Katsu Sauce Recipe: Quick & Easy 4-Ingredient Condiment
This katsu sauce recipe is super simple and only requires 4-ingredients! It’s a Japanese condiment that is sweet, savory, tangy, and pairs perfectly with fried dishes!
What is Katsu Sauce?
Katsu sauce, also known as tonkatsu sauce (とんかつソース), is a staple Japanese condiment.
If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’re likely familiar with katsu sauce. It is typically served alongside dishes like crispy katsu chicken and tonkatsu pork cutlets.
The sauce is sweet, savory, and tangy. To me, it is reminiscent of American ketchup or barbecue sauce.
The best part? You only need four basic ingredients for this simplified homemade version that I’m sharing here.
I’ll guide you through a katsu sauce recipe step-by-step that’s equally easy to make and delicious!
Ingredients For This Katsu Sauce Recipe
Ketchup is the base for this katsu sauce recipe.
The tangy tomato flavor provides a sweetness and acidity to the sauce.
It works so well to balance out the richness of fried dishes.
I typically use the classic Heinz Tomato Ketchup but feel free to substitute with your favorite variety like the reduced-sugar one.
Oyster sauce gives the katsu sauce a savory flavor.
This ingredient is known for being umami-rich.
It infuses the sauce with a deep, savory taste that elevates the overall sauce further.
My go-to oyster sauce and pantry staple is Lee Kum Kee’s Panda Brand Oyster Flavored Sauce.
This brand is generally the most accessible and easiest to find in both American and specialty Asian grocery stores.
Worcestershire sauce is so hard to pronounce but I love using it to add a little extra oomph to dishes.
It has a harmonious blend of tanginess, sweetness, and umami that enhances the flavors and adds even more depth.
For this recipe, I recommend using a Japanese Worcestershire sauce. It tends to be sweeter, smoother, less acidic, and even more umami forward.
A common brand for Japanese Worcestershire sauce is Bull-Dog.
However, if you cannot find this, substitute with regular Worcestershire sauce. I reach for the Lea & Perrins brand most often.
Add a touch of brown sugar to balance it all out.
The sweetness and molasses flavor of the brown sugar harmonizes well with the tangy ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and savory soy sauce
The result is in a well-rounded taste that’s simply irresistible!
Depending on your preference for sweetness, adjust this amount to your liking since there is also sweetness coming from the ketchup.
How to Make Katsu Sauce
This recipe is so simple, you don’t even need a recipe. However, as always, I’ve included a recipe card at the end that you can print out, pin to Pinterest, or save for later!
Once you gather all the ingredients, add ¼ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a small bowl.
After that, mix well to combine.
Lastly, give it a taste test and adjust each ingredient to your liking.
Adjusting the Flavor
Here are a couple tips to help you create the perfect sauce for your taste buds:
- Sweet: To increase sweetness add more sugar. If you want to increase sweetness while increasing tanginess, add more ketchup. Inversly, if you want it to be less sweet, reduce the ketchup and/or sugar, and add a higher ratio of oyster sauce.
- Tangy: To increase tanginess, add more Worcestershire sauce. Similar to above, if you want more tanginess paired with more sweetness, add more ketchup. To reduce the tanginess, add less Worcestershire sauce and/or ketchup, and increase the ratio of oyster sauce.
- Savory: For more depth and umami, add more oyster sauce. If it is too savory, reduce the amount and/or add more ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. More Worcestershire sauce will also increase the umami, savoriness, and tanginess of the sauce.
When adjusting, add just a little at a time, and taste test. It’s always easier to add more later than to take away.
Homemade vs. Store-Bought
I enjoy learning how to make things at home. However, I am not at all against purchasing store-bought versions.
The benefit of making homemade katsu sauce is undoubtedly, that you can tailor it exactly to your tastes.
Typically store-bought versions tend to be a bit sweet for my preference. However, you can’t beat the convenience!
They can generally be found at Japanese or Asian specialty grocery stores. It may be labeled as katsu or tonkatsu sauce.
A common brand of katsu sauce is Kikkoman.
Obviously, as its name states, katsu sauce is best served with fried chicken katsu or tonkatsu pork cutlets.
I think in general, this sauce pairs well with any fried foods.
It’s bright, tangy, and savory flavors balances out the richness of deep-fried dishes.
Try it with chicken nuggets, as spread for your sandwiches like a katsu sando, or any foods that you like dipping into sauces!
Leftovers & Storage
This katsu sauce recipe makes about ½ cup which is approximately 4 servings.
The recipe does not make a huge amount but if there are any leftover, place it into a sealed container.
It can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
Also make sure to use a clean utensil each time to scoop out the sauce to avoid introducing bacteria.
Save This Katsu Sauce Recipe!
With just four simple ingredients, you can create a delicious katsu sauce to pair with your favorite Japanese dishes, fried foods, or whatever your heart desires!
The combination of ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar results in a sauce that’s both irresistible and balanced.
In conclusion, the key to a great katsu sauce lies in the harmonization of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.
Feel free to adjust the ingredients to match your taste preferences and create a sauce that’s uniquely yours.
Hope you enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on IG @feedmi_ or TikTok @feedmi
Katsu Sauce Recipe
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Add all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well to combine.
- Taste test, adjust to your liking, and enjoy!