What is Yuzu Sauce Made From?

Yuzu is actually a citrus fruit found in East Asia, but is also cultivated in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy and France. Yuzu is the same color as a lemon, however it is the shape and texture of a lime. It is not the prettiest fruit in the world, but its taste is unique and delicious, sort of like a hybrid of a lime, lemon and grapefruit. 

Yuzu sauce, actually called ponzu, is an extremely unique and surprisingly appetizing addition to many different meals. It is made using yuzu juice, and honey combined with soy. The flavors are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. 

What is Yuzu Sauce Used For?

Yuzu sauce, or ponzu, is very versatile and can be used to make many different things. Here are some of the most common things people use yuzu sauce in.

  1. Marinades
    • Ponzu sauce is most commonly used in marinades for meat or poultry. The sweet and savory pairs well with steak and chicken or any type of fish. It can also be used as a glaze while meat or fish is cooking.
  2. Salad Dressings
    • Ponzu can be mixed with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and garlic to make a simple, yet delicious salad dressing.
  3. Dipping Sauce
    • Mixing ponzu with sesame oil, rice vinegar and or nori makes a great dipping sauce for things like dumplings, wontons or egg rolls. 
  4. Hot Pot Dishes
    • Shabu Shabu is a popular hot pot dish served in Japan. It is a hot pot dish made with thinly sliced pork, udon noodles, mushrooms, cabbage, and tofu all in a broth. Sesame sauce and ponzu are often added to this dish for flavor. 
  5. Vegetables
    • A great way to spice up simple sauteed vegetables is by cooking them in ponzu sauce. 
  6. Rice Bowls
    • Ponzu is often added into rice bowls to help spice up the rice and the dish itself. 
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Yuzu Sauce Recipe

It is not challenging to make ponzu sauce. The most common recipe used is listed below. 

  • 2 tablespoons of mirin 
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of yuzu juice or mixed citrus juice- (Yuzu juice isn’t all that easy to find, however using a combination of orange juice and lemon juice creates the same flavor that you would be getting from yuzu juice) 
  • 1 strip or nori
  • ½ of bonito flakes (dried, smoked and fermented tuna flakes) 

Combine all the ingredients in an airtight jar and store in the fridge overnight. Strain the liquid from the solids the next day using a mesh strainer. Store the ponzu sauce in the fridge for up to one month. 

Final Thoughts

Yuzu isn’t a common fruit, not many people have heard of it. However, it makes a delicious sauce, ponzu, that is so versatile and delicious. From meat marinades, to vegetables sautees, this sauce can be used to flavor so many dishes and add some flare to your meals!