Try this super quick, homemade, and oh so much better than anything you can buy ponzu sauce for oysters. Ready in as little as 1 minute and with just 4 ingredients.
What is Ponzu sauce?
Ponzu sauce is a Japanese citrus dipping sauce classically made with yuzu lemons. Since those can be hard to find, most versions use lemons, as does this one.
Most versions will also add soy sauce for Ponzu shoyu, though the original Ponzu sauce does not have it.
What is in Super Quick, Homemade Ponzu Sauce?
- Bonito flakes
- Lemon juice
- Soy sauce
The bonito flakes give the sauce that smooth gentleman’s touch that can hold the salty soy sauce on one arm and the sharp, acidic lemons on the other.
Mirin gives it a little sweetness like a bouquet of roses, so they can all walk down the aisle together.
Some recipes add a touch of rice vinegar for another dimension of acidity. However, this recipe sticks to just lemon juice because oysters love the sharp, tart acidity of yellow lemons.
How is it Super Quick?
Most recipes also use a premade dashi broth from bonito flakes and kelp. However, that would require an unfortunate extra step.
Dashi powder would be an ample substitute if you have it. Howver dashi powders without MSG can be expensive and hard to find.
Instead, we’re going to make the dashi stock in the bowl with…the microwave. Since it’s such a small amount, it’s not worth heating up a whole pot on the stove.
You could just as well buy ponzu, but they never taste quite “meaty” enough or they have too much sugar. This version is easy and quick enough to just make @ home.
How do you make Super Quick, Homemade Ponzu Sauce?
Grab your bowl for the microwave (ahem). Put in the soy sauce, water, and bonito flakes.
Depending on how powerful your microwave is, heat for 15-30 seconds just until it starts to steam. You don’t really need to boil it.
Add the lemon juice and let cool. Eventually, you will fish out the bonito flakes, but let it steep together while you open the oysters.
Tips for opening oysters on the half shell
Perhaps the ponzu sauce won’t deter you from making this dish but opening oysters will. It’s really not so bad, is it?
Try out these tips to make oyster opening much easier:
- Use a towel or layers of paper towel, so the oyster is easier to hold on to with one hand, with your oyster knife in the other
- Position the knife at the hinge and push at a 45-degree angle down into the oyster, rather than into your other hand
- It’s all in the flick of the wrist. Twist your wrist!
- Once cracked open, gently run your oyster knife along to the top shell to loosen any stuck bits of oyster
- Run the knife underneath the oyster to loosen the muscle, so these will be slurpable.
- Do everyone a favor and don’t rinse with tap water. Just flick out any excess bits of shell with your oyster knife.
Once the oysters are open, you can cover and refrigerate and cover for consumption later that same day.
Dress the Oysters
Once the oysters have opened, the ponzu sauce should be cool by now. You can strain out the bonito flakes and top each oyster with about a teaspoon of sauce.
Spice it up if you like with a thin slice of jalapeno. If you wanted to be fancy, a jalapeno granita would be impressive but not necessary.
What else can you do with Ponzu sauce?
Ponzu is an all purpose dipping sauce that can be used on a variety of dishes such as:
- Tempura dipping sauce
- Dipping sauce for shabu shabu/hot pot
- Baked with fish
- Dippin sauce for grilled meat or fish
- Salad dressing over organic spring mix or thinly sliced cabbage
- Dipping sauce for dumplings with togarashi schiimi pepper
- Dipping sauce for sushi & sashimi
- Drizzled over raw or pan-fried slices of tofu
Other Classic pairings with oysters on the ½ shell
We, of course, know the usual suspects when it comes to dining on raw oysters. You have probably had any or all of the following?
- Lemon + Tabasco Sauce
- Cocktail sauce (Ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice)
- Mignonette (Red wine vinegar, shallot)
Please add Ponzu sauce to this party! Ponzu sauce captures the necessary citrus component to brighten up the saltwater in the oyster but it also adds that unique umami factor that the above three sauces don’t.
Wine pairing: Orange wine
Because Orange is the new red (for wine) that may just be the best fit for sushi. That little bit of soy from the ponzu sauce, minerality from the oyster, and heat from the jalapeno would not overpower the orange wine. Otherwise, a sparkling rose or chablis would work nicely for its limestone notes.
Super Quick Homemade Ponzu Sauce for Oysters
- 8 ea oysters on the half shell
- 1 pinch bonito flakes
- 1 Tb soy sauce
- 3 Tb water
- 1/4 ea lemon squeezed
- 1/2 Tb mirin
- thin slices jalapeno optional
- Put bonito flakes, soy sauce, water and mirin in a bowl. Microwave for 15-30 seconds until the liquid just steams. No boiling needed.
- Let cool and add lemon juice.
- Drizzle sauce over oysters. Garnish with jalapeno if desired. Serve cold.
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Do you feel like making super quick ponzu sauce now? Please spread the Asian ♥ and share!