Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu sauce is  popular in Japan for tonkatsu and other fried foods. This tonkatsu sauce recipe is easy to make and is tangy and rich. It makes a great Japanese style katsu chicken sauce and is perfect for dipping all your favorite deep fried food! 

Spooning out some tonkatsu sauce out of a bowl, with worcestershire sauce bottle in the background.

Growing up, whenever we had chicken katsu, tonkatsu, or korokke, we always had the Bulldog brand sauce along with it. And you know what? I never liked it. *gasp* I know. My brothers would pour a bunch on, and I would just very lightly put a few drops on mine. Weird kid. I also didn’t like to dip my fries in ketchup.

Well, I dip my fries in ketchup now, but I like to make my own sauce. It’s super simple to make and keep at home and it makes a great chicken katsu sauce.

Tonkatsu sauce over a plate of korokke (Japanese croquettes). This can also be used as a chicken katsu sauce recipe.

This tonkatsu sauce recipe is great because it’s made with ingredients that many people have on hand! Ketchup, butter, worcestershire sauce (can’t pronounce it, but I THINK I spelled it right, haha), soy sauce, and a little bit of garlic powder.

The ketchup base is a great canvas, and the worcestershire sauce adds a very *zingy* taste to it. Like, kind of tangy, kind of a hint of spicy… and the soy sauce brings a little oomph of umami to it.

Little girl holding a round korokke.

This sauce can be used for soooo many more things than just tonkatsu. Try it out as a chicken katsu sauce recipe or the next time you make your favorite fried food! Or you can try non fried food. I haven’t tried dipping veggies in it, but I could see it working!

Tonkatsu Sauce Tangy & Rich Rec...
Tonkatsu Sauce Tangy & Rich Recipe

This tonkatsu sauce goes well with my Japanese croquette recipe (korokke), a type of dumpling which uses potatoes inside and beaten egg and Japanese style panko bread crumbs outside . As you can see in the picture above, my 3 year old was loving it!

What is Tonkatsu Sauce? Tonkatsu Vs. Tonkotsu?

What is Tonkatsu?

The Japanese tonkatsu 豚カツ is directly translated as “pork cutlet.” It is a traditional Japanese pork cutlet that is usually deep fried in Japanese style panko breading giving it a golden brown color. It is then served with tonkatsu sauce and steamed rice.

Image courtesy of Kgw1226

What is tonkatsu sauce?

Tonkatsu sauce is a thick sweet and savory Japanese sauce that can be served with tonkatsu (pork cutlet) or other fried foods. Some people might call it katsu sauce when served with katsu chicken (panko breaded chicken cutlets, chicken breasts or thighs.)

What is tonkatsu sauce made of?

Traditional Japanese tonkatsu sauce, such as the Bulldog brand and other commercial brands are made with fruit and vegetable purees and pastes, malt vinegar, yeast and other spices. Other variations are sometimes made with brown sugar.

Homemade tonkatsu sauce is easy to make and tastes great! It can be made with five ingredients that most people already have at home. Butter, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and garlic.

What is Tonkotsu?

Tonkotsu and tonkatsu are similar sounding words but are actually two different dishes. The word tonkotsu 豚骨 comes from two words “ton” 豚 which means pork and “kotsu” 骨 which means bone. It is a type of ramen which uses pork bones boiled for several hours a to make a flavorful broth.

This tonkatsu sauce is easy to throw together and is tangy, rich, and perfect for dipping your favorite fried food! 

13 thoughts on “Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce”

  1. The British (who invented it) just call it Wooster sauce — the “oo” sounds like “wood” or ” wool. “. thanks for the recipe!

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  2. Just a thought, just put it all, including the cold butter into a small non reactive pan or skillet on low heat, stir til combine and some what emulsified. Done. Chill in a small container, and pull from fridge an hour before you need it, and stir. This would be something I would, by default, put in a 1/4 tsp of citric acid also, to temper the spoilage and get a few more weeks to months out of, by leveling out the ph.

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  3. i do or lot of my friends in Japan, we do simply use ¨´´ TONKATASU SAUCE¨´ with mayonnaise! This stuff works for everything. Ketchap + mayonnaise is very common to use !

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