You'll love this Wagamama's copycat Amai Sauce recipe! Sweet, sour, and spicy, this rich sauce is great as a dipping sauce or as a topping for your favorite Japanese curry and noodle bowls.
Amai Sauce is a rich, bold, sweet and sour Japanese sauce. We love it on Katsu Curry, drizzled onto noodle bowls or used as a dipping sauce. The addictive big flavor makes it great on so many dishes!
This amai sauce is our Wagamama copycat recipe.
Wagamama is a popular chain restaurant that's known for its delicious take on Japanese and Asian fusion dishes including ramen, curry, and donburi bowls. One of their most popular menu items is their Katsu Curry which is served with a sweet and sour Amai sauce on top.
If you've ever had the pleasure of dining at Wagamama, then you know all about their delicious Amai sauce. Thick, sweet, and sour, this sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for gyoza or to use on Japanese curry dishes.
But what if you don't live near a Wagamama? Or maybe you just want to save a few bucks and make Amai sauce from scratch? No problem!
You can easily make Amai sauce from scratch using simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. So get ready to amaze your taste buds with this delicious Wagamama copycat!
Why Make This Recipe
No need to take a trip to the restaurant to enjoy this tasty Amai Sauce.
You can use it on a variety of different foods including Japanese curry, noodles, and rice dishes. Try it on Tofu Katsu Curry.
It's thick, sweet, spicy, and sour all at the same time.
This Japanese style sauce is ready in minutes!
You can also use it as a dipping sauce for gyoza, dumplings, and potstickers.
- Granulated Sugar - Sugar sweetens up the sauce and thickens it.
- Rice Wine Vinegar - Gives the sauce a kick of acidity along with a natural sweetness from the rice.
- Malt Vinegar - Another type of vinegar that adds a distinct sweetness and malt flavor to the sauce. Substitute white vinegar or apple cider.
- Ketchup - A key ingredient in most Amai sauces, ketchup adds a lovely sweetness, acidity, tomato flavor, and red hue to the sauce.
- Tamarind Paste - This ingredient is key in giving the sauce its characteristic sour flavor. It can be found in most Asian markets or online.
- Dark Soy Sauce - Helps thin out the sauce while adding a delicious salty umami flavor.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this Amai Sauce recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Combine the ingredients: To a small saucepot, add the sugar and vinegar, and turn to medium-low heat.
Dissolve the sugar: Using a whisk, stir the sugar and vinegar together until the sugar completely dissolves into the sauce.
Mix the sauce: Add the remaining ingredients including, ketchup, tamarind paste, and soy sauce and whisk to fully combine.
Boil and thicken: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick and sticky. Remove any foam that may form on the top with a spoon.
Cool and store: Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
This recipe makes about ¾ cup of Amai sauce which is the perfect amount to dip 20 gyoza or potstickers. It can also be used as a sauce on Japanese curry or noodle dishes.
Allow the sauce to cool before storing as hot liquid with sugar can cause serious burns if you're not careful.
The sauce will thicken as it cools, so if you want a thinner consistency, simply add a little water when reheating.
Serve amai sauce warm or cold.
Variations & Substitutions
Rice wine vinegar can be replaced with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar if desired.
If you don't have malt vinegar, you can use an equal amount of rice wine vinegar or white vinegar.
The tamarind paste can be replaced with fresh lime juice if you can't find it. However, the sauce will not be as sour.
If you don't have dark soy sauce, you can use regular soy sauce or even coconut aminos.
Add some heat to the sauce by stirring in a pinch of cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or Sriracha sauce.
Storing: To store, allow the amai sauce to cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this sauce as the texture will change when thawed. If you must freeze it, transfer the cooled sauce to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Yes, simply use gluten-free tamari in place of the soy sauce. You can also use coconut aminos instead for a similar flavor. Check all other ingredients are gluten free.
Amai means "sweet" in Japanese. This amai sauce is sweet, sour, and slightly savory making it the perfect dipping sauce for potstickers or to use on Japanese curry dishes.
Yes, Wagamama does sell Amai sauce in their restaurants. You can also find it for sale online. However, if you're not near a restaurant and want a clean and delicious version, try this recipe!
If you love this amai sauce recipe as much as we do, you'll want to try these other sauces too!
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- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- Stir the sugar and both vinegars together in a small pot over a medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Add all remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until it reduces to a sticky thick sauce.
- TIP: if any foam forms, skim it away with a spoon and discard.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.