Nama Ponzu vs. Ponzu Shoyu vs. Yuzu Ponzu

This is the continuation of the previous post, and here, let’s look at the variety of Japanese ponzu sauce.

Based on the article “ポン酢” on Wikipedia, ponzu, in a narrow sense, is defined as a seasoning made from citrus juice mixed with vinegar.

Typical citrus fruits used for Japanese ponzu sauce are lemon, lime, daidai orange, yuzu, sudachi and kabosu.

Nama Ponzu vs. Ponzu Shoyu vs. Yuzu Ponzu

So ponzu, in its simplest form, only consists of citrus juice and vinegar, like this long-time favorite Mizkan ponzu sauce.

But today, the mainstream is “ajitsuke ponzu (味付けポン酢: meaning seasoned ponzu)”.

Its ingredients typically include citrus juice, brewed vinegar, soy sauce, dashi, salt, sugars, and amino acid seasoning.

Unlike original ponzu, the sauce is versatile and can be used in many dishes.

Yuzu Ponzu (ゆずポン酢)

Yuzu Ponzu Shoyu from Mizkan

If I give an example of ajitsuke ponzu, this yuzu ponzu, labeled as ajitsuke ponzu, is seasoned with soy sauce and kombu dashi, sweetened with fructose corn syrup. 

The majority of commercial ponzu sauces use blended citrus juice, but the yuzu ponzu only contains juice squeezed from the citrus fruit yuzu.

Ponzu Shoyu (ポン酢醤油)

Ponzu vs Ponzu Shoyu Sauce

Ponzu shoyu is also a kind of ajitsuke ponzu made from ponzu mixed with shoyu or soy sauce. 

As mentioned above, recent Japanese ponzu sauce is often blended with soy sauce, and accordingly, ponzu shoyu is generally called ponzu.

Nama Ponzu (生ポン酢)

Nama ponzu, meaning raw/fresh ponzu, sometimes refers to ponzu sauce that only consists of citrus fruit juice using no vinegar.

But the ingredients of commercial nama ponzu often include soy sauce, dashi, sugars, and rice vinegar.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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