Make Perfect Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe Like A Pro At Home

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In my experience, a good Tempura Dipping Sauce enhances the flavor of every bite. Aim to create a sauce that elevates your meal. With the benefits of simple ingredients, you can achieve a delightful taste.Remember to start with equal parts and adjust to taste if you need clarification about the proportions. Your best bet is to find ways to adjust it according to your palate. However, you must plan to keep the sauce consistent. This sauce might just become your go-to for all tempura dishes.

Have you ever dined at a Middle Eastern restaurant and wondered why their tempura tasted remarkably different? On a recent trip to Europe, I was at a quaint eatery in Paris, where I tasted the most exquisite tempura.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

I soon realized the secret lay in the batter and the Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe they used. I understand the frustration of those who have struggled to recreate that authentic taste at home.

In my experience, the sauce can make or break the dish. When my kids requested the same European tempura flavor after a friend’s visit, I knew I had to perfect the sauce.

I spent time tweaking and refining until I captured that same magic. If you want to elevate your tempura game, you’re in the right place.

By the end of this post, you’ll find ways to create a sauce that resonates with international flavors and wins hearts at the dinner table.

What Is Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

Tempura Dipping Sauce, often called “Tentsuyu,” is a traditional Japanese sauce that accompanies crispy tempura dishes. It’s a savory blend that enhances the lightness of the tempura batter.

The core ingredients typically include soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), and dashi (a broth made from fish and seaweed). Some variations might add sugar or sake for added depth.

For example, if you’re looking for a stronger umami punch, you can increase the amount of dashi. Remember to adjust the ingredients to your taste. The sauce must complement the delicate flavors of your tempura perfectly.

History Of Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe

Tempura, with its accompanying dipping sauce, has roots in 16th-century Japan. However, its origins might surprise you.

Portuguese missionaries and traders introduced deep-frying in the batter during their visits to Nagasaki. Inspired by these techniques, Japanese chefs adapted and perfected the art, giving birth to what we now recognize as tempura.

The Tempura Dipping Sauce, or Tentsuyu, was developed to accentuate the dish’s flavors. While no specific individual can be credited with its invention, it’s a testament to how cultural exchanges can shape culinary traditions.

In this case, a blend of Portuguese influence and Japanese culinary expertise led to the creation of this iconic sauce.

Interesting Facts About Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe

Tempura dipping sauce, known as “Tentsuyu” in Japanese, is an essential complement to the popular tempura dish, enhancing its flavor with a savory and slightly sweet taste.

Portuguese Influence

Despite its strong association with Japan, the concept of tempura was introduced by Portuguese traders in the 16th century.

Varying Consistency

The consistency of Tempura Dipping Sauce can change depending on the region of Japan. Some areas prefer it thicker, while others like it more diluted.


Many chefs in Japan have their unique take on Tentsuyu, adding ingredients like grated daikon or ginger for a twist.

Seasonal Adjustments

Some chefs adjust their sauce recipes based on the season, making it lighter in summer and richer in winter.


Apart from tempura, this sauce might be used for other dishes, such as cold soba noodles, showcasing its versatility.

Serving Temperature

While typically served warm with tempura, in some places, it’s offered cold, especially during hot months.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Kyushu Region: In Japan’s southern region, the sauce might be sweeter due to increased mirin.
  • Kanto (Tokyo Area): Here, the sauce is often more concentrated, with a stronger dashi presence.
  • Kansai (Osaka Area): A lighter, more diluted version is popular, allowing for subtle flavor nuances.
  • Thailand: Some Thai chefs infuse the sauce with local spices, creating a spicy kick.
  • Korea: A version called “choganjang” is used for various dishes, blending soy sauce with vinegar and sweeteners.
  • Western Adaptations: Some Western chefs incorporate citrus elements or herbs to cater to local palates.

