pon·​zu | \ ˈpän-(ˌ)zü How to pronounce ponzu (audio) \

Definition of ponzu

: a tangy sauce made with citrus juice, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce and used especially on seafood

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Did You Know?

The word ponzu is relatively new to English; our earliest English-language evidence of the word - which we borrowed from Japanese - is from 1972. But the word's history isn't as simple as that fact suggests. The Japanese word, which literally means "juice squeezed from sour oranges" is itself from the Dutch word pons. And "pons" comes from (and shares the meaning of) the English word punch as it's used to refer to the beverage concoction that's often served at parties, weddings, and wakes.

Examples of ponzu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s also a raw bar featuring a Bigeye Tuna Crudo ($15) made with a Cuban coffee ponzu. Arlene Borenstein-zuluaga, sun-sentinel.com, "First look: Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s long awaited Red Rooster opens in Overtown," 3 Dec. 2020 The pantry possibilities are, in theory, endless: oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or even ponzu for a light citrus twist. Patricia Kelly Yeo, Bon Appétit, "Velveting is the Chinese Technique That Takes Stir-Fries to the Next Level," 9 Sep. 2020 Here, a light sauce reminiscent of ponzu is made with soy sauce, citrus and a little rice vinegar. Washington Post, "Smashed Vegetables With Grains and Citrus-Soy Sauce," 7 Sep. 2020 Other items include a katsu chicken sandwich that fuses Japanese and Korean flavors and ponzu glazed salmon with bok choy and cilantro. Shaena Montanari, azcentral, "Tempe has a new restaurant and rooftop bar. Here's what to expect at Alter Ego and Alibi," 16 June 2020 Serve burnished sweet potato halves atop a swipe of garlicky toum, top them off with a drizzle of salty-tart ponzu sauce, or finish off the bottle of vinaigrette in your fridge door. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "5 Ways to Zhuzh Up the Sweet Potatoes in Your Pantry," 3 Apr. 2020 Among them are the dry-aged bone-in New York strip, Szechuan rack of lamb, tuna sashimi with jalapeno, ponzu and black lava salt and $400 Millionaire Fajitas. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Where to eat in downtown Houston right now," 9 Feb. 2020 Tuna Tataki, a lovely tender lump of ahi tuna lightly seared and sliced thin, tasting of ginger and ponzu (citrus and soy sauce). Beth Segal, cleveland, "Ninja Sushi and Hibachi: Finding fine sushi on Lake Erie shores," 3 Jan. 2020 On the contemporary side, there’s an upside-down tostada of sushi-grade tuna, tossed with guajillo, ponzu and black sesame seeds, then topped with a blue corn chip, radishes and avocado mousse. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Mercado Cocina brings serious Mexican food to an unlikely location," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ponzu.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ponzu

1966, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ponzu

Japanese ponsu, ponzu juice squeezed from sour oranges, from Dutch pons, literally, punch, from English punch entry 4

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Time Traveler for ponzu

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The first known use of ponzu was in 1966

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ponzu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponzu. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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