Ponzu Sauce Substitutes

In Japanese cooking, ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is very popular. Its tart taste and lack of consistency make it unsuitable for any dish.

There are several substitutes for the traditional Ponzu Sauce. Some samples include soy sauce, lemon juice, rice vinegar, orange juice, and mentsuyu.

If you need a quick and simple alternative to ponzu sauce, here are eight substitutes.

Making a DIY Ponzu Sauce – gives you insight into alternatives you could use as substitutes.

Soy Sauce

Aside from being incredibly nutritious, you can also use soy sauce to substitute for ponzu sauce. It can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

One of the easiest ways to get the spicy and umami taste of ponzu sauce is soy sauce. It is because the soy sauce has a distinct texture.

If you’re planning on making a sauce for pasta, you can add some soy sauce and a bit of cornstarch to it. It will help thicken the sauce. You can also try to use a small quantity of cornstarch.

Lemon Juice Can Be a Substitute for Ponzu Sauce
Lemon Juice Can Be a Substitute for Ponzu Sauce

Lemon Juice

A fruit drink made from water and lemons is known as Lemon juice. It has a low pH level and is incredibly acidic. Its smooth and refreshing taste will make you want to eat more.

You can use this versatile ingredient to enhance the flavor of ponzu sauce. Aside from being used in various food and drink products, lemons are also usable as an ingredient in preparing fish and meat dishes.

An alternative to regular milk or yogurt is to use lemon juice, as it can help extend the product’s shelf life and boost one’s immunity. However, be careful with any acidic juice, as it can trigger allergic reactions.

Rice Vinegar

East Asia’s rice vinegar originates from fermented rice, similar to what you can find in Vietnam. It’s perfect for various types of food, such as soup and rice dishes. However, you can use it to draw out the acid without the sweet and fruity flavor.

You can also add lemon juice to make it even more vibrant. Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from rice.

Although apple juice has a medical advantage, this drink does not have the same effect on one’s health. You can use it to add flavor to mixed greens dressings.

An Easy Ponzu Substitute is Orange Juice
An Easy Ponzu Substitute is Orange Juice

Orange Juice

One of the most straightforward ways to replace citrus juice is using oranges. This fruit provides a refreshing and sweet taste and is ideal for various types of baked goods and fruit-based treats. To prepare the orange, wash it well and dry it with a towel. You can also utilize a grater to get the best results.

Orange juice is a fantastic ingredient for making coats and baking cakes. You can also add a touch of sharpness to biscuits and other dishes.

The scent of this product makes the plate smell sweet even after removing from the broiled meat. It also adjusts the intense and delicious taste of the meat.


An excellent alternative to ponzu sauce is seaweed, filled with minerals and has no fat or calories. It’s also nutritious and used frequently as a vegetable lover’s alternative.

Unlike ponzu, you can use seaweed in a variety of dishes. You can also differentiate it in the flavors it brings to the meal.

It can act as a replacement for ponzu in a Caesar salad. It adds a nice intense flavor to the dish.

Although seaweed is famous for being an ocean weed, you can also use it in various recipes that are not seafood-related.

Ponzu Substitutes Like Sake
Ponzu Substitutes Like Sake Are an Authentic Alternative


The Japanese drink known as sake is made from rice. It’s usually blended with sugar and then fermented. Like beer, the blending process involves adding starch to the mixture and converting it into alcohol.

Compared to wine, sake has a more delicate and less pronounced flavor. You can use it to substitute ponzu sauce for meat.

Besides being used for meat, sake can also appear in other food preparations such as chicken, fish, and sweets. Like white wine, you should simmer it with the food to enhance the flavor and improve the dish’s appearance.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce always replaces ponzu sauce, but they have a distinct taste difference when scrutinized. It is because the vinegar in it is one of its fixed components.

Commonly used to substitute ponzu sauce, Worcestershire sauce doesn’t have the same off-putting taste. This fermented liquid has various other ingredients that you can use to enhance your dish.

For those looking for a more delicate and flavorful sauce, You can use Worcestershire sauce.


A good mentsuyu is a type of flavoring that you can make using various components such as sugar, soy sauce, and dashi. Since it has a variety of flavors, it can make a more complex taste.

There are many types of mentsuyu, and they have varying levels of sweetness and spice. You can alter the measure of mentsuyu by blending it with a bit of vinegar.

If you think that the ponzu sauce is too solid, add water. You can also use water and vinegar to make it taste better. If you discern the sauce needs a bit of sharpness, add a tiny amount of vinegar.

Nam Prik Pla

A Thai condiment known as Nam prik pla comprises various ingredients such as fish sauce, garlic, and lime juice. Aside from being a substitution, other components can also benefit your dish.

Combining sweet, salty, and sour flavors can enhance a dish’s taste. You can also test with different cooking processes to achieve the perfect balance.

In some Japanese dishes, the addition of hot chilis would be strange. However, other than that, the other two ingredients will not be affected.


Ponzu sauce Shoyu is a joint compound in commercial ponzu sauce. It can help improve the stability and usability of the product.

Aside from being a massive part of ponzu sauce’s flavor profile, it also adds a bit of character to it. If you’re hoping to catch that same substance, you might want to try Shoyu instead.

Shoyu is an excellent addition to any marinade, as you can use it to enhance the dish’s flavor. You can also add other delightful ingredients such as vinegar and lemon juice to enhance the flavor.