How to Make Katsu Sauce: A General Guide

Welcome to our article on how to make katsu sauce! Katsu sauce, also known as tonkatsu sauce, is a popular condiment used in Japanese cuisine. Its sweet and tangy flavor complements fried dishes like tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) and chicken katsu. Making your own katsu sauce at home is easy and allows you to customize the flavor to your liking. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of making katsu sauce, explain the ingredients used, and provide some tips and tricks for perfecting your sauce. Let’s get started!

Steps How to Make Katsu Sauce

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

Before you start making katsu sauce, gather all the necessary ingredients. You will need:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well to combine. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.

Step 3: Heat the Sauce

Transfer the sauce mixture to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Reduce the Sauce

Once the sauce is simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Step 5: Let the Sauce Cool

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Step 6: Transfer to a Container

Once the sauce has cooled, transfer it to a clean container with a lid. You can store the sauce in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Explanation How to Make Katsu Sauce

Katsu sauce is a combination of sweet, sour, and savory flavors. The ingredients used in the sauce are:

  • Ketchup: The main ingredient in katsu sauce, it provides sweetness and tomato flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Gives the sauce a tangy and savory taste.
  • Soy sauce: Adds umami flavor and saltiness.
  • Mirin: A sweet rice wine that balances out the sourness of the other ingredients.
  • Sugar: Enhances the sweetness of the ketchup and mirin.
  • Garlic: Provides a subtle garlicky aroma and flavor.

All the ingredients are combined and then simmered to thicken the sauce. The longer you simmer the sauce, the thicker and more concentrated it will become.

Tips and Tricks How to Make Katsu Sauce

1. Adjust the sweetness and tanginess to your liking

If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more sugar or mirin. For a tangier sauce, add more Worcestershire sauce or reduce the sugar and mirin.

2. Use low-sodium soy sauce

If you’re watching your sodium intake, use low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the amount of salt in the sauce.

3. Double the recipe for larger batches

If you’re making katsu sauce for a large group or want to have leftovers, double the recipe. The sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

4. Add heat with chili flakes or sriracha

If you like spicy food, add a pinch of chili flakes or a squirt of sriracha to the sauce for a little kick.

5. Use as a marinade or dipping sauce

Katsu sauce can be used as a marinade for meat or as a dipping sauce for fried foods like tempura, chicken wings, and fried shrimp.

6. Experiment with other ingredients

Don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients to suit your taste. Some popular additions to katsu sauce include apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger, and sesame oil.

7. Make it in advance

Katsu sauce tastes better when the flavors have had time to meld. Try making the sauce a day in advance and store it in the fridge overnight before using.

8. Use quality ingredients

Although katsu sauce is easy to make, using quality ingredients will elevate the flavor. Use Japanese brands of soy sauce, mirin, and Worcestershire sauce for an authentic taste.

9. Add a splash of sake

Sake is a Japanese rice wine that can be added to katsu sauce for extra depth of flavor. Add a splash of sake along with the mirin to the saucepan before heating.

10. Customize the thickness

If you prefer a thicker or thinner sauce, adjust the cooking time to achieve the desired consistency.

We hope these tips and tricks help you make the perfect katsu sauce at home. Enjoy!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Katsu Sauce


1. Homemade katsu sauce allows you to control the ingredients that go into it, making it a healthier option compared to store-bought sauces that may contain preservatives and additives.

2. Making katsu sauce from scratch can save you money in the long run, as you can make a large batch that can last for several meals.

3. By making your own katsu sauce, you can adjust the flavors to your liking, adding more or less of certain ingredients like garlic or soy sauce.

4. Making katsu sauce at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, as you get to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create a sauce that suits your taste buds.

5. Homemade katsu sauce can elevate the taste of your dishes, especially when paired with crispy fried meat like chicken or pork.


1. Making katsu sauce from scratch can be time-consuming, as you need to prepare and chop the ingredients before cooking and blending them together.

2. The ingredients for homemade katsu sauce may be hard to find in some areas, especially if you live in a rural location or in a place where Japanese ingredients are not commonly sold.

3. The cost of buying the individual ingredients for katsu sauce may be more expensive than buying a pre-made sauce, especially if you need to purchase specialty ingredients like mirin or miso paste.

4. If you are not an experienced cook, it may be difficult to get the right consistency and flavor for your homemade katsu sauce, which can result in a less-than-perfect dish.

5. Making katsu sauce at home requires access to a stove, blender or food processor, and other kitchen tools, which may not be available to everyone.

In conclusion, making katsu sauce at home has both advantages and disadvantages. While it allows you to control the ingredients and flavors of your sauce, it can be time-consuming, expensive, and may require specialized cooking skills and equipment. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and situation, whether you choose to make katsu sauce from scratch or buy it from the store.


What is katsu sauce?

Katsu sauce is a sweet and savory sauce originating from Japan. It is commonly served with meat dishes such as tonkatsu or chicken katsu.

Can I buy katsu sauce at the store?

Yes, you can purchase katsu sauce at Japanese grocery stores or online. However, making it at home allows you to customize the flavor to your liking.

What ingredients do I need to make katsu sauce?

You will need ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (sweet cooking sake). Some recipes also call for mustard powder or honey.

Can I substitute mirin with other ingredients?

If you do not have mirin, you can substitute it with sake or rice vinegar mixed with sugar.

How long does katsu sauce last?

Katsu sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Can I freeze katsu sauce?

Yes, katsu sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.

What dishes can I use katsu sauce with?

Katsu sauce pairs well with any breaded meat dish such as tonkatsu, chicken katsu, or even fish fillets.

Is katsu sauce spicy?

No, katsu sauce is not typically spicy. However, you can add red chili flakes or sriracha sauce to add a kick to the sauce.

Can I adjust the sweetness of katsu sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar.

What can I do if my katsu sauce is too thick?

If your katsu sauce is too thick, you can add a small amount of water or broth to thin it out.

What can I do if my katsu sauce is too thin?

If your katsu sauce is too thin, you can add a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water to thicken it up.

Can katsu sauce be used as a dipping sauce?

Yes, katsu sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for meat dishes.

Can I use katsu sauce as a marinade?

Yes, katsu sauce can be used as a marinade for meats. However, it is recommended to use it for a short amount of time as the sugar content may burn if left for too long.

Conclusion: How to Make Katsu Sauce

In conclusion, making katsu sauce is not as complicated as it may seem. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can create a delicious sauce that complements any dish. The recipe is versatile and can be easily adjusted to your liking, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own. Whether you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or just looking to add some flavor to your meals, katsu sauce is a must-try condiment.

One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of your ingredients will greatly affect the final taste of the sauce. Investing in high-quality soy sauce and mirin is highly recommended. Additionally, using homemade dashi stock instead of instant dashi powder will add even more depth to the flavor.

Remember to taste the sauce as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Don’t be afraid to add more honey for sweetness or more vinegar for tartness. It’s all about finding the balance that suits your palate.

Closing: How to Make Katsu Sauce

Thank you for taking the time to learn how to make katsu sauce. We hope this recipe has inspired you to try new things in the kitchen and experiment with different flavors. Don’t hesitate to share your own variations and tips with us in the comments.

Next time you’re enjoying a crispy tonkatsu or chicken katsu, remember to drizzle some homemade katsu sauce on top for an extra burst of flavor. With this simple recipe, you can elevate any dish to the next level. Happy cooking!