5-Ingredient Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

If you love Japanese food, you no doubt have enjoyed tonkatsu, fried pork cutlets that are breaded with panko crumbs. The sauce that is often served with it, tonkatsu sauce is a thick, savory sauce that is a burst of flavor and pairs well with breaded meats. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for 5-ingredient tonkatsu sauce and says, "This sauce reminds me of a thick barbeque sauce with an Asian flair. The fresh ginger root really makes the sauce taste extra fresh and helps to balance out the sweetness. Although tonkatsu sauce is typically served with pork or chicken fried cutlets, I think it's great with air fried tofu, french fries, or even buffalo cauliflower wings. Any time you need a tangy dip, think of this tonkatsu sauce. I love that it only involves 5 ingredients and I tend to always have these on hand."

Gather the ingredients for 5-ingredient tonkatsu sauce

To make this recipe, we only need 5 ingredients and some of them you're sure to have in your kitchen. To start, we're using fresh ginger root. "When buying ginger root look for a piece with smooth, unwrinkled skin. This will indicate that it's not dried out inside," Hahn shares. Then we'll need some ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin. "If you are looking to keep the sauce gluten free, make sure to use Tamari soy sauce. You can also substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar if you prefer to use something a little less processed and you can reduce the amount if you are on a low sugar diet," Hahn explains.

Peel the ginger

Our first step is to peel the ginger. There are several methods for doing this, but a standard potato peeler does the job nicely. "Some people like to use a spoon to do the peeling. This does work well especially if you have a young piece of ginger with thin skin," Hahn shares.

Grate the ginger

Now we'll use a micro plane to finely grate the ginger. Mincing just won't cut it in this recipe because we don't want chunks of ginger in the sauce. We're going for about 1 packed teaspoon of ginger, give or take. "To store the leftover ginger and keep it fresh for the next recipe, put it in an air-tight container or sealed bag and keep it in the crisper in the fridge. It will last for up to a month this way. You can also store ginger in the freezer where it will last 4 to 5 months," Hahn explains.

Combine the ingredients and serve

Now pull out a small bowl and combine the grated ginger, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin. Stir the mixture with a small whisk if you have one. Now your tonkatsu sauce is ready to serve and will be sure to make anything you have created even more delicious. Store the sauce in an air-tight container and it will last for two weeks. "I typically use a small mason jar to store homemade sauces and I label it with masking tape and a marker because at any given time, I might have 5 to 10 dressings or sauces in my fridge and I like to know what's what," Hahn shares. Enjoy your easy 5-ingredient tonkatsu sauce!

5-Ingredient Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Make this flavorful sauce that adds a sweet tang to meats, tofu, and more.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tonkatsu sauce in jar on round board
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2-inches fresh ginger root
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  1. Using a potato peeler or paring knife, peel the ginger root and remove any tough areas.
  2. Grate the ginger using a micro plant and measure out 1 teaspoon
  3. In a small jar or bowl, combine the grated ginger, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin. Stir with a small whisk to combine. The sauce is ready to serve or store in the fridge.
Calories per Serving 36
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 475.5 mg
Protein 0.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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