This easy, 3-ingredient tonkatsu sauce (とんかつソース) is full of flavor and ready in just 1 minute! Ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce are all you need for a flavorful katsu sauce that's a delicious copycat of Bulldog Tonkatsu sauce, also known as Bull-Dog sauce.
This easy tonkatsu or katsu sauce (とんかつソース) is made with just three ingredients and is ready in only a minute! It's the perfect balance of sweet, salty, savory, and umami flavors that make this an excellent dipping sauce for pork cutlets, chicken katsu, and any other fried dishes.
What makes this the best tonkatsu sauce recipe is how balanced the flavors are without being overwhelmingly sweet. I found a few recipes online to be too sweet with too much ketchup. You'll find this recipe is most similar to Bull-Dog tonkatsu sauce which has a savory, umami flavor with just a hint of sweetness.
This katsu sauce is simple and easy to prepare with just a few accessible ingredients that are available in any grocery store. The three ingredients you need are ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. Note: For a vegan or vegetarian-friendly version, opt for vegan Worcestershire sauce.
What is Tonkatsu (Katsu) Sauce?
Tonkatsu sauce, or katsu sauce for short, is a popular Japanese condiment that's typically served with tonkatsu, chicken katsu, and any other fried cutlet.
It's a thick, brown sauce that tastes savory, slightly tangy, and sweet, most closely resembling a Japanese-style barbecue sauce. It was first introduced in 1948 in Japan and is flavored with Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, and various fruit and spices.
Katsu Sauce Ingredients
Three simple ingredients are all you need with two optional ingredients to level up your homemade katsu sauce.
- Ketchup - Ketchup adds a sweet, tomato base that adds both flavor and thickness to the sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce - Worcestershire sauce lends a smokey, savory, and slightly tangy taste to the sauce for depth of flavor.
- Soy sauce - Soy sauce adds the perfect amount of umami and salinity.
- Sugar - Sugar is optional and I recommend you start with less and add more to taste, especially if you're looking for a Bulldog sauce copycat.
- Garlic and onion powder - Garlic and onion powder are also optional but great for adding more flavor, similar to that of Bulldog sauce.
How to Make Tonkatsu Sauce
Simply combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce together in a bowl. Taste and add sugar and spices to your liking.
Bull-dog Sauce Copycat
When making a side-by-side comparison of Bull-Dog tonkatsu sauce and our homemade katsu sauce, you can see the color and consistency are very similar.
Tastewise, Bull-Dog sauce is not that sweet and has a savory, complex, umami flavor from its fruit and spice blend. Some recipes online are too heavy on the ketchup giving the sauce an overwhelming tomato taste that's too sweet, which is why our recipe lists the sugar as optional and has less ketchup to avoid a strong tomato flavor.
To make a tonkatsu sauce recipe similar to Bull-Dog sauce, I recommend adding spices like garlic powder and onion powder for more flavor and starting with little to no sugar. You can always add some later and adjust to taste.
Although Bull-dog sauce has a pretty complex, umami flavor, I'd say our homemade version of tonkatsu sauce makes an excellent substitute considering it's made with just a few ingredients. Feel free to experiment and add more flavors and let us know what works for you! Enjoy and happy cooking!
What to Serve with Tonkatsu Sauce
Tonkatsu sauce can be used as a dipping sauce or condiment for any of the following meals:
- Tonkatsu (fried Japanese pork cutlet)
- Chicken katsu
- Ebi fry (Japanese fried shrimp)
- Korokke (Japanese croquettes)
- Chicken tenders
- Furikake Fries
Katsu Sauce Tips
3-Ingredient Tonkatsu (Katsu) Sauce
- Mix the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce together. Taste and add sugar to your liking. Serve and enjoy!Note: For a Bull-dog sauce copycat, I recommend starting with less sugar and adding garlic and onion powder for more flavor.¼ cup ketchup, 2 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon sugar, ⅛ teaspoon garlic and onion powder
- Serve with our chicken katsu recipe.
✎ Recipe Notes
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.