You can buy this sauce ready made in most Asian shops, but if you feel like making it yourself, this is a great one to have ready in the fridge. I always like to know what’s in my food, and making it yourself means you can adjust it to suit your own taste. The sauce is made from stewed fruit and vegetables simmered in soy, sugar and vinegar. The same sauce is used for takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tonkatsu, kushi katsu and many other dishes. It keeps a long time, like many of the bases in this book. For kushi katsu you need to add a bit more soy sauce and Worcestershire to this base.
How to make Okonomiyaki / Tonkatsu Sauce
Makes: About 500ml sauce, enough for 8 portions of tonkatsu or okonomiyaki
Time to prepare: 1 hour
1 white onion
1 tomato (or an apple)
30g prunes (stoneless)
300g tamari soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
300g caster sugar
60g rice vinegar
120g Worcestershire sauce
medium sized pan
hand blender (optional)
1. Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Roughly chop up the tomato and apple, and finely chop the prunes.
2. Lightly fry (without colour) the vegetables and fruit together in a pan for 5 minutes.
3. Add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan, and stir everything together.
4. Bring it to the boil, then turn down the heat and continue to simmer on a very low heat for 30-45 minutes.
5. Once it’s cooked, the vegetables should be nice and soft when squashed against the side of the pan with a spatula.
6. Then you have two options: you can blend the sauce with a hand blender or you can strain the sauce using a fine sieve and push all the vegetables through the sieve with a spoon. Both result in more or less the same, you will have a thickened sauce from the puréed vegetables.
7. Cool the sauce down completely before using.