Easy Yuzu Ponzu (Japanese Yuzu Citrus Sauce) Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: December 25, 2023
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Easy Yuzu Ponzu Recipe

Tangy and aroma rich, Yuzu Ponzu is Japanese yuzu flavoured citrus sauce, and is widely enjoyed. This ponzu sauce recipe is authentic and is highly versatile. You can make Japan’s premium condiment at home in no time!

Yuzu Ponzu

When yuzu fruits become ripe and mature and turned into yellow and golden, it’s time for homemade yuzu ponzu sauce making! It’s fresh, tasty and additive free. Once you master this yuzu ponzu recipe, you won’t feel going back to shop bought.

I love yuzu so much, and have made many recipes to share with you. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, and is one of the intrinsic ingredients in Japanese cuisine.

When it’s season, I bring the fresh yuzu back home from the shop without thinking. Yuzu is piled up in my kitchen, and that makes me so happy. I am thinking how I am going to enjoy this winter with them. And my first yuzu recipe this year is this yuzu ponzu!

This Japanese ponzu sauce is truly magical. It elevates any savory dishe to the next level. You can make your own best yuzu ponzu sauce, and start using it for salads, fried vegetables and ramen, gyoza, hot pots and so many more!

Friends, bring joy in to your life and share it with loved ones. Read on!

What is yuzu ponzu?

Yuzu ponzu is Japanese yuzu citrus infused condiment. Tangy and aroma rich, it’s one of the best favourite among various citrus ponzu sauce available in Japan. This yuzu ponzu sauce is highly versatile and can be used for almost any savory dishes as dressing, dipping sauce or seasoning.

Yuzu ponzu vs regular ponzu

Kabosusudachi and yuko are Japanese citrus fruits which are often used in the traditional ponzu sauce making. When yuzu is added, the flavour and aroma of the sauce are dramatically improved. It tastes tangy, soy sauce flavored but becomes mild and mellow in taste and flavour.

The difference between ponzu and yuzu is simple. I use only pure yuzu juice for this recipe while my other ponzu recipe uses different citrus fruits as many as I have in my kitchen. You replace all the citrus fruit juice to yuzu juice.

How to use yuzu ponzu sauce

This Japanese yuzu flavoured dipping sauce is highly versatile. I use it for salad including slaw, seaweed salad, wakame salad or simply splash on top of tofu with spring onion and grated ginger.

For the winter, I use it for hot pots. You can use it with fried tofu, yakisoba and almost any kind of savory dish. Don’t forget to use it as a dipping sauce for Japanese dumplings (gyoza)!

YUZU RECIPES

Andy found yuzu kosho when he first visited Japan, and since then he uses it in almost any dishes. And for me, it’s almost an annual ritual to prepare this yuzu ponzu sauce and yuzu liqueur to prepare the chilly cold winter.

After making ponzu, I use the leftover yuzu skins for yuzu tea, yuzu kosho and yuzu jam. You can enjoy this chilly winter with this magical yuzu fruit like we do if you master yuzu recipes!

Best yuzu for this ponzu recipe

Yuzu has two seasons. One is winter. When yuzu is ripe and golden, the fruit is bigger, and more juice is contained. You use that golden yellow ones for this yuzu ponzu recipe.

It’s available during the winter from November to January at local Japanese shops. It’s not always in stock but when I see them I grab them and bring them back to home. So pay attention to them.

The other season is summer. Yuzu is not ripe enough and less juicy but is enjoyed its fresh and green flavour not for this recipe but for green yuzu kosho.

Ingredients for Ponzu Sauce

Japanese soy sauce: I use dark-colured soy sauce (koikuchi shoyu). My favourite is “Kikkoman Yuki Organic Soy Sauce”. You can use any Japanese soy sauce. If you look for gluten-free, make sure the soy sauce is gluten-free certified.

Mirin is one of my favourite super ingredient and is intrinsic for this recipe. It’s slightly sweetened and induces umami when it’s blended with other ingredients. It’s cannot replace to sugar.

Sake induces umami of the other ingredients and creates a perfect harmony with yuzu juice, soy sauce and mirin.

