Who doesn’t love to sit around the giant flat-top grill at a Japanese steakhouse and watch the onion volcano or catch rogue shrimp in their mouth, thrown from the chef’s spatula?
But while I’m there I also want some stellar steak and I can’t do it without ginger sauce — hence, this ginger sauce recipe.
The brown dipping sauce at hibachi grills is usually a ginger sauce that brings together soy sauce with other ingredients like sugar, onion, vinegar, and, of course, ginger. It’s popular and prevalent because it’s balanced and compliments nearly any protein or vegetable on a menu.
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This is one of those easy recipes that’s a great way to bring the flavors of a favorite restaurant home. I use it in a ton of ways from cooking up a weeknight dinner in it to serving up kabobs or dumplings at a dinner gathering with a small bowl of the sauce on the side.
If you’re looking for a versatile sauce recipe that has a ton of flavor, this sauce recipe may become your go-to the next time you’re hosting a meal, or just looking to spice up a weeknight dinner.
What is Ginger Sauce?
One of the most popular sauces (the other being yum yum sauce) at any popular Japanese steakhouse, ginger sauce is an umami-packed sauce with spice and slight sweetness. It also has plenty of salt and acid to round it out.
It’s also healthy. Ginger has multiple health benefits, including improving digestion while sesame oil packs an antioxidant punch and is great for your heart.
If you like sauces that incorporate both sweet and savory flavors, you’ll love ginger sauce. Its flavors are so balanced and it works well with most proteins and veggies.
- Lite soy sauce – Lite soy sauce is saltier, thinner, and less sweet than dark, making it perfect for this recipe since it also incorporates brown sugar. Feel free to choose low sodium soy sauce if you choose.
- Rice wine vinegar – Vinegar brings the necessary acidity to this sauce to balance out the sweetness of the sugar and the slight spice of the ginger. Rice vinegar is a little more mellow than others.
- Minced, grated, or ground ginger – Fresh ginger root is ideal for this but if you need to buy it prepared it will work.
- Brown sugar – Either light or brown sugar will work but dark will impart more sweetness.
- Scallions – Chop these into thin slices so that they are not too heavy for the sauce.
- Sesame oil – Not only does it taste delicious, sesame oil has tons of health benefits, too.
How to use Ginger Sauce
Of course you can use your ginger dipping sauce just like at a hibachi grill, as a dip for your beef, shrimp, or chicken. But there are plenty of other ways to put this delicious sauce to good use.
- Marinate – Chicken breasts, pork, beef, and seafood soak up these flavors and cook up beautifully whether on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop.
- Mix it up – Drizzle some of this on your ground beef before mixing up your burgers.
- Stir fry – Take your meat/vegetable and rice game up a notch by using this instead of your typical sauce.
- Oysters – Instead of a mignonette or cocktail sauce for your oysters on the half shell, try this one. You can use it on your fried oysters or po’ boy sandwich as well.
- Mussels or clams – Toss out traditional wine, beer, and butter based sauces for this one.
- Vegetables – Toss steamed vegetables in the sauce after cooking or marinate raw veggies before grilling or roasting. Mushrooms like button or portobello are delicious sauteed in it.
- Traditional rolls/dumplings – Spring rolls, egg rolls, pot stickers, and dumplings are a perfect pairing.
- Eggs – Bring an Asian flair to the breakfast table with a serving of this sauce to go over omelets and fried or scrambled eggs, hash browns, or anything else for your morning meal.
- Wraps and sandwiches – Aa little ginger sauce will add big time flavor to your lunch routine.
- Cocktails – Add this sauce to your Bloody Marys to bring a wow factor to at-home brunch.
- Get nutty – Add some peanut sauce for some extra richness and umami flavor.
- Kick it up a notch – Add some heat with crushed red pepper flakes or try some wasabi.
- Brighten – Just a small touch of lemon juice will brighten all of the flavors. You can also try using a small amount of lemon zest.
- Change up the onions – Use finely chopped yellow onions, green onions, or your onion of choice.
- Switch up the vinegar – Try using white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any other favorite.
- Sesame seeds – Add some of these to the sauce for color, texture, and flavor.
Storage & Freezing
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. If you choose to freeze, it’s easiest to do so in ice cube trays for later use in small portions.
Other Dipping Sauces
Ginger Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ginger minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, brown sugar, scallions and sesame oil in a small saucepan.
- Heat until a low simmer so the flavors can marry.
- Take off the heat. For a smooth sauce with loads of flavor, pour through a strainer and serve. For a sauce with my texture and flavor, serve as-is.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.