Zesty and Fresh: 5 Ways to Use Ponzu Sauce

It’s around this time of year that we start growing weary of all the rich and heavy mid-winter dishes and start craving a dash of something fresh. Tangy, citrusy ponzu sauce can add just such a dash. This is our newest condiment-crush and we have plenty of ideas for how to use it. What are your favorite ways?

Ponzu is made from simmering rice wine, rice vinegar, soy sauce, bonito flakes, and seaweed, and then adding fresh yuzu juice. This rather unlikely combination of ingredients leads to an intense soy-like sauce that is simultaneously sweet, tart, bitter, and salty.

These are some of our favorite ways for using ponzu:

1. To Finish a Dish - A few shakes of ponzu in the last few minutes of cooking will punch up the flavors in a stew or a stir-fry sauce.

2. In a Marinade - We love the slight citrus note the ponzu sauce adds to a marinade for flank steak or pork. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’re curious to try making ponzu ceviche this summer!

3. In Salad Dressing - A ponzu-based vinaigrette goes particularly well with salads of hearty greens, like raw kale and radicchio salads.

4. As a Dipping Sauce - Ponzu makes a great variation on our standard dipping sauce for steamed dumplings.

5. In Meatloaf, Meatballs, and Veggie Burgers - Much like Worcestershire sauce, ponzu adds that je ne sais quoi savory note to these kinds of dishes.

Recipes with Ponzu:

Chilled Soba with Tofu, Sugar Snap Peas, and Ponzu from Gourmet
Ponzu Beef and Chicken Fajitas from Tasty Kitchen
Pistachio-Crusted Tofu with Ponzu Sauce from Bon Appétit
Seared Scallop Salad with Ponzu Sauce from Saveur
Homemade Ponzu Sauce from Mark Bittman - Diner’s Journal
How do you use ponzu in your cooking?

Related: Recipe: Vegan Fish Sauce

(Images: Romulo Yanes/Gourmet and Ree Drummond/Tasty Kitchen)