Pepper Lunch Sauce

Say hello to my irresistible Pepper Lunch Sauce, your ticket to recreating that signature Japanese restaurant flavor right in your own kitchen! With just a handful of pantry staples and a few minutes of your time, you can whip up this savory sauce to elevate any rice plate with meat. Experience the convenience of crafting this sauce at home, boasting the same delicious taste as the one from Pepper Lunch!

Pepper Lunch sauce being dizzled onto a beef plate with rice.

Why I Love This Recipe

As a seasoned home cook, I’m always on the lookout for easy yet flavorful recipes that bring the essence of my favorite Japanese dishes straight to my table. Enter my Pepper Lunch Sauce – a delightful mix that mirrors the savory magic of the iconic Pepper Lunch restaurant sauce, perfect for drizzling over rice plates with juicy meats and buttered corn!

Crafted with care in my own kitchen and tested over multiple batches just like my Japanese inspired Donburi Sauce and Japanese Sweet Steak Sauce, my one of a kind sauce delivers a symphony of sweet and savory flavors with a delightful kick of black pepper! Whether you’re craving a taste of Japan or seeking to recreate the Pepper Lunch Japanese Beef Pepper Rice or Japanese Pepper Steak experience at home, this sauce is for you! Get ready to elevate your homemade Japanese-style meat rice plates with this irresistible sauce – it’s a game-changer you won’t want to miss out on!



  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets. Helps give the pepper sauce umami flavors
  • Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener.
  • Black Pepper – ground. Gives the signature flavor found in the pepper sauce.
  • Garlic– freshly grated garlic.

Additional Flavor

You can enhance the flavor of the sauce by adding a touch of Grated Ginger for an extra kick.

🍶 Mirin Note

While mirin is traditionally used to make the tataki sauce, we’ve considered that mirin might not be readily available in all areas. To accommodate this, the recipe modifies the ratio of Japanese sake and sweetener.

Ingredients for Pepper Lunch sauce on the countertop.


Step 1 Start by boiling out Japanese sake in a skillet for 15-20 seconds.

Japanese sake being boiled in a frying pan.

🍶 Boiling Sake Pro Tip

For a quicker alternative to boiling sake, you can simply Microwave for 30-45 Seconds.

Step 2 Prepare the sauce by mixing boiled Japanese sake, soy sauce, sweetener, grated garlic, and black pepper together.

Pepper Lunch sauce in a bowl.

💡 Sauce Pro Tip

Allow the sauce to Rest at Room Temperature for 10-15 Minutes before using it. This brief resting period allows the flavors to blend and meld together, enhancing the overall taste and richness.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this sauce with rice plates like Japanese Pork Pepper Rice or Japanese Chicken Pepper Rice, or opt for a seafood option with Japanese Shrimp Pepper Rice. Each dish offers a perfect canvas for showcasing the bold flavors of this sauce, creating a satisfying meal that’s bound to impress!

Pepper Lunch sauce in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this sauce suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets?

Yes, the sauce is vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

Can I adjust the sweetness of the sauce?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener used to suit your taste preferences. You can also experiment with different types of sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

Can I freeze the sauce for long-term storage?

Yes, you can freeze the sauce in zip lock bags for extended storage. Just thaw it in the refrigerator before using.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers of this sauce, simply transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for 14-21 days. For longer-term storage, you can also freeze the sauce in zip lock bags, ensuring it stays fresh and ready to use whenever you need it.

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Watch How To Make It

aPepper Lunch sauce in a bowl.

Pepper Lunch Sauce

Welcome to my Pepper Lunch Sauce recipe! This homemade version of the beloved sauce used at Pepper Lunch restaurants is perfect for drizzling over rice plates with meat or as a delicious dipping sauce. With simple ingredients and easy instructions, you can enjoy the authentic taste of Pepper Lunch right in your own kitchen.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: pepper lunch sauce
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 16kcal


  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Japanese Sake
  • 2 tsp Sweetener your preferred sweetener
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Clove Garlic


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients to make Pepper Lunch sauce on the countertop.
  • Boil Japanese sake in a frying pan for 15-20 seconds.
    Japanese sake being boiled in a frying pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine boiled out Japanese sake, soy sauce, sweetener, grated garlic and black pepper.
    Pepper Lunch sauce in a bowl.


Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 33mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Calcium: 7mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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