Here are three different ways to make ponzu sauce (Basic Ponzu Sauce, Luxurious Ponzu Sauce, and Instant Ponzu Sauce.) All of the variations just need to be mixed together, so they are very handy to have ready to go in the refrigerator. If you're in a hurry, you can make the instant version.
For the flavored ponzu sauce: Pour the mild vinegar over the dashi "tea bag" and the konbu seaweed.
Add the soy sauce, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest for a while at room temperature. Take the konbu and dashi bag out the next day, transfer to a storage jar and refrigerate.
This flavored ponzu sauce is mild and goes with all kinds of food. When using it as a dipping sauce for hot pots, squeeze in a little citrus juice from any citrus in season, and it will smell wonderful.
For the luxurious citrus juice ponzu sauce, put the dashi "tea bag" and konbu seaweed in a bowl.
Squeeze the citrus juice of your choice, strain out the seeds and pulp, and pour it slowly into the bowl.
Add the soy sauce and mirin, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest for a while at room temperature. Take the konbu and dashi bag out the next day, transfer to a storage jar and refrigerate.
Flavored ponzu sauce made with 100% citrus juice is really delicious. The mirin takes the edge off the sourness and saltiness of the other ingredients.
Instant flavored ponzu sauce: Mix all the ingredients together. You can use dashi stock granules (of any type) instead of the konbu tea powder.
These sauces are all easy to make and can be used right away, so it's really handy to keep these recipes in mind. If you use the mild vinegar mentioned in Step 1, the ponzu sauce will be mild and well rounded in flavor even without letting it rest.
You can use regular rice vinegar, but the ponzu sauce will be very sour. You may prefer to use mixed grain vinegar instead, which isn't as strong.
Story Behind this Recipe
Homemade ponzu sauce is much tastier than the store-bought kind. More than anything else, you can enjoy it without worrying about what's in it. The key is to use juice from a citrus that's in season (use Decopon in the summer, etc.) Dashi flavored ponzu sauce becomes more delicious the longer you let it rest, so it's really convenient to make it in advance to have on hand.
You can use bonito flakes of course, but have used dashi "tea bags" (also called dashi packs) to eliminate the need to strain the dashi. Use any citrus juice you like such as lemon, yuzu, daidai, sudachi, kabosu, or combine. You can also use bottled 100% juice too.