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Homemade Yuzu Sauce Recipe

Forget store-bought yuzu sauce and make this homemade sauce instead! The umami-packed condiment is surprisingly easy to prepare and can be made in bulk.

I can’t get enough of this yuzu sauce. The sauce, commonly called yuzu ponzu, is a delicious combination of the juice of yuzu fruit, soy sauce, mirin, and notable additions, including kombu and bonito flakes, to add depth of flavor. It makes a fantastic dipping sauce and salad dressing. I also use it as a marinade and enjoy it drizzled over Japanese rice. Plain steamed rice with yuzu sauce is such a nice side or snack. In the winter, I’ll take a few trips to the nearest Asian grocery store to find this delicious fruit and try my luck at farmers’ markets. I know it’s extra, but yuzu fruits are worth the effort, so let’s get into how to make yuzu sauce at home!

Yuzu Sauce Recipe

Why You’ll Love Yuzu Sauce

Super flavorful – Bright, citrusy, salty, smoky, and sweet; yuzu sauce offers a bit of everything, and it’s all good!

Versatile – I mentioned a few ways I like to use it, but the sauce’s uses extend far beyond those. Add it to anything from meat or fish to your favorite bowl of soup. A drizzle on top can make all the difference!

Easy – Anything that takes 7 minutes to prepare is a winner in my book.

Suited for long-term storage – A jar of yuzu sauce can last 6-12 months in the fridge. Imagine having this sauce conveniently waiting in the refrigerator for you to enjoy.

Yuzu Sauce Ingredients Notes

  • Yuzu juice: If you can find fresh fruits, use them. The fragrant Japanese citrus fruit can be found in Asian grocery stores and some specialty grocery stores during the fall and winter, with the peak season from November to December. If not, go with bottled yuzu juice. I usually get mine from Whole Foods or Amazon.
  • Kombu: Kombu is an edible kelp often used in Japanese cuisine to make dashi. It imparts a lot of umami and helps to create a flavorful foundation or base for this yuzu sauce.
  • Bonito flakes: Bonito flakes, also known as katsuobushi, add a smokiness to the sauce. It is a fish product (skipjack tuna, to be exact), so the flakes can be replaced with dried shiitake mushrooms if you want vegan yuzu ponzu.
  • Soy sauce: The popular condiment adds saltiness and complexity.
  • Mirin: The rice wine offers a delicate sweetness accompanied by a pleasant aroma. It pairs nicely with the fruit juice.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: You won’t use a lot of rice vinegar, but it is essential for preserving the sauce and and adding the perfect amount of acidity to balance out the other flavors in the sauce.

Refer to the recipe card below for a complete list of yuzu sauce ingredients with precise measurements.

Yuzu Sauce Ingredients

How To Make Yuzu Sauce

  1. Prepare the jars: Add the kombu and bonito flakes to the jars. Add 1 piece of kombu and half a cup of bonito flakes (or dried mushrooms) per jar.
  2. Pour in the other ingredients: Divide the juice and other ingredients equally between the jars, then secure the lids.
  3. Shake it up: I noticed that the kombu and bonito flakes are rarely submerged, so I shake each jar to correct this. They need to be submerged to extract as much flavor as possible.
  4. Wait time: Yes, prep is easy, but you want to wait at least 24 hours before tasting the sauce since the flavors need time to meld. Just ensure you don’t exceed 24 hours because the kelp tends to get slimy after this amount of time.
  5. Strain and enjoy, or not: Strain the solids, return the liquid to the jars, and then the sauce is ready! Enjoy it after 24 hours, or wait to give the flavors more time to meld. This is precisely why this recipe yields 2 jars instead of one. This way, I can start on a jar immediately and keep the second one in the fridge for a few months. Yuzu sauce gets better with time.

Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips

Evaporate the alcohol in mirin – If the alcohol content is a concern, you can cook off the alcohol or use an alcohol-free variant. I suggest nikiri mirin, which is simply mirin that has been boiled. This way, you don’t miss out on all the complex flavors.

Use another citrus fruit – If you prefer fresh fruit juice but can’t find yuzu, use lemon, lime, orange, or a combination. Although it won’t be yuzu sauce, it will taste delicious.

Sterilize the jars – This isn’t a canning recipe. However, sterilizing jars is so easy that there’s no reason not to. You only need a large pot with a rack and some boiling water. Additionally, try to avoid contamination as you use the sauce over time by wiping the rim clean before screwing on the lid, not dipping food directly into the jar, etc. These extra steps will ensure the sauce lasts a long time.

Add sugar – For a sweeter sauce, add a little sugar. The acidity of yuzu juice becomes subtler with time, so you may want to add sugar to the jar you plan to use immediately.

Yuzu Sauce Recipe

Homemade Yuzu Sauce Recipe

Yield: 2 Cups
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 7 minutes

Forget store-bought yuzu sauce and make this homemade sauce instead! The umami-packed condiment is surprisingly easy to prepare and can be made in bulk.


  • 2 (2-inch) pieces of kombu
  • 1 cup dried bonito flakes or dried shiitake mushrooms, divided
  • 1 cup soy sauce, divided
  • ¼ cup mirin, divided
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup yuzu juice (preferably freshly squeezed), divided

You Will Also Need:

  • 2 (16-ounce) mason jars, sterilized


    1. Add a piece of kombu and half the bonito flakes (or shiitake mushrooms) to each of the jars.
    2. Follow with half the soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, and yuzu juice.
    3. Ensure that the kombu and bonito flakes are fully submerged, then screw on the lids. If they are not submerged, shake the closed jars.
    4. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Do not exceed this time.
    5. Strain the solids from each jar and return the yuzu sauce to the jars.
    6. Enjoy immediately or wait 3-4 months for the flavors to meld.


While you can enjoy this Yuzu Sauce immediately, allowing it to rest for a day really allows the flavors to meld.

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Monique McArthur
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