Ponzu is a thin, dark brown citrus sauce that is commonly used in various Japanese cuisines. Known for its citrus punch, Ponzu has caught the attention of food enthusiasts around the world. However, the Ponzu sauce is distinctly made in Japan with ingredients like rice vinegar, mirin, katsuobushi, and kombu, making it very rare.
As genuine ponzu sauce is hard to find outside Japan, soy sauce comes to the rescue. Soy sauce makes an excellent ponzu sauce alternative as it’s very similar to ponzu sauce in terms of taste and punch. Whether you can get your hands on the original ponzu sauce from Japan or you make your own, here are five ponzu sauce dishes you need to try to satisfy your citric punch cravings.
- Shabu Shabu
Shabu shabu was first introduced in Japan in a restaurant called Suehiro in Osaka. Although the cuisine was introduced recently, the tradition of sharing food from the same hot pot goes way back.
Shabu shabu is a famous Japanese nabemono hot pot recipe consisting of thinly sliced meat with fresh vegetable pieces cooked in a flavorsome broth called kombu dashi. A large variety of veggies, such as shiitake mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, carrots, corn, etc., are added to the kombu dashi, making it more healthy and flavorsome.
The dish was named shabu shabu after its meaning “swish swish,” the light swishing sound of the meat in the simmering broth. It is a hotpot delicacy in which everyone at the table takes part and savors it with different dipping sauces. Some other condiments accompanied by ponzu sauce are sesame paste, spring onions, and Japanese pickled carrots.
- Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu Dressing
Japanese tofu salad is a healthy and easy-to-make Japanese dish that uses ponzu sauce as salad dressing. It’s a refreshing salad with fresh leafy greens, tofu, wakame seaweed, corn, and shiso leaves, a fragrant Japanese herb.
The ponzu sauce gives it a tangy taste, which is loved by many. It is super easy to make, and it perfectly complements many Japanese dishes as a side dish.
- Tuna Tataki
Tuna tataki is a lip-smacking delicacy for seafood lovers. Made with pan-seared sashimi-grade tuna, trickled with tangy ginger ponzu sauce and the sesame seeds to finish it. Easy to prepare, it is a delicious appetizer that can be enjoyed before your meal. You can use a citrus-based soy sauce as a good ponzu sauce alternative.
The word tataki translates to “pounded” in Japanese, indicating the different ways of preparing fish or meat in Japanese cuisines.
- Grilled Oysters with Ponzu Sauce
Made with plump, juicy, grilled oysters with delicious tangy ponzu sauce, this appetizer is a perfect start to your meal. It is a popular dish in Hiroshima and Miyajima, where people enjoy eating cooked oysters rather than raw ones.
Grilling the oysters gives them a rich, irony taste which is a little better than the taste of raw oysters. This dish is for anyone who loves to eat cooked oysters with a twist of citric flavor.
- Ponzu Chicken Rice Bowls
If you are looking for a light and healthy meal with a hint of tanginess, you should try a ponzu chicken rice bowl. Its sweet, spicy and tangy taste takes you on a rollercoaster ride of flavors.
The spicy and tangy chicken is served on a bowl of cooked rice with a lot of fresh toppings. It is straightforward to make and won’t need more than 30 minutes to make it. It is very nutritious and keeps you full for a longer time.
These are some delicious ponzu sauce recipes you can cook at your home. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have ponzu sauce available. You can use citrus-based soy sauce as an alternative to ponzu sauce. Now go and make your favorite dish with ponzu sauce. Happy cooking!