Spice Up Your Life With This Pinoy Style Tempura Sauce

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Have you been dreaming of a saucy new way to upgrade your everyday tempura nights? Let me introduce you to the Pinoy Style Tempura Sauce – a cross-cultural creation that’s sure to become your family’s new favorite dipping option!

As a mom of two currently transitioning to ‘tween tantrums, I’m always on the hunt for easy yet flavorful dinner options to make everyday better. Enter tempura – the light, crispy Japanese classic that’s a breeze to whip up. But while tempura on its own surely satisfies the kids cravings, I knew we could kick things up a notch with a saucy complement.

That’s when the idea struck – why not add a little Pinoy pop to accessorize my tempura? What Filipino child – or adult, let’s be real – can resist the savory-sweet perfection that is banana ketchup? There’s just something about that bold condiment’s complex umami taste that begs to be drizzled, spooned and sopped.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my Pinoy Style Tempura Sauce – a Filipino-Japanese fusion that’s sure to have even the pickiest palates asking for seconds. Follow along as I break down this easy tempura dipping sauce recipe with common ingredients from your Filipino pantry. But first, a quick background:

Banana ketchup was invented in the Philippines in the early 1900s by the kitchen legend Maria Orosa as a low-cost alternative to tomato ketchup. Made from bananas, sugar, vinegar and spices, it offered comparable sweet-sour tang without the higher price tag of imported tomato products. Today it remains a Filipino pantry staple, used in everything from hamburgers to fish.

My sauce takes the signature banana ketchup flavors and amps them up with Asian aromatics like ginger and garlic for extra dimension. Shallots lend mellow onion essence without biting harshness. And a splash of rice vinegar ties it all together with brisk acidity.

Unlike plain old banana ketchup straight from the bottle, this recipe results in a smoother, more complex condiment truly worthy of tempura’s crispy delight. Consider it banana ketchup 2.0 – now with leveled-up depth and sophistication perfect for ‘gramming your next foodie feast.

Without further ado, here is the:

Pinoy Style Tempura Sauce Recipe


  • 1/2 cup banana ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering for 5-7 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

And that’s it! A simple one-pot sauce with big flavor impact. Feel free to adjust ingredient amounts to your taste – some like it tangier with some rice vinegar, while others prefer a sweeter profile with extra brown sugar. Play around until you find your ideal balance.

Serve alongside crispy tempura shrimp, veggies or anything else that gets your juices flowing. Trust me, that first spicy-sweet bite will have you questioning how you ever lived without this sauce in your life. It’s that good!

Be sure to let me know in the comments how your batch turns out. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below for more recipe ideas, mom hacks, and motivation. Drink lots of water, y’all!

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