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5 BEST Substitutes for Ponzu Sauce: Flavorful Choices

Ponzu sauce is a citrus-based sauce normally used in Japanese dishes.

Ponzu sauce is a liquid consistency, tart with a meager, and tastes bland.

It is used as dumplings dipping sauce, spread on Asian entrée, used as a marinade, or you can use it for pan sear vegetables and meats.

This sauce is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

However, this is not the only sauce you can use to substitute ponzu sauce.

There are a few other alternatives that you can also make from scratch or ingredients found in your kitchen.

However, if you cannot afford Ponzu Sauce or do not have access to it, there are five best substitutes for the traditional Japanese condiment available in your area.

What is Ponzu Sauce?

what is ponzu sauce

Ponzu Sauce is a Japanese tart filled with umami and taste slightly salty.

If you are among many people who want to know how to make ponzu, what are the substitutes? The answer is simple: yes, you can learn to make ponzu and find the best substitutes for ponzu sauce.

When using ponzu sauce in cooking, make sure to use moderately like in any other ingredients.

The ingredients give full flavors when used in small amounts.

Also, you should know that soy sauce contains high sodium content, so make sure to use it as per the recipe’s requirement.

The sauce might cover the flavors of other ingredients, but it will give a good flavor to your dish.

Most chefs use this sauce as a marinade because it helps to tenderize the meat and adds flavor to vegetables and seafood dishes.

It is also used as a dipping sauce for dumplings or tempura.

Depending on your taste, you can add a few drops of ponzu sauce to your favorite dishes.

Many brands offer ponzu sauce in the market, but if you cannot find it in the store or do not want to buy it from stores for some reason, make sure to check out these five best substitutes for ponzu sauce below.

5 Best Substitutes for Ponzu Sauce

1 – Soy Sauce

soy sauce

Soy sauce is one of the best substitutes for Ponzu Sauce.

Soy sauce is available in any grocery store easily that can be used in the place of ponzu to make your Japanese dish equally appetizing.

Soy Sauce is loaded with protein, and it helps people who are suffering from heart issues and hypertension when used in cooking regularly.

If you run out of Ponzu Sauce at home, then without any other thought, use soy sauce as it is the best way to get the umami and spicy taste of ponzu sauce.

However, soy sauce has a very different texture compared to ponzu sauce.

To thicken the soy sauce, you can use some cornflour when you make marinara sauce.

You can substitute an equal quantity of soy sauce to the recipe as ponzu sauce, but it is always better to add a small quantity first and add more if needed.

2 – Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemon juice is one of the most versatile ingredients that can be used to substitute Ponzu Sauce.

Lemon juices are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, making them healthy to consume.

The acidic nature of lemon juice helps tenderize the meat while adding a citrusy flavor that pairs well with beef, chicken, or fish.

Lemon juice is nothing but a juice of lemons mixed with water.

It is very acidic and contains low pH levels, and the fruity hints and flavor will help you make your dinner edible.

You can use Lemon Juice to obtain a balanced taste and flavor to ponzu sauce.

Lemons are used to enriching the fish and meat dishes, used in salt and sweet drinks.

The substitution ratio is 1:1; take one tablespoon of lemon juice to substitute one tablespoon of Ponzu sauce.

Don’t add more lemon juice than required, as the high acid content in lemon can overpower the dish’s flavors.

3 – Rice Vinegar

rice vinegar

If you love the light tangy flavor of Ponzu Sauce, then go for rice vinegar as it is one of the best substitutes for ponzu sauce.

Rice vinegar is made with aged rice, and it is most used in East Asia.

Rice vinegar is the best option to replace the ponzu sauce as it works well with soups, fries, and rice dishes.

The rice vinegar helps you get a similar acidy taste that you obtain from ponzu sauce.

When you use rice vinegar in the place of ponzu sauce, you can try to add one teaspoon of lemon juice to make the dish tastier.

The substitution ratio is 1:1; take one tablespoon rice vinegar to substitute one tablespoon of ponzu sauce.

Also, you can use a combination of 2 ¾ teaspoons of rice vinegar and ¼ teaspoons of soy sauce to substitute one tablespoon of ponzu sauce.

4 – Orange Juice

orange juice

If you are a citrus lover, you can go for orange juice as an alternative to ponzu sauce.

Orange Juice is usually used in marinating fish, and it has a distinctive taste that aids in making any dish tasty.

The orange juice is made of citrus fruit that gives the citrusy aroma and fruity taste and perfect option for fruit-based dishes and baked items.

The substitution ratio is 1-teaspoon: 3 drops.

Take one teaspoon of orange juice to substitute two to three drops of Ponzu sauce for the baking dish.

If you don’t want to use the concentrated juice, take an orange fruit, press it to get the juice, and add a portion of it as an alternative for ponzu sauce.

5 – Yuzu Kosho

yuzu kosho

If you cannot find Ponzu sauce anywhere, you can use Yuzu Kosho as it has the same umami taste and spicy notes.

Yuzu kosho is also known as yuzu pepper paste, and it is made with the juice of yuzu fruit and salt and chili peppers.

It is a popular Japanese citrus fruit found in Japan, and it produces a very amazing fragrance.

Yuzu Kosho is produced with green chili and the skin of Yuzu, but the taste of Kosho is neither hot nor pepper.

Adding Yuzu Kosho to the cooking gives you a similar taste as ponzu sauce; you can try to add to steak, noodle, and sashimi dishes.

People from different places in japan mostly use Yuzu pepper instead of Ponzu sauce in their cooking as they enjoy the citrus taste and aroma of the Yuzu.

The substation ratio is 1:2; take one teaspoon of Japanese Yuzu Kosho to substitute two teaspoons of ponzu sauce.

Also, the ratio changes according to the amount of dish; you can equate the ratio according to the requirement of the dish.


Ponzu Sauce is popular and a traditional dipping sauce mostly used in Japanese cooking.

You can make Ponzu Sauce at home, but if you are looking for an alternative, go for one of the aforementioned substitutes.

All these options might change the flavor and taste, so choose the substitute that brings in closer taste.

If you don’t want to compromise on the taste, buy ponzu sauce from an online store.

Ponzu Sauce is available in different flavors and tastes; you can choose your suitable option.

best substitutes for ponzu sauce

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ponzu Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Soy Sauce
  • Lemon Juice
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Orange Juice
  • Yuzu Kosho


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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