplings, grilled meats and fish, cold sliced meat or fish, or any number of other dishes.

Recipe Details

Ponzu Sauce (Japanese Citrus Dipping Sauce) Recipe

Cook 20 mins
Active 5 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 12 servings
Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (1 ounce; 30ml)

  • 1/2 cup mirin (4 ounces; 120ml) (see note)

  • 1 (3- by 3-inch) piece kombu (about 1 ounce; 30g) (see note)

  • 1/2 ounce (15g) shaved katsuobushi (see note)

  • 1/2 cup yuzu juice, or equal parts lemon and lime juice (4 ounces; 120ml) (see note)

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce (4 ounces; 120ml)


  1. Combine vinegar, mirin, and kombu in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in katsuobushi. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids (or reserve to make a second batch, using some additional katsuobushi in the second batch). Allow liquid to cool completely.

  2. Combine steeped mirin, citrus juice, and soy sauce. Ponzu will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Special equipment

Fine-mesh strainer


Mirin, kombu, and katsuobushi (bonito) can be found in any Japanese grocery or most well-stocked supermarkets. Fresh yuzu is nearly impossible to find outside of Japan. Bottled yuzu juice works well, but can be pricey. You can cut the bottled yuzu juice with lemon and lime juice to lower the cost, or simply replace it completely with a lemon/lime combination.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
40 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 911mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)