The Best Sushi Sauces and Toppings for Rolls (The Ones Used by Restaurants)

From homemade to store-bought, these are the sauces you will find on Americanized sushi rolls from a caterpillar roll to a dragon roll and everything else you need to slather (emphasis on “slather”) and top of your rolls.

A few sauces are produced from scratch in a restaurant, but a far fewer restaurants go through that hassle, which is why I have included recipes and bottled options. So the list below will allow you to produce these sauces from scratch, or if you want to be like the type of business Gordon Ramsay is yelling “you bloody donkey” at for being lazy for having everything come out of a bottle. Except since you don’t know Gordon, and he does not know you exist, feel free to be lazy, you donkey.

You know what is great on top of fish and rice? Sauce, and more sauce, with sauce on top of a sauce (spicy to a sweet sauce), dipped in a soy sauce. If that sounds good to you, you are in the right place.

Photo Description: americanized sushi roll with sauce and crunchy stuff placed on the roll.
Nothing says Murica like salsa bars, sauces, and sushi rolls.

Homemade, Bottled, Pricing, and Where to Buy

Amazon charges some jacked up prices which is why I give so many Amazon affiliate sites crap because they are steering their readers down an eff’d up path to make a buck. In my case, I will not recommend any site that I would not personally use, or a price on a product I would not pay myself.

The black button is the “buy now” option if you trust my judgement on the best brand/option for you (except in the “fine print,” I give you competing options).

Sweet Sushi Sauce
(Black Colored Sauce)

The vast majority of this stuff is basically a teriyaki sauce (soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and optional ginger and garlic) although it is similar to eel sauce/unagi/kabayaki sauce (mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce). This stuff is easy to make, but if you do not plan on producing it all the time, or what I read off (ingredients) sounds like “Hitachi, Sony, Mitsubishi, judo, pikachu,” then buy a bottle.

Photo Description: Sushi Sauce by Otafuku is a black bottle with a red label. On the bottle is an americanized roll with sushi sauce covering it.
  • Your Options: Otafuku Sushi Sauce, the link below is for a tiny single bottle (15oz), $7.49 or if you want to go big (82.5oz and 83.8oz restaurant size), $20.49.

Spicy Mayonnaise
(Orangish Colored Sauce)

Another real easy one to produce, and I would prep it every other day in the restaurant. The recipe is simply Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand), and Huy Fong sriracha although you can spike it with all sorts of Asian hot chili sauces from Korean gochujang to Huy Fong chili garlic sauce. The most reliable recipe source is Just One, although all you need to it from “scratch” is Kewpie mayo (kewpieshop) and Huy Fong sriracha (Target to a million and one places offer this product).

Photo Description: LEE KUM KEE bottle of Sriracha Mayo which is orange sauce. The label is red and white with the logo and the words "Sriracha Mayo, spread and dressing."
  • Your Options: The Sriracha Mayo brand is by the Chinese company Lee Kum Kee 15oz/$9.40 (this link is to Walmart because they are everywhere but below is my affiliate link to support the site. It also requires a larger commitment of twice the sauce).

Tenkasu/Tempura Bits
(Those Crunchy Bits)

In a Japanese restaurant, this is a byproduct of deep-frying tempura (batter fried foods), but a lot of lazy mofo restaurants will opt for pre-made tempura which means no leftover bits. Well, that is not a problem because restaurants can purchase this product through their food supplier, and homecooks can purchase Otafuku tenkasu. Except, like always Just One Cookbook offers up competing links and her recipe on how to produce your own.

Photo Description: it looks like a bag of tempura "crisps" and the words "premium." Also on the packaging is "sushi roll," "okonomiyaki," and "udon."
  • Your Options: Otafuku supplies a lot of the sauces and toppings for sushi restaurants, so it should not be surprise that they have tenkasu.

Ponzu Sauce
(Citrus Soy Sauce)

In the restaurant, we would do our own blend, and if you wanted a yuzupon (my favorite type of citrus for for ponzu is yuzu out of sudachi, kabosu, to lemon), it will cost you because yuzu is pricey, which is why the affordably priced Kikkoman is a lackluster lemon? critrus version ponzu.

Photo Description: the Mizkan Ajipon bottle has a white and orangish colored label and a yellow cap. The label has Japanese kana and the Eigo "ajipon," "ponzu," "citrus seasoned soy sauce."
  • Your Options: My guess is that you are not stocking up your bunker or restaurant, so I doubt you will want the Otakfuku 1/2 gallon. If I am right about that, your first smaller sized option is a Japanese brand that I am recommending, but the pricing on Amazon is ridiculous Mizkan ajipon, 12oz, $14.99. The second is Kikkoman ponzu, which I am not a fan of. So, I have to introduce another vendor that I have never purchased anything off, but they sell it, Mizkan Ajipon for (12oz/355ml) $3.69. My all time favorite yuzu ponzu (the nectar of the gods brand), I won’t even bother providing a link because Amazon charges $45 (in CA, at a Japanese market it goes for $9-12 which they do not sell online – I could profit from it by providing a link, but I will pass on the opportunity).

Soy Sauce
(The Stuff You Dip or
Where Your Sushi
Chillaxes in)

For any Americanized sushi, the soy sauce does not have to be fancy, and you should probably stick with either Kikkoman or Yamasa (koikuchi “general purpose soy sauce”). These two brands are iconic in Japanese cuisine, and sushi restaurants, and they are the brands I mentioned in my top soy sauce brands listing.

Photo Description: a bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce with the words "Naturally Brewed and Soy Sauce" on the label. Other text says "over 300 years of excellence."
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[…] Whether or not you are doing rolls to nigiri sushi, I have a list of the best soy sauces to use for sushi, the best wasabi and sushi nori (seaweed), to sauces that will complement your rolls. […]

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