Mentsuyu is Japanese soup base used in soba and udon noodle dishes. It’s made from sake, mirin, soy sauce, kombu, and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
There are two types of mentsuyu: kaketsuyu, which is poured hot over boiled noodles to make noodle soup, and tsuketsuyu which literally means “dipping soup” for chilled noodles.
Mentsuyu is usually sold concentrated, so dilute with water before using. The proportion of water used to dilute the soup base varies depending on the use. Usually 2-3 parts of water for 1 part of mentsuyu.
This mentsuyu recipe is also concentrated, so please adjust the soup base accordingly.
For convenience, you can purchase Mentsuyu bottle from Japanese (or Asian) grocery stores or online.
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- In a medium saucepan, add sake and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Let the alcohol evaporate for a few seconds.
- Add mirin and soy sauce.
- Then add kombu and katsuobushi.
- Bring it to a boil and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and set aside until cool down.
- Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and now Mentsuyu is ready to use. For a dipping sauce, you dilute the concentrated mentsuyu with water, either 2 or 3 parts water. For a soup base, you will likely dilute the concentrated with 4 or 5 parts water.
- Save the drained katsuobushi and kombu to make homemade Furikake (rice seasoning). Click here for the recipe.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.