Have you ever heard “ponzu” dressing? Ponzu is very traditional dressing which Japanese people absolutely love for centuries. Sometimes we use it as seasoning, but sometimes as dipping source and sometimes as dressing. There are unlimited way to use ponzu. For example, ponzu goes very well with boiled gyoza.
But what is ponzu? The answer is quite simple: a mixture of soya sauce, vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. The ratio of each ingredients really depends on you. I prefer
Soya sauce : vinegar : lemon juice = 5 : 5 : 1.
However, some people prefer to put more lemon juice and instead use less vinegar and so on. But at least it is clear that ponzu is ridiculously easy to make.
The reason that Japanese people love Ponzu so much is, (although I had never though about it until I decided to write about ponzu) that Japanese people are reluctant to use oil to their dishes. Unlike any other countries in the world, traditional Japanese foods do not need so much oil to be made. It is very recent that extra virgin olive oil, which used to be described “posh” ingredient, was featured in Japan and it is now common for ordinary people to make dressing with it (it actually is very very nice!). However, majority of Japanese people still choose ponzu rather than oily dressing because it sounds healthy.
Recently, you can buy a bottle of ponzu in many places even outside of Japan. And most of Japanese people have stopped making it by themselves. If you search Japanese recipes on the Internet, there is nothing to worry about when you see ponzu in a list of ingredients. (I know how desperate you feel when you find an unfamiliar ingredient in the recipe you really try to make and end up with giving up!)
And if you have trouble with some authentic ingredients, please let me know either in the comment or a contact form (no need to enter your email address). If you purely enjoy Japanese home cooking, remember that I ma always there to help you!
If you are interested in recipes using ponzu, you may find them useful.