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TAKE A PEEK INTO A JAPANESE PANTRY: WHAT’S PONZU?

Food & Recipes

Do you know what ponzu sauce is?

Ponzu or Ponzu soy sauce is the essential dipping sauce for Japanese cosine includes Japanese hot pot, grilled food, or sushi/ sashimi.

It’s addictive refreshing unique vinegar-like sauce.

In this post, we will talk about the meaning of the name “ponzu”, its place of origin, ingredients, how to make it, substitutes, and how to use it.

PONZU SAUCE IS PONZU SOY SAUCE

Ponzu (ポン酢) is a Japanese citrus and vinegar-based condiment commonly used as dipping sauce for dumplings and hot pot dish, grilled seafood or Sashimi.
When adding soy sauce to Ponzu sauce, it is called “Ponzu shoyu/joyu”.

However, recently, ponzu and ponzu soy sauce tend not to be clearly distinguished since ponzu soy sauce is much popular throughout Japan.

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THE FLAVOR OF PONZU SAUCE

Ponzu sauce or Ponzu soy sauce has a unique flavor with distinct refreshing flavor created by a well-balanced the acidity of vinegar and citrus juice.

It is not like soy sauce and other kinds of sauce.

You may almost feel like citrus vinegar with light soy sauce.

It goes well with a variety of ingredients such as meat, seafood, and vegetables, so it is one of the essential seasonings in a Japanese pantry.

HISTROY OF PONZU SAUCE

It is said that Ponzu sauce was introduced in Japan during the Edo period from the Netherlands.

But it was not as the sauce, and it was “pons” which referred to aperitifs in the Netherland.

Yet, Japanese people did not have the custom of drinking aperitifs, they eventually started calling fruit juice “pons.”

It transformed to a condiment called “ponzu” as it today that has a longer shelf life by adding vinegar and soy sauce.

HOW TO MAKE PONZU SOY SAUCE AT HOME

  • 1/2 cup Fresh citrus juice such as lemon, lime, yuzu fruits, sour oranges
  • 1 cup Japanese dark soy sauce
  • 1 handful Bonito flakes
  • 1 piece Dashi kelp

Homemade Ponzu sauce is packed with rich umami and fresh refreshing flavor.

Prepare clean sanitized jar and add the ingredients in the list above.

You can serve homemade ponzu sauce after marinating for 2-3 days, ideally, marinate it for 1-2 weeks. (Besides, the ponzu sauce marinated for 1 month become rich mellow sauce.)

*Remove the dashi kelp when it’ll be marinated over 5 days.

Remove the dashi kelp, strain the bonito flake. Store homemade ponzu sauce in the clean jar and it’ll be last for six months.

If you like to add mellow sweetness to homemade ponzu soy sauce, add mirin depending on your liking between 1/4 -1/3 cup after boiling off the alcohol content.

WHAT’S AJIPON

Ajipon is a registered trademark of ponzu soy sauce sold by Mizkan. Its base is a combination of citrus juice, vinegar, and soy sauce, which gives it a refreshing flavor.

It has been popular ponzu siy sauce product over 50 years and ponzu or ponzu soy sauce is often refers to “AJIPON”.

Since Ajipon is lower sodium content than soy sauce, it can be the healthy substitute for soy sauce..

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