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

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 Lime juice — which balances out the spice nicely — plus ocean clam juice, worcestershire sauce and ponzu. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Red bream is plated under a white truffle ponzu jelly; Scottish langoustine is dusted under English Bergamot. Brad Japhe, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 For the salsa, toss the fruit(s), tomato, cucumber, and jalapeno together, then stir in the ponzu sauce. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, 24 Aug. 2021 Starters include seared tenderloin with ginger, garlic ponzu and microgreens; wild caught blue crab cakes with a red pepper remoulade; roasted bone marrow with oxtail jam and more. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 23 June 2021 There’s also a raw bar featuring a Bigeye Tuna Crudo ($15) made with a Cuban coffee ponzu. Arlene Borenstein-zuluaga, sun-sentinel.com, 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, 9 Sep. 2020 Here, a light sauce reminiscent of ponzu is made with soy sauce, citrus and a little rice vinegar. Washington Post, 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, 16 June 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near ponzu

Ponzi scheme



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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ponzu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponzu. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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