What Will Make You Love This Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

  • Depth of Flavor: This sauce masterfully combines salty, sweet, and umami notes, creating a harmonious taste experience.
  • Versatility: While it’s a perfect match for tempura, it also pairs beautifully with other dishes, offering you a variety of culinary uses.
  • Simplicity: With just a few core ingredients, how much flavor is packed in is astonishing. If you need clarification about complicated recipes, this is a refreshing change.
  • Customizability: You can tweak the sauce to your liking, finding ways to incorporate preferred elements.
  • Cultural Experience: Every dip offers a taste of traditional Japanese culinary artistry.
  • Elevates Dishes: Even the simplest tempura becomes a gourmet treat when paired with this sauce. Remember to serve it warm for the best experience!
Tempura Dipping Sauce

Ingredients List 

Water1 cup
Dashi Granules1 tablespoon
Mirin (Japanese Sweet Wine)1/4 cup
Soy Sauce2 tablespoons

Ingredient Tips

  • Water Quality: Aim to use filtered or spring water, as the purity can influence the sauce’s overall taste.
  • Dashi Granules: If you need clarification about brands, choosing a reputable Japanese brand for authenticity is best. Remember to store in a cool, dark place.
  • Mirin: Ensure you use authentic mirin, not “mirin-like” or “mirin-style” products. The latter might have added sugars and less depth.
  • Soy Sauce: Choose a traditionally brewed soy sauce for a richer flavor. Light or reduced-sodium versions can be used if you’re worried about salt content.
  • Freshness: Check expiration dates, especially for dashi granules, as freshness impacts the flavor.
  • Alternative: If you can’t find mirin, substitute it with sake and sugar, but the taste might vary slightly.
  • Taste as You Go: You must taste the sauce as you prepare, adjusting ingredients to find ways to suit your palate perfectly.

What Are The Variations Of Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe? 

  • Spicy Version: Add a few drops of chili oil or finely chopped red chili peppers for a kick.
  • Citrus Twist: Incorporate some yuzu or lemon juice for a refreshing citrus undertone.
  • Ginger Infusion: Grate fresh ginger into the sauce for an aromatic zest.
  • With Garlic: Minced garlic can be added for a deeper, robust flavor.
  • Vinegary Touch: Some people enjoy a tangier sauce by adding a splash of rice vinegar.
  • Sweeter Notes: If you prefer a sweeter profile, consider increasing the amount of mirin or adding a touch of honey.
  • Vegan Version: Use a plant-based broth instead of dashi granules to make it vegan-friendly.
Tempura Dipping Sauce

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Start by placing a small saucepan on medium heat. Pour in the 1 cup of water.
  • Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low.
  • Carefully stir in the 1 tablespoon of dashi granules.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes, ensuring the dashi is completely dissolved.
  • After 2 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Gently stir in the 1/4 cup of mirin and the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix well to combine.

Immerse your tempura in authentic Japanese flavors with this easy Tentsuyu recipe.

Scaling The Recipe 

To scale the Tempura Dipping Sauce recipe up or down, maintain the ratio of key ingredients for the desired quantity. If you’re increasing the recipe, multiply each ingredient proportionally.

For example, if you want to double the amount, use twice the quantity of all ingredients. For a smaller batch, reduce ingredients accordingly.

Remember that taste preferences vary, so adjust elements like soy sauce, mirin, or water to suit your taste.

Ensure the sauce maintains its balance of flavors and seasoning. Remember to taste and adjust while making the sauce to achieve the desired flavor and consistency.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • Marinade: Its savory and slightly sweet profile makes it an excellent marinade for proteins like chicken, beef, or tofu. The soy sauce and mirin help to tenderize, while the dashi adds depth.
  • Dipping Sauce: Beyond tempura, it can be a dipping accompaniment for grilled meats, sushi, or spring rolls, enhancing their flavors.
  • Dressing for Salads: When considering salads, its balanced profile works well. However, you might want to mix it with some sesame oil or rice vinegar for a lighter consistency.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

Tempura Varieties

Classic choices like shrimp, vegetables, or fish tempura are obvious pairings.

Sushi And Sashimi

Enhance the flavor profile of these delicate dishes, mainly when used sparingly.

Grilled Meats

Chicken, beef, or pork can benefit from a dip, adding a rich umami touch.

Steamed Dumplings

A perfect contrast to the mild flavors of dumplings or potstickers.

Cold Soba Or Udon Noodles

The sauce can be slightly diluted and served as a cold broth with these noodles.

Rice Bowls

Drizzling over steamed rice with veggies or protein makes for a quick, flavorful meal.

