Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (2024)

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by Mike Hultquist · · 14 Comments · Jump to Recipe

This tonkatsu sauce recipe is a classic sweet and tangy Japanese sauce with western influences, perfect for fried pork cutlets and easy to make.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (1)

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

We're cooking up a batch of Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce today in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen. Would you care for some?

Tonkatsu sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce from Japan that is traditionally served with "tonkatsu", which are panko breaded and deep fried pork cutlets or other deep fried dishes. It was created over a century ago by a chef named Kida Motojiro and is a Japanese take on Worcestershire sauce.

It is a sort of a Japanese style barbecue sauce.

The sauce recipe has changed over the years, with chefs adding ingredients like tomatoes and fruit purees to make it more palatable to local consumers.

What follows here are two different ways to make it. The first is more of a restaurant style tonkatsu sauce with more ingredients, which will take a bit longer to make.

The second version is a homemade, easy tonkatsu sauce that you can whip together in 5 minutes from simple ingredients.

This version is more like popular Bulldog Sauce so loved by Japanese diners that you can find in grocery stores.

Let's talk about how to make tonkatsu sauce, shall we?

Tonkatsu Sauce Ingredients

  • FOR AUTHENTIC TONKATSU SAUCE - More Restaurant Style
  • Vegetable Oil. For cooking.
  • Fruit and Vegetables. Onion, apple, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste.
  • Liquids. Water, sake, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce.
  • Seasonings. Salt, sugar, cayenne, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaf.
  • FOR EASY TONKATSU SAUCE (Homemade Bulldog Sauce)
  • Ketchup.
  • Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Sugar. Or use honey or brown sugar.
  • Soy Sauce.
Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (2)

How to Make Tonkatsu Sauce - the Recipe Method

FOR AUTHENTIC TONKATSU SAUCE - Restaurant Style

Cook the Onion. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to medium heat.Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

Simmer Most of the Ingredients. Add the apple, tomatoes, garlic, sake, water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste and bay leaf. Simmer about 30 minutes, then cool.

Process and Strain. Next you'll process then strain the ingredients.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (3)

Seasonings and Second Simmer. Add the seasonings and Worcestershire sauce. Heat and simmer for 10 minutes.Cool and serve.

Your homemade katsu sauce is ready to enjoy.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (4)

FOR EASY TONKATSU SAUCE (Homemade Bulldog Sauce)

Whisk the Ingredients. Whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl.

Serve it Up. Serve as desired with Japanese breaded tonkatsu like pork or chicken katsu or as a dipping sauce.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (5)

Boom! Done! Your homemade tonkatsu sauce is ready to serve. Looks great, doesn't it? Which one did you make? The "restaurant style" version, or the "easy homemade" version? Got a preference?

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Amounts. The classic tonkatsu sauce recipe makes about 3.5 cups of sauce. The easy tonkatsu sauce recipe makes about 1/2 cup.
  • Additional Ingredients. Other popular ingredients to include in your recipe include celery, carrots or other vegetables, oyster sauce, mirin, sweet vinegar, mustard, and other seasonings like garlic, ginger, clove, and toasted sesame seeds.

Storage Information

Homemade tonkatsu sauce will last for 1 week or longer in the refrigerator in a sealed container. The easy version will last even longer, as it is really a mix of prepared condiments.

You can freeze tonkatsu sauce for up to 6 months.

That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy your new tonkatsu sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it, and how you made it your own. Did you make it more like the Bulldog brand? I'd love to hear how it turned out for you.

Cookbook Recommendation

If you loveJapanese cuisine, check out the following cookbook. I'm learning a lot from it and used it to develop this recipe. Great book!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

  • Tonkatsu (Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet)
  • Spicy Ramen Noodles
  • Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)
  • Yakisoba Noodles
  • Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry
  • Pork Stir Fry
  • Spicy Stir Fry Sauce
  • Homemade Bulgogi Sauce
  • Homemade Szechuan Sauce
  • Homemade Hoisin Sauce
  • Homemade Ponzu Sauce
  • Togarashi - Japanese Spice Blend

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (7)

Print

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

This tonkatsu sauce recipe is a classic sweet and tangy Japanese sauce with western influences, perfect for fried pork cutlets and easy to make.

