There's nothing better than enjoying a plate full of hot, battered tempura. However, it wouldn't be the same without the delicious, flavorful Japanese brown sauce, aka chuno sauce. Sure, you could eat tempura plain and still enjoy a tasty meal. However, you’d be missing out on the piece de resistance.
Continue reading to explore everything chuno sauce, from how to use chuno sauce to chuno sauce substitute options.
What Is Chuno Sauce?
So, what is this delightful sauce that you dip your tempura into? Well, it's also used as a marinade for tempura. It combines tonkatsu sauce (used on a Japanese pork cutlet/deep-fried pork cutlet) and Worcestershire sauce.
This sauce, among many in Japanese cuisine, originated after British Worcestershire was brought to the country. Initially, British Worcestershire was not popular. However, after westernized food became more popular in Japan, the country created its own spicier and thinner version than the British version.
This Japanese Worcestershire sauce led the way for other versions of Japanese brown sauce, like chuno, tonkatsu, and yakisoba sauces.
What Does It Taste Like?
Chuno sauce has a unique flavor that combines fruity with sweet and spicy. You may even be able to taste a slight tanginess/sour note in the sauce. Its name, chuno, translates to “moderately thick,” accurately describing its consistency.
What Is Chuno Sauce Used For?
You can use chuno sauce as a dipping sauce for fries, korokke (Japanese croquettes), or okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancakes), almost like ketchup or barbecue sauce.
What Are The Differences Between Chuno, Worcestershire, And Tonkatsu Sauces?
Not sure what the difference is between chuno sauce vs. tonkatsu? Or perhaps you’re wondering, “Is Worcestershire sauce the same as tonkatsu sauce?” While they each have a similar flavor and are all carried by the popular brand Bulldog Sauce, they have a few differences. Here we explore the differences between these three popular Japanese sauces.
Japanese Worcestershire is a thinner sauce that has a slightly spicy flavor. In comparison, tonkatsu sauce is much thicker, umami-rich, and less spicy than Worcestershire. It's often referred to as a Japanese barbecue sauce. Chuno sauce has a thickness and taste somewhere between the two.
There is one more similarity between these sauces – they can all be used as substitutions for each other. For example, tonkatsu and Bulldog chuno sauce are great options for Worcestershire sauce substitution.
Chuno Sauce Ingredients
Chuno sauce is known for having an array of fruits and vegetables as ingredients, which help produce its sweet yet slightly sour flavor. You’ll commonly find the below ingredients in chuno sauce:
Tomato, prune, apple, lemon, carrot, onion, brewed vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, sugar, starch, yeast extract, and spices. If you want to make a homemade version, you can use brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and Ajinomoto (an umami seasoning). Other versions exist, making it an easy option to recreate at home.
How To Make Chuno Sauce?
Still curious about a homemade chuno sauce recipe? You can use the ingredients mentioned above (brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and Ajinomoto) to create a quick chuno sauce. Simply mix these ingredients, and you'll have a sweet, spicy, fruity sauce.
Now that you’re a chuno sauce expert, you can try making okonomiyaki to go along with it.
For this simple okonomiyaki recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Cabbage, thinly sliced scallions, red pickled ginger, smoked fermented skipjack tuna, Japanese mountain yam, eggs, cold water, flour, pork belly, vegetable oil, and sauce for serving.
Combine all the ingredients (except for pork belly, vegetable oil, and sauce) until they form a batter-like consistency. Add the oil to a hot pan, lay the pork belly slices down in a pan, then pour the batter on top. Pan fry this savory pancake on both sides until it’s cooked through, then drizzle Japanese mayo and chuno sauce on top before serving.
How Do You Store Okonomiyaki?
If you can’t finish this delicious savory pancake, you can easily store it in the fridge for up to three days. Otherwise, you can also freeze okonomiyaki for up to a month. Make sure to store okonomiyaki without sauce. Otherwise, it will get soggy.
Where To Buy Chuno Sauce?
Not interested in making chuno sauce at home? You can easily purchase Bulldog Chuno Sauce on Bokksu Market’s website.
Here, you can find other Japanese brown sauce options like Bulldog Worcestershire Sauce and Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce, so you can skip making homemade tonkatsu sauce or Worcestershire. Looking for more Asian groceries? Head to Bokksu Market for staples like instant noodles, sweet mochi snacks, and delicious drinks.