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Homemade Natto Sauce; Japanese Home Cooking Recipe After Making Homemade Natto

how to make natto sauce, homemade natto sauce, Japanese cooking, Japanese home cooking, recipe Food & Recipes

Natto sauce is the small packet that you can see inside the Natto package with Karashi mustard.

It is called “Natto no Tare” which literally means “natto sauce” in Japanese.

It’s similar to soy sauce, but it has a richer and sweet taste packed with Umami flavor.

I recommend using natto sauce (and Karash mustard, of course) rather than using just soy sauce.

However, you are wondering if you make homemade Japanese natto and you can’t get natto sauce.

Actually, Natto sauce is super easy to make if you have all ingredients in your kitchen.

You can make the authentic Natto sauce in just 10 minutes.

Ingredients Of Homemade Natto Sauce

  • Japanese dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  • Japanese Sake
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Ajinomoto Hondashi powder
  • Mirin (*optional)
  • Hondashi Powder

What You Can Use If You Don’t Have Mirin; Mirin Substitute

As I often talk about Mirin in my-Japanese home cooking in my blog, do you really need Mirin to make Japanese cuisine?

My answer is “not necessary”.

Indeed, I don’t use mirin in my-Japanese home cooking.

The purpose of using mirin is mainly to add Umami flavor, sweetness, and shine.

To make Natto sauce, you can substitute Japanese sake and sugar instead of mirin.

You know the truth Mirin is really not necessary for home cooking, you can also make Teriyaki sauce without mirin. (hooray!)

I put the link to my authentic teriyaki sauce recipe at the bottom of the page!


The recipe I made below already tells you the ingredient amount in case you don’t use Mirin.

If you are going to use mirin,

  • Reduce 2 tbsp of sake to 1 tbsp.
  • Reduce 1.5 tbsp of sugar to 2 tsp of sugar


I use rice vinegar in this recipe, but you can use any kinds of vinegar that you already have. (except for balsamic vinegar.)

I recommend adding extra sugar if you use white vinegar.

Ajinomoto Hondashi Powder

You can make authentic Dashi broth, of course, I use Ajinomoto Hondashi powder in an easy & quick way.

It’s a handy item to make Japanese cuisine at home quickly.

Boil Alcohol Away

Boil alcohol away on low-medium heat since the rich-umami flavor evaporates when bringing Japanese sake quickly on high heat.

Boil it for about 1 minute once it starts bubbling.

How To Make Natto Sauce In 10 Minutes


how to make natto sauce, homemade natto sauce, Japanese cooking, Japanese home cooking, recipe

Homemade Natto Sauce

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Natto sauce is the special sauce for Natto. Better than dressing natto using soy sauce only. The Natto sauce tastes exactly the same as the small packet in the natto package. Moreover, you can make authentic natto sauce in just 10 minutes.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 16 servings


  • 3 tbsp Japanese Dark Soy sauce Kikkoman
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Vinegar Rice vinegar recommended
  • 1 tsp Hondashi powder
  • 2 tbsp *Mirin Blog Post referred


  • In a milk pan, allow Japanese sake, sugar, and water to boil on low-medium heat.
  • Stir them occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  • Boil alcohol away for about 1 minute once boiling the solution.
  • Add soy sauce, hondashi powder, and vinegar.
  • Begin to boil the sauce again, turn off the stove.
  • The sauce will be well-combined and rich taste after resting overnight in the fridge.


©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword condiment, Easy, Hondashi, Sake, Sauce, Soy sauce, Vegan, Vegetarian

How Much Natto Sauce Do You Need Per Serving?

The small packet of natto sauce in a natto package contains 5 ml = 1 tbsp.

You can make 80 ml (2.7 fl. oz), which is about 16 servings.

What Ingredients In The Commercial Natto Sauce “Natto no tare”?

Generally, the commercial Natto sauce (a small packet inside Natto package) is mainly made of,

  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Brewed Vinegar
  • Dried bonito extract
  • Protein hydrolyzate
  • Fructose syrup
  • Amino acid

Fructose syrup is a sweetener made from starch such as potatoes and corn.

The commercial natto sauce that comes with natto contains additives and chemical seasonings.
If you have a few concerns, how about a handmade natto sauce?

Ajinomoto Hondashi Contains MSG

Ajinomoto Hondashi contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) extracted but all from natural raw materials such as kelp, bonito flakes.

If you still prefer Non-MSG, addictive-free Japanese dashi products, you can find them in this post.

How To Make Homemade Natto Without Starter (Jump To Another Page)

Substitute For Natto Sauce

Well, Natto sauce is made of Soy sauce, so you can use my other Japanese savory sauce instead of the Natto sauce.

How To Use Natto Sauce For Other Dishes

Natto sauce can be an all-purpose sauce for cooking, such as a stir-fry sauce, a marinade sauce, and a salad dressing or a dipping sauce for Sashimi/ Chinese dumplings.

Here is my favorite recipe-Tender Japanese-style Pork Shoulder Steak.

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