Japanese cuisine is known for its variety of sauces, which play an important role in many dishes. Each sauce has its own flavour and consistency, which can influence the taste and texture of the food. We have collected some of the most popular Japanese sauces and describe their differences:
Soy sauce (Shoyu)
Soy sauce is one of the most famous Japanese sauces, as you surely know. It is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt and water. The umami flavour is slightly salty and a bit sweet and sour. Soy sauce is often used as a condiment for sushi, noodle dishes and marinades.
Teriyaki sauce is a thick sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and ginger. It has a sweet and savoury taste and is often used for grilled dishes such as chicken, beef or fish. The seasoning sauce has an intensely spicy taste of soy sauce, but at the same time it is slightly sweet and a little salty. The rice wine it contains gives the sauce its own characteristic flavour.
Ponzu sauce is a sauce made from soy sauce, citrus fruits (usually yuzu), rice vinegar and dashi (fish stock). It has a slightly sour taste and is often used as a dip for gyoza (dumplings) or as a dressing for salads, but this balanced sauce is also suitable for meat and fish dishes.
Tonkatsu sauce is a sweet, spicy sauce usually served with roasted pork (tonkatsu). It is made from tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and spices. It's got all the right flavour in it. Tonkatsu, by the way, is a breaded cutlet served in bite-sized pieces.
Do you know Mentsuyu? It's a kind of broth made from soy sauce, mirin, dashi and sugar. It is often used as a dip for soba or udon noodles. The use of dashi makes the sauce particularly rich in flavour.
So each of these sauces has its own special taste and use. Depending on the Japanese dish you are preparing, you can optimise the aroma and taste of your food with the right sauce.
MYCONBINI tip: We have a large selection of sauces in our shop. If you can't decide, we recommend a special soy sauce Kombu Shoyu, which has been matured in wooden barrels for several years.