8 Easy To Find Substitutes for Ponzu (#6 Might Surprise You)

Ponzu is a Japanese citrus sauce that is typically used as a dipping sauce or a seasoning for sushi and sashimi.

While ponzu is delicious, it can be difficult to find in some areas. And, even if you can find it, the price tag may be a bit steep for your taste.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to ponzu substitutes!

In this article, we’ll explain the differences and similarities between ponzu and its substitutes.

We’ll also give examples of how we’ve used the substitutes in our own kitchens.

Let’s get started!

Substitutes for Ponzu

  1. Nam Prik Pla
  2. Worcestershire Sauce
  3. Soy Sauce
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. Rice Vinegar
  6. Orange Juice
  7. Sake
  8. Seaweed

Nam Prik Pla

Nam Prik Pla is a traditional Thai condiment made from fermented fish sauce, chilies, and lime juice.

It has a salty, sour, and slightly sweet flavor that makes it a perfect substitute for ponzu sauce.

The benefits of using Nam Prik Pla as a substitute for ponzu are twofold.

First, it imparts all of the same flavor notes as ponzu without being as heavy on the soy sauce flavor.

Second, it adds a bit of spice to dishes that may otherwise be bland. Nam Prik Pla is particularly well-suited for use in marinades, dipping sauces, and stir-fries.

It can also be used as a finishing sauce for grilled meats or fish.

When substituting Nam Prik Pla for ponzu, keep in mind that it is slightly spicier than its counterpart.

If you are sensitive to spice, start with less Nam Prik Pla and add more to taste.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes.

While it is often used as a marinade or as a dipping sauce, it can also be used as a substitute for Ponzu.

This Japanese dipping sauce can be difficult to find outside of Japan.

Worcestershire sauce can be used as a replacement for Ponzu in any dish where the latter would typically be used.

The sauce adds a depth of flavor to dishes that cannot be replicated with other substitutes.

In addition, Worcestershire sauce can be easily found in most grocery stores.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a great substitute for ponzu. It has a similar salty, savory flavor, and can be used in any recipe that calls for ponzu.

Soy sauce is also a good source of umami, making it a great addition to soups, stews, and sauces.

Additionally, soy sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different cuisines.

For example, it is commonly used in Chinese and Japanese cooking, but can also be used in Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another great substitute for ponzu. Ponzu is a Japanese sauce that is made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, citrus juice, and bonito flakes.

It has a sour, umami flavor that is perfect for dipping sushi or grilled meats.

While you can find ponzu in most Asian markets, it can be expensive.

Lemon juice is a cheaper alternative that will still give your dish the tartness it needs.

Lemon juice is also a healthy choice, as it is packed with Vitamin C. This makes it great for boosting your immune system.

Additionally, lemon juice has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help to keep your food fresh and free of harmful contaminants.

When substituting lemon juice for ponzu, be aware that you may need to add more salt to your dish to compensate for the lack of saltiness in the lemon juice.

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented rice. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine and has a milder flavor than other types of vinegar.

Ponzu is a Japanese citrus-based sauce, typically made with soy sauce and rice vinegar.

It has a tart, acidic flavor, and is often used as a dipping sauce or as a marinade.

While ponzu can be difficult to find outside of Asia, rice vinegar makes an excellent substitute.

It can be used in salad dressings, marinades, and even as a base for cocktails.

When substituting rice vinegar for ponzu, it is important to keep the ratio of acid to oil in mind.

Rice vinegar is less acidic than ponzu, so you may need to add more acidity to your recipe.

However, because it is not as strong-flavored as ponzu, it will not overwhelm other ingredients in your recipe.

Orange Juice

Orange juice can be used as a substitute for ponzu in many recipes. Ponzu is a tart and tangy citrus-based sauce that is traditionally used in Japanese cuisine.

However, orange juice makes a suitable replacement in many dishes. It is important to note that orange juice is much sweeter than ponzu, so it may not be suitable for all recipes.

For instance, if you are making a savory dish, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener that you use.

Alternatively, you may want to add additional acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to balance out the sweetness of the orange juice.

When used as a substitute in salad dressings or marinades, orange juice can add a lovely sweetness and depth of flavor to your dish.


Sake is a Japanese rice wine that is made by fermenting rice and can be used as a substitute for Ponzu in many recipes

Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Both sake and Ponzu are used to add flavor to dishes.

Sake is a good substitute for Ponzu because it has a similar flavor profile. In addition, sake adds a subtle sweetness to dishes.

The sweetness of sake complements the tartness of citrus fruits, making it a good choice for making Ponzu substitutes.

Sake can also be used to make dipping sauces and marinades.

When using sake as a substitute for Ponzu, it is important to use high-quality sake. Otherwise, the flavor of the dish will be compromised.


Seaweed is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, and it can also be used as a substitute for Ponzu.

Seaweed has a similar taste to Ponzu, and it can be used in many of the same dishes.

When substituting Seaweed for Ponzu, it is important to use a small amount, as the taste can be quite strong.

The benefits of using Seaweed as a substitute for Ponzu include the fact that it is lower in calories and fat, and it is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

It is also important to note that Seaweed can change the color of the dish, so it is important to take this into account when choosing a recipe.


Ponzu is a Japanese citrus-based sauce that is traditionally used in Japanese cuisine.

However, there are many substitutes for ponzu that can be used in recipes. Each of these substitutes has its own unique flavor profile that can be used to enhance the flavor of a dish.

So go ahead and experiment with different ponzu substitutes in your cooking.

Who knows, you may just find a new favorite ingredient!