How to CookDIY Food

Ponzu Sauce

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons gives a classic Japanese condiment a homemade makeover -- with a twist.

Ponzu is one of my favorite condiments, so I was disappointed to learn that it's often packed with chemicals and additives. I recently set out to make my own, and used Meyer lemons because they most closely replicate the flavor of fresh yuzu. To my surprise, it was extremely easy to make and actually tastes much better than what comes out of the bottle.

Meyer Lemon Ponzu Sauce

This recipe is very loosely inspired by one from Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

Makes 1/2 cup

1 piece kombu, (about 2 by 2 inches)
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
3 tablespoons shoyu
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mirin (optional)
1 tablespoon bonito flakes (optional)

Lightly rinse the kombu and place in a small bowl along with the Meyer lemon juice, shoyu, rice vinegar, and mirin. Let sit for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight.

If you're vegetarian, stop there; otherwise, add the bonito flakes, let sit for a few minutes, and strain.

Enjoy ponzu tossed with soba noodles, or use it as a dipping sauce for summer rolls or lettuce wraps. Store in the refrigerator for at least a few months. 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Jeanine Donofrio

Tags: How-To & Diy, Small Batch