Japanese Spicy Onion Sauce

Chilli sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil
Barry Wong / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
95 Calories
4g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1056mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 192mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

We are all familiar with Japanese condiments—such as soy sauce or tonkatsu sauce—which instantly add flavor to fish or protein that's been simply cooked with salt and pepper. But if you enjoy onions, try this recipe for Japanese spicy onion sauce and you won't be disappointed. It's savory—with a soy sauce (shoyu) base and sweet onions—but its flavor is more complex with the addition of oyster sauce and chili garlic paste. 

What makes this sauce appealing is that it's quite quick and easy to make, particularly because it uses oyster sauce and chili garlic paste, both of which are bottled and available for purchase at Japanese or other Asian grocery stores. Both of these sauces are worth adding to your list of essential ingredients to keep in the refrigerator.

The soy sauce and sugar are added last so that the soy sauce does not reduce and become salty. Depending on your preference, add more or less sugar to create a savory-sweet sauce.

Only a small amount of the sauce is needed to season your seafood or protein. The onion sauce may be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days or stored in the freezer in small ice cube portions for future use.


  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion, or regular onion

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste

  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sake

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 3 teaspoons white sugar, more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat until hot.

  2. Add chopped onions and sauté with sesame oil until translucent. Continue to cook the onion another 3 to 4 minutes until soft and tender.

  3. Add chili garlic paste, oyster sauce, and sake. Mix until incorporated. Add soy sauce and sugar, to taste. Be sure to stir constantly. The sauce will begin to thicken slightly.

  4. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. 

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