Katsu Sauce


5 from 19 votes
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This katsu sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor and needs just 4 ingredients to prepare. Ready in minutes, it’s perfect for chicken katsu, katsudon, and more!

katsu sauce with pork.

If you’ve made our chicken katsu before, you’ll know what is the secret ingredient in each dish that takes it up a notch- it’s this seriously addictive katsu sauce recipe, also known as chicken katsu sauce! 

It’s so easy and so good, you’ll think it was from a restaurant!

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. What is katsu sauce?
  3. Ingredients needed
  4. How to make katsu sauce? 
  5. What goes with tonkatsu sauce?
  6. Storage instructions 
  7. More delicious sauces to try
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. 4-Ingredient Katsu Sauce (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • Quick and easy. This recipe comes together in under a minute and doesn’t require any cooking at all. 
  • Just 4 ingredients. Simple and easy-to-find ingredients you’d probably already have in your pantry. 
  • Better than store-bought! Sure, you can buy a bottle of this sauce at any Asian grocery store but making it homemade is so much better.

What I love about this recipe is just how versatile it is! Like our eel sauce, we’ve often used it as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries and have even known to add it to our sandwiches for a delicious umami hit.

What is katsu sauce?

Katsu sauce, also known as tonkatsu sauce, is a Japanese sauce and condiment. It is used with many types of fried chicken, like karaage (Japanese fried chicken) and katsu don (deep-fried chicken or egg over rice).

It’s like Worcestershire sauce, but much more flavorful and, personally, much more delicious!

Ingredients needed

As mentioned earlier, this homemade katsu sauce needs just four ingredients to make. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Ketchup. Makes the sauce sweet and tangy; you can also use tomato sauce. 
  • Worcestershire sauce. Adds a strong and smoky flavor that balances out the sweet elements.
  • Powdered sugar. Dissolves much easier than granulated sugar and adds some sweetness.
  • Soy sauce. I like to use low-sodium soy sauce, but any soy sauce works. Avoid using dark or flavored sauces as these tend to be sweeter.

How to make katsu sauce? 

While you can buy store-bought katsu sauce at mainstream supermarkets, making your own is pretty much foolproof!

Mix: Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.

how to make katsu sauce.

Serve and store: Either serve immediately over some chicken katsu or store away to use later. 

katsu sauce.

What goes with tonkatsu sauce?

Besides the obvious katsu dishes (chicken, pork, and beef!), this sauce is so versatile we love to use it in many other ways.

As a dipping sauce: The next time you make some French fries or zucchini fries, use this katsu sauce as the dip of choice. It honestly puts ketchup and BBQ sauce to shame.

In burgers: After using the sauce in a katsu burger, we added it to all our burgers, especially a wagyu burger or bison burger. As they are so gamey, the sweet and savory sauce compliments it so well.

As a sandwich spread: The next time you reach for mayonnaise or mustard for your sandwich, try a thin layer of this sauce and thank me later.

Over simple protein: Slathering this sauce on some simple chicken breast or salmon can pretty much transform it into something spectacular.

Storage instructions 

To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four weeks. 

To freeze: Place the sauce in a glass or airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

katsu sauce with katsu don.

More delicious sauces to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to buy katsu sauce?

You can buy it from specialty Japanese grocery stores or online.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

This recipe will be suitable for celiacs when made with a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

What does katsu sauce taste like?

Katsu sauce has a tangy, umami taste. It’s slightly spicy but not overly so, because sugar balances the spice level. However, if you like your sauce when it’s spicy, you can add red pepper powder or flakes. 

beef katsu recipe.

4-Ingredient Katsu Sauce

5 from 19 votes
This katsu sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor and needs just 4 ingredients to prepare. Ready in minutes, it tastes like authentic Japanese dipping sauce!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes



  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until combined.
  • Use immediately or keep at room temperature for 3-4 hours before using.


TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place the sauce in a glass or airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 15kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.01gSodium: 314mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 0.1gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.3mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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