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Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute – Here’s 7 Easy DIY Katsu Alternatives

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Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute

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Tonkatsu sauce is a full-flavored sauce with a deep umami oomph and a thick richer texture. It’s a Japanese staple condiment for enjoying savory pork rolls, miso soup, meat croquette, katsu, and stir-fries. However, there’s always a curiosity that can you substitute Tonkatsu sauce in your Japanese cuisines?

Well, it’s all depends on your culinary preferences whether you want to try the Tonkatsu sauce recipe or go for any other condiment with a bit of modification.

But keep in mind that no alternative sauce can fully replace the complex savor confined to Tonkatsu sauce. However, you will be able to get a comparable mouthfeel using the following substitution ideas.

Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute

Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute

Tonkatsu sauce is a full-bodied condiment crafted in a way to stimulate all the taste buds and palate on each generous bite. On the whole, the flavor is sweet and salty, spicy and tangy, savory and umami with a thick comforting texture.

Tonkatsu sauce gets its unforgettable umami oomph from a variety of ingredients including fruit pulp, non-starchy vegetables, vinegar, mirin, and spices. The resulting sauce is a perfectly complex blend of brewed and stewed vegetables and fruits together with sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy seasonings.

Wait for a second! If you are unable to spot your beloved condiment in your regional stores, don’t worry. Get Bull-Dog Tonkatsu Sauce for your Japanese-styled cuisines and meat dishes.

Even so, the only thing that causes people to search for Tonkatsu sauce alternative is its rare availability in the local markets and grocery stores. So, you need to go for various other alternative condiments mentioned below to carry out your fine dining.

1. Plum Sauce

Plum Sauce

Plum sauce is the best and closest alternative to tonkatsu sauce that you can use in a variety of appealing ways. It’s similarly thick, flavorful, and versatile condiment you can ever get to serve thanksgiving meals.

Plum sauce is a light brown condiment made from sweet plums, apricots, apples, peaches, and pineapples to bring fruity sweet goodness. Other ingredients include salt, vinegar, chili peppers, onion, and ginger to make a sauce with a rich complex mouthfeel.

Since the plum sauce is not a region-specific sauce like tonkatsu sauce, you can easily locate it in your local condiment aisles.

Drizzle plum sauce over egg rolls, noodles, dumplings, and stir-fried veggies to enjoy the complex sweet and tangy savor. Serve your grilled meat, roasted pork, and seafood with plum sauce as a tonkatsu sauce alternative.

Which One You Should Buy? Dynasty Plum Sauce offers a great blend of fruity sweet and tangy bites closer to tonkatsu sauce. It’s perfect to serve with deep-fried foods, stir-fries, katsu, croquette, and dumplings as a yummy dip.

2. Ginger Miso Dressing

Ginger Miso Dressing

Ginger miso dressing gets its primary mouthfeel from miso paste and can replace tonkatsu sauce in various signature savory treats. Miso paste packs the finest kick of salty and savory flavor with delicious sweet underlying taste notes.

To reach the flavor complexity of tonkatsu sauce, miso paste takes advantage of various other ingredients including brown sugar, salt, sesame oil, ginger, and vinegar. The resulting thicker sauce or a dressing is a great substitute for tonkatsu sauce in terms of savory complex flavor.

The consistency is a little runnier, and it imparts light yellow pop to the recipes, unlike the dark brown tint of tonkatsu sauce. Despite that, it’s a good go-to alternative, easy to spot, and closely related to tonkatsu sauce in terms of flavor.

Which One You Should Buy? Stonewall Kitchen Organic Ginger Miso Dressing complements well to your vegan foods including salads, stir-dry veggies, and dumplings. Also great to serve as a dipping sauce instead of tonkatsu sauce.

3. Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is another sweet, salty, and tangy sauce used to season a ton of recipes. It gets its big umami hint from soy sauce, mirin, garlic, honey, and ginger to create a condiment competitive to tonkatsu sauce.

When you need an alternative candidate with a similar darker hue and thicker consistency with a deep umami oomph, teriyaki sauce can save your recipes. Teriyaki sauce is also good to coat your roasted meat, grilled pork, and fish.

Besides, it can be your best dipping sauce for dumplings, steaks, chicken balls, and spring rolls. It’s also great to drizzle over stir-fries, noodles, and fried rice for an extra palatable zing, like tonkatsu sauce.

Which One You Should Buy? Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce is great for adding a decent recipe finish to your thanksgiving meals. It’s a full-bodied and rich-flavored sauce usually used to glaze roasted, grilled, and braised meat dishes.

4. Takoyaki Sauce

Takoyaki Sauce

Takoyaki sauce is another comparable tonkatsu sauce alternative with a Japanese origin. The sauce is specifically used to season Japanese dumplings made from octopus (Takoyaki). However, you can also use Takoyaki sauce in American and Asian cuisines to replace tonkatsu sauce.

