Japanese Ginger Sauce is a vibrant, refreshing dressing that’s great for dipping, grilling, and marinating. Blend together onion, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, vinegar, soy, and lemon juice for a terrifically bright and umami flavor. Adjust each ingredient to your liking for a delicious taste to serve with almost anything!
Whenever I go to a Japanese steakhouse like Benihana, I look forward to the different sauces almost as much as I look forward to rice, veggies, and meat. And I particularly enjoy the fresh, zesty ginger sauce. Here is my take on that one.
Salad, fried rice, grilled meat… this particular Japanese hibachi dipping sauce is delicious on everything. I often find myself asking for seconds, thirds, or even fourths. So when I prepare it at home, I’m sure to make plenty for everyone to enjoy. Its complex flavor is surprisingly simple to achieve: just 6 ingredients and 10 minutes are all you need to make 2 ½ cups.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Yellow Onion - The most popular and versatile choice. It still has a strong aroma and taste, but it is not as sharp as white or red onions. They can be substituted in a pinch, but yellow will suit the flavor profile of this recipe the best.
- Ginger - Remove the thin, brown skin of the root before adding to the blender. Slicing a 4” piece yields approximately ¼ cup.
- Garlic - Used sparingly in this recipe — just a clove. Prepared raw, it has a much stronger and more pungent taste.
- Lemon Zest & Juice - Choose a medium-large sized lemon so that you can get a decent amount of zest and juice. Organic, unwaxed lemons will give you the least bitter, most flavorful zest.
- White Vinegar - A harsh, acidic vinegar. Cider or malt vinegar are appropriate substitutes, though they will not impart the same strong flavor.
- Soy Sauce - This complex ingredient forms the base of many Japanese steakhouse sauce recipes. A little salt, sweet, savory, and bitter all in one, with a significant “umami” flavor.
GINGER SAUCE RECIPE NOTES
- Storing & Fridge Life - Keep homemade hibachi ginger sauce refrigerated when not in use, and store in an airtight container such as a mason jar. It will keep well for up to 7 days.
- Make as a Marinade - This combination of flavors and acidity makes a great marinade for chicken, shrimp or other seafood, and beef. Submerge your protein for as little as 20 minutes for a bold taste.
- Revive Boring Rice Dishes - You can saute and fry rice in this decadent dressing for a sweet, savory, and acidic kick.
- Use for Dipping or a Dressing - With such a bright and refreshing flavor profile, drizzle it over grilled shrimp, grilled meat, and freshly steamed vegetables or serve on the side for dipping.
HOW TO MAKE GINGER SAUCE
- Blend Everything Together. Put the quartered onion, peeled fresh ginger, garlic clove, lemon zest, lemon juice, white vinegar, and soy into a blender or food processor. Blend until a smooth, cohesive liquid is formed.
- Adjust Per Your Liking. Give the mixture a taste and adjust to your preferences. If you want it a tad sweeter, add ½ teaspoon of brown sugar.
Can Japanese steakhouse sauce be frozen?
Absolutely! This recipe is incredibly easy to make in bulk, so if you really enjoy it and can see yourself using it frequently, I recommend it.
Freeze in small containers so you can thaw just as much as you need when you need it, and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. You can keep it frozen for 4 months without compromising the texture and flavor.
What is ginger sauce made of?
The Japanese hibachi dipping sauce that you’re served at Japanese steakhouses across the country have the same general ingredients: ginger, soy, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and onions.
How do I use hibachi ginger sauce to marinate meat?
Benihana copycat ginger sauce makes a great marinade! If you’re marinating shrimp or fish, don’t marinate for longer than 30 minutes, or else the meat will begin to deteriorate and become mushy.
Chicken and beef can marinate for much longer. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes, but NOT LONGER than 4 hours. Unlike beef, poultry doesn't have any tough connective tissue that needs to be tenderized. Marinate beef in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
You can also cook down the leftover marinade for a delicious glaze! But it is not safe to save or reuse once it's been used to marinate raw meat, so discard otherwise.
Ginger Sauce (Japanese Steakhouse)
- 1 large yellow onion quartered
- ¼ cup fresh ginger peeled (See Note 1)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lemon zest and juice (3-4 tbsp)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- Process all ingredients until smooth in blender or food processor.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed - add a ½ teaspoon brown sugar (optional).
- Makes about 2 ½ cups. Store in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.
- Great as a marinade, use in rice dishes or as a dip for grilled shrimp, meat and steamed vegetables.
- A piece measuring about 4 inches will weigh 1 ounce (28gm) and measure about ¼ cup when sliced.
- Nutritional information based on 2 tablespoon per serving.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.