Tempura Dipping Sauce

Japanese Sauces



Japanese sauces are typically light, and are applied with a light hand too. Sauces never overwhelm the natural flavors and textures of the foods themselves, but serve as an accent to them.

Ponzu (Makes about 250 ml/9 fl oz/1 cup)

Ponzu sauce


  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cm (11/2 inch) square piece of konbu
  • 1 tablespoon katsuobushi (bonito flakes)

Wipe the konbu with a damp cloth but do not rub off the white powdery substance that will become obvious as it dries. Cut the konbu into strips. Place all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for 24 hours. Strain through muslin or a fine sieve before using.

Sesame Seed Sauce (Makes about 435 ml/15¼ fl oz/1¾ cups)

Sesame Seed Sauce

Sesame Seed Sauce (Makes about 435 ml/15¼ fl oz/1¾ cups)

  • 100 g (3½ oz/two third cup) sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½teaspoon dashi granules
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup warm water

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan gently, until the seeds are golden brown. Remove from the pan at once to prevent burning. Grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle or a suribachi (Japanese ribbed mortar) until a paste is formed. Add oil, if necessary, to assist in forming a paste. Mix the paste with shoyu (Japanese soy sauce), mirin, caster (superfine) sugar, dashi granules and 125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup) warm water. Store, covered, in the refrigerator and use within 2 days of preparation.

Tempura Dipping Sauce (Makes 685 ml/23 fl oz/2¾ cups)

Tempura Dipping Sauce

  • 310 ml/10 fl oz/1¼ cups dashi II
  • 60 ml/2 fl oz/¼ cup mirin
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) Japanese soy sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.