Gourmet Asian Cooking Sauce and Marinade

This post may contain affiliate links, including those from Amazon.com, which means we earn a small commission off your purchases. And here's the thing: We only mention services and products that we think are truly worth your attention, whether they're free, paid, or otherwise. This site relies on YOUR trust, so if we don't stand behind a product 110%, it's not mentioned. Period.

Growing up, one of my absolute favorite treats was when my mom would splurge at Costco and bring home Mr. Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce. It made EVERYTHING taste better.

As an adult – especially one who works hard to avoid preservatives and food additives and who writes books about how to healthify your kitchen by making your own pantry staples – I really truly do miss Mr. Yoshida's.

Sure, it's still found at my local Costco, but if the story of how the sauce originated is true, then the recipe must have changed significantly through its history, as the high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and modified corn starch aren't ingredients that would have been readily available in the home kitchen where Mr. Yoshida first developed the sauce.

But as I experimented and experimented and experimented some more, I finally stumbled upon this miraculous mix – and more importantly, balance – of ingredients. I had been trying to come up with a Yoshida-like sauce when I was developing recipes for my homemade pantry staples book, The DIY Pantry, but hadn't gotten it quite right.

Turns out, the problem was that I needed to use a more flavorful vinegar and far less ginger (I tend to be heavy-handed with ginger when it comes to Asian cuisine) since this sauce is more sweet and robust than peppery.

And thus, this DIY gourmet Asian marinade and cooking sauce was born.

It's best for stir-fries and barbecued chicken thighs where it has opportunity to caramelize a bit, but you can use it spooned over rice as well. It's a bit overwhelming to be a dipping sauce, but there's a lovely recipe for dipping sauce in my other pantry staples book, Restocking the Pantry (which is available for immediate download), if you're needing something just right for dim sum night.


A note about the sugar: there's a fair bit of sugar in this recipe, but without it, the flavors aren't quite balanced and the sauce doesn't caramelize as well on broiled and barbecued foods.

Be sure to use a minimally processed granulated sugar, such as evaporated cane sugar or coconut sugar, so that you're mitigating the effects of sucrose by providing the body a minimally-processed form of the food and by providing a few minerals, as well as avoiding genetically modified beet sugar.

Better-than-Yoshida's Gourmet Asian Marinade and Cooking Sauce - yum yum yum! | NourishingJoy.com
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

DIY Yoshida's Sauce: Gourmet Asian Marinade and Cooking Sauce

A quick, sweet, robust sauce perfect for stir-fries, rice, or caramelizing on meat.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Condiments & Pantry Staples, Sauces
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 6 cups



  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan large enough to accomodate 1 1/2 quarts of liquid. Whisk to combine.
  • Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer steadily until thickened, 1-2 minutes, whisking frequently.
  • Use immediately, if desired, or cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Sauce may also be frozen in small quantities, such as in an ice cube tray. Omit the cornstarch if freezing.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried Yoshida’s, but there is a batch of this on my stove right now . . . it smells amazing! I plan to use it for cooking a pork tenderloin in the crock pot tomorrow.

      1. I am making this today and so excited!
        I do have a question.

        It calls for 1 C of marin or 1 C of water and then below that calls for
        1 C of water.
        So if I don’ t have Marin should I use 2 cups of water?
        Im heading to the store to look tor the marin but just in case i cant find it.

        Thank you so much!

        1. Yes, you’re exactly right! You need 2 cups of liquid, preferably 1 cup mirin and 1 cup water, but otherwise 2 cups of water. 🙂

          I hope you love it as much as we do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.