Save Recipe

Course: Main Course, sauce

Cuisine: American, Japanese

Keyword: ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

FOR THE EASY TONKATSU SAUCE: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes minutes

Calories: 17kcal

Author: Mike Hultquist

Servings: 56 tablespoons

Tap or hover to scale

4.86 from 7 votes

Leave a Review

Ingredients

FOR AUTHENTIC TONKATSU SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small apple 4 ounces, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or to taste
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

FOR EASY TONKATSU SAUCE (Homemade Bulldog Sauce)

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or use honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Instructions

FOR AUTHENTIC TONKATSU SAUCE

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan to medium heat.

  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

  • Add the apple, tomatoes, garlic, sake, water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Discard the bay leaf, then allow the mixture to cool.

  • Transfer the ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Or, use a stick blender.

  • Strain the ingredients back into the saucepan and discard the solids.

  • Add the seasonings and Worcestershire sauce. Heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Cool and serve.

FOR EASY TONKATSU SAUCE (Homemade Bulldog Sauce)

  • Whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl.

  • Serve as desired.

Notes

Nutritional information estimated for the authentic tonkatsu sauce version.

The classic tonkatsu sauce recipe makes about 3.5 cups of sauce. The easy tonkatsu sauce recipe makes about 1/2 cup.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 17kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 182mgPotassium: 43mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (8)

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?I love hearing how you like it and how you made it your own. Leave a comment below and tag @ChiliPepperMadness on social media.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Linda O says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (9)
    I had excellent Katsu sauce at a restaurant in Chicago.I went back a second time and they barely gave me enough for the order. Since, I've searched for a real recipe, or at least as good.
    This is it, maybe better! Glad I made all 56 Tbs.! There's so much more going on here! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Excellent! Glad you were able to find it and make it! So good! Thanks for sharing, Linda.

      Reply

  2. Meghan says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (10)
    I made this last night to go with chicken katsu. I didn't have sake, so I subbed mirin. It was excellent and much ruddier than the katsu sauces I've had before.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it, Meghan!

      Reply

  3. Valerie says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (11)
    Delicious! I made the bulldog version to go with our hot pot, but intend to make the more authentic, too. Would canned diced tomatoes be an acceptable substitute out of season? If so, with juice or without for the 1/2 lb called out in the recipe?

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (12)
      Glad you enjoyed it, Valerie. Use the canned tomatoes with juices.

      Reply

  4. Shanin says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (13)
    I use to work in a Japanese owned restaurant called Tatsu (Las Cruces, NM) and they made all their sauces. This sounds so similar to their Katsu sauce - I’m so excited to make it! How long would you say this keeps in the fridge after making?

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Shanin. The Bulldog Sauce version will last a long time in the fridge, many months. The more authentic style will last a few weeks, possibly longer, due to the fresher ingredients. Enjoy!!

      Reply

  5. Jérémie says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (14)
    Oh Mike, this was sooo good! this tempura style recipe, tonkatsu, was excellent... and the tonkatsu sauce with it? pleasure married to fireworks!
    This sauce is really something, my friend! Thanks a lot!

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Jérémie! Yes, this is a new favorite here in the Madness house! So good! Definitely extra crispy for us.

      Reply

  6. Damien C. says

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe (15)
    This is exciting. It's so much like the stuff you buy in the bottle, the Bulldog sauce, but now I think I'll have to make the restaurant version. Maybe mix them up! Another winner here.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Damien! I think you'll like them both!

      Reply

  7. William Roberts says

    Can say already it's got promise. I usually add chopped carrot and celery into a this sauce for depth and colour but looks like you have it niled already. Trying this at the weekend. Thanks dude.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks. Carrots and celery are listed in the additional optional ingredients. Enjoy!

      Reply

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