Okonomiyaki is a Japanese-style pancake made with flour, shredded cabbage, egg and water, and usually a lot of toppings. You can choose to add various ingredients to please your taste buds, like the meat, plates of seafood, cod roe, cheese, and rice cake.
There is often a sauce used to eat this pancake, which is brown and has a pleasant taste. Without the brown okonomiyaki sauce, it just seems like the dish is incomplete. So, what happens when you suddenly ran out of okonomiyaki sauce?
You can use other okonomiyaki sauce substitutes such as oyster sauce, chuno sauce, tonkatsu sauce, Aurora Sauce, worcester sauce, ponzu sauce, and Takoyaki sauce as they all fits into recipes that calls for okonomiyaki sauce.
This okonomiyaki sauce was made exclusively for okonomiyaki with a sweet, salty and sour tinge.
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What Is Okonomiyaki Sauce?
Okonomiyaki sauce is an umami-packed sauce that is used as a condiment in a lot of dishes. This sauce goes great on everything from burgers, steaks, dip for veggies, meats in soups to being used as marinade or stir-fries.
Just like the BBQ sauce, its smoky and sweet flavour just adds an extra element to any food you are eating. Also, during the production of the okonomiyaki sauce, raisins are used for a milder and thicker flavour.
Best Okonomiyaki Sauce Substitutes
You can probably get okonomiyaki sauce at most Asian and Japanese stores or online, but if you didn’t get any, I would list the top seven okonomiyaki sauce substitutes you should consider.
1. Oyster Sauce
The ingredients used to prepare okonomiyaki sauce are not far from that of oyster sauce, which is why the oyster sauce is the best substitute for okonomiyaki sauce.
Since the oyster sauce is dark brown and as thick as the okonomiyaki sauce, the difference between them is not visually evident.
Oyster sauce taste is more robust than okonomiyaki, so if you feel the taste is too strong for you, you should add a bit of ketchup, soy sauce or even both.
2. Tonkatsu Sauce
Tonkatsu sauce, just like the okonomiyaki sauce, is categorized under thick sauces, and also, due to the thickness, it can easily be replaced for okonomiyaki sauce or mixed with it.
Another feature that makes tonkatsu sauce a good substitute is that it is charming compared to other brown sauces; the sweetness of tonkatsu sauce is similar to that of okonomiyaki sauce, making it another good substitute for it.
As the name implies, Tonkatsu sauce was made for just tonkatsu (bottomless fries), but it has been widely used in Japan for all other types of deep-fries.
In some parts of Japan, it is even used more than the okonomiyaki sauce, and also, you can add a bit of ketchup when using it.
3. Worcester Sauce
Worcester sauce is not as sweet as okonomiyaki sauce and tonkatsu sauce, but the ingredients used to produce it are similar to those two, making it a good substitute for both.
The significant difference between this sauce and okonomiyaki sauce is that, unlike the okonomiyaki sauce, worcester sauce is exceptionally watery and does not have that much thickness to work perfectly in place for okonomiyaki.
The watery nature of this sauce can be easily fixed by adding cornstarch or potato starch to thicken it or simply adding ketchup, and if you also feel its sweetness is not enough, you should do well by adding sugar or honey.
4. Chuno Sauce
Chuno sauce is in-between the thick and tasty okonomiyaki sauce, tonkatsu sauce, and the watery and not very sweet Worcester sauce.
Even if this sauce is not as thick as okonomiyaki sauce, it is moderately thick and can easily be mixed for a more fabulous taste experience.
Since the taste of chino sauce is a bit lighter than okonomiyaki sauce, you can add a bit of sugar or any other condiments to add in your originality.
It is highly recommended to add the oyster sauce for a richer taste.
5. Takoyaki Sauce
It might be challenging to get the Takoyaki sauce since manufacturers made it exclusively for Takoyaki. Still, it is a good substitute for okonomiyaki sauce as they were both made from similar ingredients.
Note this, the taste of both okonomiyaki sauce and Takoyaki sauce is based on the manufacturer, so don’t be surprised if they don’t all taste the same.
6. Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu sauce is a sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar and lemon juice. Although ponzu sauce tastes utterly different from okonomiyaki sauce, it would be a sweet and refreshing substitute.
Sometimes, Takoyaki sauce is eaten with this type of salt, and it also matches well with minced green onions as toppings.
7. Aurora Sauce
It is a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise and soy sauce in equal amounts and is referred to as aurora sauce in Japan. Although the taste of aurora sauce is entirely different from that of okonomiyaki sauce, it is a sumptuous sauce containing sweetness, umami, and sourness.
When you can’t find any okonomiyaki sauce, this is the most straightforward substitute you can make at home all by yourself, and if you feel the sweetness is not enough, please do well to add a little honey or sugar.
That’s all for our seven top okonomiyaki sauce substitutes, and I’m pretty sure there should be at least one substitute you can get to.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Okonomiyaki Sauce Made Of?
Okonomiyaki sauce is made of popular condiments like sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, fruits, vegetables and some other additives like kelp and shiitake mushrooms.
Can I Make My Own Okonomiyaki Sauce?
You can always make your okonomiyaki sauce at home by following the recipe I’m going to be starting down.
For this recipe, you’re going to be needing two tablespoons of Japanese Worcestershire sauce, two tablespoons of ketchup, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of oyster sauce and a tablespoon of sugar.
For the procedure, all you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and taste. If the seasoning is not enough for you, you can constantly adjust it.
It should then be immediately stored in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.