You can consider Takoyaki sauce as a concentrated version of worcestershire sauce. So, the flavor is deeply umami, sweet, and tangy with a subtle hint of heat. The consistency is a bit runnier yet great to serve as a dipping sauce along with appetizers and mainstay meals.

Which One You Should Buy? Otafuku Takoyaki Sauce carries authentic Japanese flavor to turn your ordinary food dishes into delectable savory treats.

Easy DIY Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute

When any of the above-given sauces is not available for any reason, you can modify the flavor profile of available ingredients. It sounds interesting. Right?

Here are some easy DIY ideas to upgrade your sauce flavor to reach the flavor level of tonkatsu sauce. So, get ready.

5. Hoisin Sauce And Mirin

Hoisin Sauce

Although hoisin sauce is a similarly thicker and deeply flavored sauce, it cannot replace tonkatsu flavor as-is. Hoisin sauce is full-bodied condiment rich in salty and tart taste notes with a subtle hint of sweetness.

It lacks that deep savory and tangy bites of tonkatsu sauce, so what else you can do? It’s quite simple. Hire mirin, a Japanese rice wine, to add that tangy savor to hoisin sauce, similar to tonkatsu sauce.

Add a tablespoon mirin to a half cup of hoisin sauce, mix well, and enjoy the sauce in a way as tonkatsu sauce.

Which One You Should Buy? Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce packs umami tangy and salty bites following with sweet underlying taste notes. To make an ideal katsu sauce substitute, add Kikkoman Mirin to Hoisin sauce and delight the recipe outcomes.

6. Barbecue Sauce And Molasses

Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce packs deep umami, tart, and spicy flavor punch to pair up well with meat dishes. When compared with tonkatsu sauce, barbecue sauce lacks complex fruity sweetness. Well, it’s simple to round off the BBQ sauce flavor.

Add 2 tablespoon molasses to a half cup of barbecue sauce, mix well until combined, and serve as a great tonkatsu sauce substitute.

Which One You Should Buy? Get Traeger Barbecue Sauce for potent tangy, savory, and salty taste notes comparable to katsu sauce. And get Plantation Blackstrap Organic Molasses to fake the complex sweet goodness of tonkatsu sauce.

7. Ponzu Sauce And Honey


Ponzu sauce is more towards tart, tangy, and citrusy side rather than tonkatsu sauce. It gets its savory tanginess from soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, yuzu juice, and dashi. So, it needs to be sweet and fruity in order to replace tonkatsu sauce.

Thereby, add a splash of honey to ponzu sauce to get that similar flavor complexity or a blend of sweet and savory flavor notes.

Which One You Should Buy? Kikkoman Ponzu Sauce is a seasoned Japanese soy sauce rich in salty, tangy, and citrusy bites. Add a splash of Nature Nates Pure Honey to ponzu sauce and get a comparable katsu sauce replacement.

Pick Up The Best Tonkatsu Sauce Substitute

Have you any idea how to choose an alternative that works great for your specific upcoming recipe instead of tonkatsu sauce? As said, it’s not so challenging to find a ton of substitutes for Tonkatsu sauce, finding the best one for your recipes is what makes things challenging.

So, you need to consider the following attributes in your final pick to ensure good recipe outcomes.

Flavor: Tonkatsu sauce offers a balanced punch of spicy, tangy, and sweet taste notes, following with an acidic yum.

It uses fruit pulp to get a sweet sugary flavor, vegetables for a comforting filling savor, vinegar for bold tanginess, and seasonings or spices for generous heat.

So, if an alternative sauce contains ingredients closer to Tonkatsu sauce, it can work wonders in your Japanese-inspired foods.

Consistency: Tonkatsu sauce is a decently concentrated condiment that you can consider a thicker version of Worcestershire sauce and somewhat like soy glaze in terms of consistency.

The thicker consistency and velvety smooth texture make tonkatsu sauce an ideal add-on for grilled poultry, pork, roasted vegetables, and braised seafood. Thereby, choose a replacement sauce with a concentrated texture rather than a sauce with a runnier consistency like soy sauce.

Availability: Tonkatsu sauce is a Japanese condiment readily available in Japanese supermarkets and nearby big grocery stores.

It’s hard to find in regions far from Japan and the United States. So, you need to choose the one that is all time available in your local grocery stores.

Vegan Friendly: Tonkatsu sauce is a vegan-friendly condiment free from animal-derived products.

It’s totally fine to add tonkatsu sauce in vegan food dishes without going the recipe flavor off. So, your final substitute must be vegan-friendly and healthy to drizzle over anything.

22220cookie-checkTonkatsu Sauce Substitute – Here’s 7 Easy DIY Katsu Alternatives


Hey, I’m Ayesha Khalid, the main writer of Substitutesfor.com. I love to write about food ingredients, cooking guides, and helping tips and tricks to upgrade your cooking experience. The aim of writing is to provide you with a collection of substitutions and novel ideas to try so that you can find all the needed information at once. Here, you can get ideas according to your diet restrictions, taste preferences, and health conditions.

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