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Ponzu: A Citrusy Soy Sauce for Dipping and More

Fine Cooking Issue 74
By Jennifer Armentrout.  Photo: Scott Phillips
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Ponzu is a tangy, citrus-flavored soy sauce that’s popular in Japanese cuisine as a dipping sauce for dishes like sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish) and tataki (thinly sliced seared rare meat or fish). Cooking with ponzu sauce isn’t traditional, but we like to use it as an ingredient because it’s all at once sour, salty, sweet, and savory—a real boon to have in the fridge, especially for the quick cook. Kikkoman makes a bottled ponzu sauce that’s nationally available, and this is what we used to test the recipe for Stir-Fried Beef with Snow Peas & Shiitakes. Mixed with a little oil, ponzu makes a quick salad dressing or marinade, and it’s also good sprinkled over plain steamed, broiled, or grilled fish.

Make your own

Though it won’t be completely authentic, you can make a ponzu-style sauce with ingredients from your pantry. For every 1/4 cup of ponzu needed, mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and a scant 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

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