Stir-Fried Vegetables

The sauce can give an added depth to simple stir-fried greens.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

 What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

  • Tempura Platter: An assortment of crispy seafood and vegetables, where the sauce enhances each bite.
  • Tempura Udon: A warm noodle soup featuring tempura items, often shrimp or kakiage (mixed vegetable tempura).
  • Tempura Soba: Similar to Tempura Udon but with buckwheat noodles, served either hot or cold.
  • Tempura Donburi (Tendon): A rice bowl topped with tempura items, often drizzled with a thicker sauce.
  • Tempura Zaru Soba: Cold soba noodles served with a side of tempura and a dipping sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Umami: Predominantly from dashi, this deep, savory note is a cornerstone of the sauce.
  • Salty: The soy sauce contributes a distinct saltiness, giving the sauce its backbone.
  • Sweet: Mirin, a sweet rice wine, adds a subtle sweetness, balancing the saltiness.
  • Depth: Combining the three main ingredients creates a layered, rich flavor.
  • Aromatic: The simmering process releases a comforting aroma, adding to the overall experience.
Tempura Dipping Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, the Tempura Dipping Sauce can be stored for future use. After preparing, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container or glass bottle. Store in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness.

Shelf Life

  • Refrigerated: The sauce can last 7-10 days when stored correctly.
  • Freezing: If you plan to store it longer, you might freeze the sauce in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. This can extend its life up to 3 months.

What Are The Substitutes For Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

  • Soy Sauce & Lime: A simple mix of soy sauce with a squeeze of lime juice. It’s less deep in flavor but a quick fix.
  • Ponzu Sauce: A citrus-infused soy sauce offering salty and tangy notes.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: Though sweeter, it provides a rich umami flavor suitable for dipping.
  • Soy Sauce & Vinegar: Combine equal parts for a balanced dip with tang.
  • Homemade Blend: Mix soy sauce with honey or sugar and add a drop of sesame oil for depth.
  • Mentsuyu: Another Japanese sauce, primarily for noodles, but can work as a dip in a pinch.
Tempura Dipping Sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 

  • Thicker Sauce: If you aim for a more dense consistency, you can simmer the sauce for a longer duration, allowing it to reduce and thicken. Another option is to dissolve a small amount of cornstarch in cold water and stir it into the sauce while heating, thickening it gently.
  • Thinner Sauce: Simply add more water or a splash of dashi broth to dilute it. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  • Balancing: If you’re worried about diluting the flavor, balance by adding small increments of the other ingredients.
  • Taste Test: You must continually taste the sauce while adjusting it to ensure desired flavor and consistency.

Elevate your tempura experience with our savory-sweet Tentsuyu dipping sauce.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

  • Warm: Traditionally, the sauce is served warm with hot tempura items. The warmth of the sauce complements the crispiness of freshly fried tempura, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Cold: A chilled sauce can be refreshing during warmer months or with cold dishes like zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles).
  • Versatility: The sauce’s adaptability can be adjusted to suit the dish and the ambiance.
  • Preparation: Consider the main dish if you need clarification about which to choose. Warm sauce is usually the best bet for hot dishes, while cold dishes might benefit from a cooler dip.
Tempura Dipping Sauce

Nutritional Values

The Tempura Dipping Sauce is low in calories but contains sodium from soy sauce. Its mirin content also adds a minimal amount of sugar.

What Are The Total Calories In Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe?

On average, soy sauce contains about 8-10 calories per tablespoon, mirin has about 40-60 calories per tablespoon, and dashi granules’ calorie count is negligible. Based on a basic calculation, the sauce you described might have around 110-140 calories.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten: Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, making it unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Opt for gluten-free soy sauce as a substitute.
  • Alcohol: Mirin, a sweet rice wine, contains a small amount of alcohol.
  • Sodium: High sodium content due to the soy sauce. Those on sodium-restricted diets should be used with caution.
  • Fish Allergens: Dashi granules are often made from fish and could be allergens.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Traditional dashi contains fish products. For a vegan/vegetarian version, use a plant-based dashi or seaweed-only dashi.
  • Sugar: Mirin adds sweetness, which might be a concern for diabetics.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition TableĀ 

