The Japanese use a variety of savoury sauces to pep up their food. Several are inspored by Worcester sauce, which was brought to Japan and adapted over time. As well as the thin, spicy Worcester sauce, there is a thicker, milder and sweeter tonkatsu sauce, often used with the deep fried pork cutlet dish of the same name. In addition, there is a sauce formulated specifically for serving with okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes), and chuno sauce that blends both mild and spicy flavours.
Dipping sauces, or tare are used to compliment many Japanese dishes. Yakiniku no tare (barbecue sauce) is made from soy sauce, fruits, vegetables, sesame oil, herbs and spices. It can be used both for dipping and also to marinate meat before roasting. Sukiyaki no tare, a mildly sweet sauce, is made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar and dashi, and used to stew sukiyaki ingredients. Shabu shabu no tare, a dipping sauce used for lightly cooked and thinly sliced meats, comes in several varieties such as ponzu sauce and sesame sauce.
Ponzu is derived from the Dutch word "pons", which means citrus juice. Ponzu is the juice of fruit such as lemon, sudachi, yuzu and kabosu, sometimes mixed with su (vinegar). It has a refreshing taste and is also a good stimulant, since the acid found in ponzu breaks down fat and lactic acids, which cause fatigue. Ponzu is most commonly used as ponzu shoyu, a mix of ponzu, soy sauce, sugar or mirin and dashi. This can be used as a dipping sauce for nabe (Japanese hot pot).
Not only do the Japanese have a variety of sauces for dipping and marinading, they also have an impressive range of curry sauces, which are tasty and convenient to cook. It was the British who traveled to Japan and introduced them to curry sauce. By that time the British had already taken curry and made it their own. The Japanese did the same thing, by accpeting this gift and giving the word a unique style of curry.
Spicey sauces are also held in high regard in Japan. Sauces such as La-yu and chilli sauces are a very popluar ingredient. Kimchi is a spicey sauce that comes from Korea but is also very common in Japan.