If you're a fan of a certain popular Japanese Steakhouse in the US...one that rhymes with Benihana....than you are already familiar with this magical ginger sauce. It's fresh, zingy, savory and pretty much everything you want as a dip, sauce or drizzle.
Benihana copycat recipes abound, but the ingredients are already well known, as the restaurant shares a video of the sauce being made in-house. (Thanks, YouTube!)
I've kept the core recipe very similar, but in making the sauce over the course of several months, I've added some optional ingredients that, for me, create just the right flavor and balance. Like my Japanese Shrimp Curry recipe, this one is especially open to modification based on your personal taste, the preferences of all the mouths you're feeding, and what you have in the pantry.
Let's get to it!
What you'll need to make recipe:
- yellow onion
- fresh ginger
- light soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- fresh lemon zest and juice
Full ingredient list and measurements included in printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for making Japanese ginger sauce:
To begin, using a sharp knife, roughly chop your onion. Then clean and peel the fresh ginger root and cut into thin slices. Zest and juice your lemon, reserving 1 teaspoon of juice for the sauce.
Combine the chopped onion, sliced ginger, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, lemon zest, ½ cup lite soy sauce and ¼ cup rice wine vinegar in a blender or food processor. If you're adding optional ingredients, add them now, before blending. My favorite combination is to add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 fresh garlic cloves and a teaspoon of sesame oil to the core recipe ingredients.
Pulse until liquified (the sauce will be a kind of runny chunky paste - if that's what you see, you've done it right!)
Delicious when served immediately, but this dipping sauce is even better when it's had time to marinate for a few hours.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions for Easy Ginger Sauce Recipe
So many delicious ways to serve this sauce that gives the main dish or sides a reason to sing. Any kind of hibachi meal is improved by the combination of flavors in this great sauce, including hibachi shrimp, hibachi salmon, hibachi steak or hibachi chicken, and of course, hibachi vegetables. Pot stickers and egg rolls love a good dipping sauce, and this soy ginger sauce is a great option. I like to think about this ginger sauce like the opposite side of the coin of a creamy yum yum sauce, and I often serve them together. It's also a lovely salad dressing for a simple green salad to complement your Japanese steakhouse meal at home!
I've listed sriracha and chili crisp as optional ingredients if you want to add some heat. A pinch of red pepper flakes would also give you spice. If you want to stick with the fresh ingredients in this easy recipe, add a few slices or red chili into the food processor with the other ingredients and process until liquified.
Since ginger and soy sauce are the main flavor ingredients in this fresh sauce, I recommend springing for the fresh ginger root in this recipe. Ground ginger just won't be a fair substitute.
To store, transfer the ginger sauce to a jar or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If I don't use the jar of sauce by day 4, I portion it into a small ice cube tray and freeze the sauce in tablespoon-sized cubes. Once frozen, transfer the ginger sauce cubes to a baggie. Use them to drop into stir fry veggies, shrimp, udon noodles or rice.
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Need More Sauce Inspiration? Try these delicious options next!
- Ginger Scallion Sauce
- Cajun Butter Sauce for Seafood
- Spicy Aioli Sauce
- Salmon Patty Sauce
- Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce for Salmon
- Baked Tilapia with Best Ever Lemon Butter Sauce
- 5-Minute Shawarma Sauce