Ponzu Sauce Substitute

Use this ponzu sauce substitute to marinate poke in or drizzle over rice for an extra tang. Make a large batch of sauce and keep in the fridge for whenever you’re ready to a sweet yet umami sauce.


  • Fruit Juice: The base of ponzu sauce is Meyer lemon, Yuzu or orange juice. I used half a cup (about two oranges worth) of freshly squeezed orange juice.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce will add in layers of salty flavor and umami to your ponzu sauce.
  • Rice Vinegar: Adding rice vinegar will add a touch of sweetness and acid to balance the flavor profile of the ponzu.
  • Mirin: To balance the vinegar and soy flavors, add a rice wine.
  • Fish Sauce: To tie all the flavors of your ponzu sauce together, add in fish sauce. Traditionally, ponzu has boiled kelp added to it. Adding fish sauce instead of kelp will add the flavors of the sea.

How to Make Ponzu Sauce Substitute

Making this Ponzu sauce substitute is incredibly easy. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and serve it up! Making this substitute sauce is much easier than making a regular ponzu sauce, as that will involve boiling kelp leaves.

What is Ponzu Sauce?

A traditional ponzu sauce is made from citrus, soy, rice vinegar, mirin, fish flakes and kelp. Some of these ingredients can be difficult to find and can take a long time to distill into the sauce.

My recipe replaces these harder-to-use ingredients that are looking to whip up a quick sauce.

What is Ponzu sauce used for?

Ponzu sauce is used as a Japanese condiment for fish, rice and vegetables. Use your freshly-made Ponzu in place of soy or dashi.

You can also use your Ponzu as a marinade for fish or poke. I enjoy the fresh citrus flavor of this recipe, so I am always marinating sushi-grade fish in it overnight for poke bowls.

More Sauce Ideas:

More Recipes

Ponzu Sauce Substitute

0.0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Side, SauceCuisine: Japanese, AsianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tbsn rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsn mirin

  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce


  • Mix all the ingredients together and use as a marinade or as a dipping sauce.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

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