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-Boiling: Simmering the sauce for too long can make it overly reduced and thick.
  • Wrong Dashi: Using a low-quality or incorrect dashi can distort the sauce’s authentic flavor.
  • Over-Salting: Adding too much soy sauce or not tasting as you go can lead to an overly salty sauce.
  • Substituting Mirin: Using “mirin-like” products or other sweet wines without adjusting for sugar content can impact the balance.
  • Overpowering Additions: If you’re adding extra ingredients, they must be consistent with the sauce’s primary flavors.
  • Improper Storage: Storing the sauce at room temperature or in an open container can degrade its quality and freshness.
  • Not Adjusting to Taste: Every ingredient’s brand can differ in intensity. Tasting and adjusting as you make the sauce is crucial, rather than strictly adhering to measurements.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Stir-Fry Base: Use it as a base for stir-frying vegetables or proteins.
  • Rice Seasoning: Drizzle over steamed rice for an umami flavor boost.
  • Noodle Soup Base: Add to a bowl of noodles, topped with veggies and proteins
  • Marinade: Marinate chicken, beef, or tofu before grilling or baking.
  • Sushi Condiment: Enhance your sushi rolls with a touch of this sauce.
  • Egg Scramble: Add a splash to your eggs for a savory twist.
  • Dress Cold Salads: Mix with some oil for a unique salad dressing.
Tempura Dipping Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

  • Small Saucepan: Essential for simmering the sauce ingredients together.
  • Whisk: Useful for ensuring a smooth and well-mixed sauce.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Ensure accurate measurements of ingredients.
  • Strainer: If using whole ingredients for dashi, you’ll need this to strain the liquid.
  • Glass Jar or Bottle: For storing any leftover sauce in the refrigerator.
  • Small Serving Bowls: Ideal for individual servings of the sauce.
  • Thermometer: It is helpful to monitor the sauce temperature if serving it warm.
  • Spoon: For stirring and tasting as you adjust the flavors.
  • Funnel: Facilitates pouring the sauce into storage bottles without spillage.
  • Labels & Marker: If storing for later, label the date and contents.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make A Vegetarian Or Vegan Version Of This Sauce?

Absolutely! For a vegan or vegetarian version, replace the traditional fish-based dashi with kombu (seaweed) dashi or use a plant-based broth.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Mirin On Hand?

You can substitute it with sake and sugar if you still need mirin. However, this might slightly tweak the taste.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, for optimal flavor, it’s recommended to use it within 3-4 days.

Can I Freeze The Sauce For Longer Storage?

Yes, you can freeze the sauce. Consider pouring it into ice cube trays for easy portioning. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. This method can extend its shelf life to up to 3 months.

Is There A Gluten-Free Version Of This Sauce?

To make the sauce gluten-free, ensure you use gluten-free soy sauce. Always check the label, as traditional soy sauce contains wheat.

Make Perfect Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe Like A Pro At Home

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


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Tempura Dipping Sauce, traditionally known as “Tentsuyu,” is a savory blend rich in umami. Crafted with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi, this sauce is perfect for crispy tempura dishes, enhancing every bite. Its balanced flavor profile also makes it versatile for various other culinary applications. Simple yet transformative.


  • 1 cup 1 Water

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Dashi Granules

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Mirin (Japanese Sweet Wine)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Soy Sauce

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all your ingredients: water, dashi granules, mirin, and soy sauce.
  • Heat Water: Place it over medium heat in a small saucepan and bring the water to a boil.
  • Add Dashi: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the dashi granules, ensuring they dissolve completely.
  • Simmer: Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in the mirin, followed by the soy sauce, mixing until well combined.
  • Taste and Adjust: Give the sauce a taste. Adjust with a touch more soy sauce or mirin to achieve the desired balance if needed.
  • Cool and Serve: Allow the sauce to cool down slightly if serving warm. If serving cold, let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, transfer the cooled sauce to an airtight container or bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video


  • Dashi Variety: There are several types of dashi, like bonito (fish-based) or kombu (seaweed-based). Choose one that aligns with your preference or dietary needs.
  • Mirin Substitutes: If you can’t find mirin, a mix of sake and a bit of sugar can be used. However, this might slightly alter the taste.
  • Soy Sauce Varieties: Light soy sauce offers a saltier, thinner consistency, while dark soy sauce is richer and less salty. Ensure you pick the one that suits your desired flavor profile.
  • Serving Temperature: While traditionally served warm with tempura, some prefer the sauce chilled for a refreshing touch during hot months.
  • Shelf Life: While the sauce can last for up to a week in the refrigerator, use it within 3-4 days for the best flavor.
  • Consistency: If you desire a thicker sauce, you can simmer it longer. Conversely, add a bit more water or dashi broth for a thinner sauce.

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