Kombu: It’s not wakame or nori seaweed but thick and dark kelp. It’s a vital ingredient for this recipe. You can use any types of kombu from the ship. My favourite is Japanese kombu from Rishiri or Rausu in Hokkaido, Japan. You can find it at your local Japanese or Asian grocery shop.

What Goes Well with Yuzu Ponzu, What to Serve with Yuzu Ponzu, japanese yuzu sauce,

How to Make Yuzu Ponzu

You only need five ingredients, fresh yuzu juice, Japanese soy sauce, mirin, Japanese sake and kombu. There are a few points you need to pay attention to make yuzu ponzu making successful!

Clean

This step is very important. Clean up citrus fruit with running water, and dry them with a clean kitchen towel. Also make sure all the equipments are clean.

I always make ponzu in a large portion and preserve it for more than three months. If you do, wash the air-tight container with kitchen detergent and hot water. Leave it in the kitchen and dry it out. Then clean the inside of the air-tight container and the lid with kitchen paper soaked with strong alcohol like vodka. This way, you can keep the ponzu for six months.

Make sure the equipment you use like a tablespoon or a whisk is also clean.

Make yuzu juice

This is the most enjoyable part of this recipe! Enjoy yuzu’s rich aroma and fragrance everywhere in your kitchen.

Make sure your hands are clean! Squeeze the citrus juice into the glass jar. Avoid any pith dropping into it.

Combine

Place the citrus juice, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Soak the piece of kombu. Mix them gently with a spoon or a whisk. That’s basically it! Your homemade yuzu ponzu sauce is ready, and you can enjoy it immediately.

My recommendation is to let it sit and develop for between one and four weeks. The sauce becomes mature, mellow and refined. You’ll find the differences! In that case, don’t forget to remove the kombu next day.

You’ll never feel to get back to a ponzu bottle of the shop!

FAQs

How to save yuzu ponzu

Once you start using the bottle, and open, keep it in the fridge for one month.

How to preserve longer

This citrus sauce can last for six months at room temperature in an air-tight container. Avoid direct sunlight while storing. Also you need to clean the glass jar with hot water and strong alcohol.

Once you opened the bottle and used the sauce, leave it in the fridge for three months.

Is yuzu ponzu gluten free?

You can adopt a gluten-free version easily. Make sure you use a gluten-free certified soy sauce. Mirin, sake, kombu and yuzu don’t contain gluten. Our ponzu is also vegan friendly.

What to do with left over yuzu skin?

No need to through away. You can make yuzu kosho, yuzu jam or yuzu tea. Or make a bath tab and place the skin there. Enjoy the rich aroma of yuzu at home!

Easy Yuzu Ponzu Recipe

Yuzu Ponzu Recipe

Barbara Hodge
Tangy and aroma rich, Yuzu Ponzu is Japanese yuzu flavoured citrus sauce, and is widely enjoyed in Japan. This ponzu sauce recipe is authentic and is highly versatile. You can make Japan's premium condiment at home in no time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Japanese
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup yuzu juice (about 5-6 yuzu fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese sake
  • ½ cup Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 kombu (2×2 inch)

Instructions
 

Clean

  • Wash yuzu with running water and dry them with kitchen towel. Make sure the air-tight container and utensils are all clean.

Squeeze

  • Make sure your hands are clean. Squeeze the yuzu to make juice. Avoid dropping the pith into the bottle.

Combine

  • Place yuzu juice, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Combine them with a spoon or whisk. Then soak kombu. Mix them together. If kombu is too large to add into your container, break it into small pieces.
    That's it! Store or serve immediately!

Store

  • You can use yuzu ponzu immediately. I also recommend to sit and leave it for one to four weeks to make it milder, tastier and refined. In this case, don't forget to remove kombu next day.
    Once you open the container store it in the fridge and use with in a month.

Notes

How to save
This yuzu ponzu can last for six months at room temperature in an airtight container. If you keep it more than three months, store it at room temperature in an alcohol air-tight container for up to six months by avoiding direct sun light.