Mentsuyu (noodle soup base) is one tasty way to season your noodles. Mentsuyu is commonly used for udon, soba, somen noodles. But, it can also be used to season tempura and appetizers like agedashi tofu or ohitashi. While there are many variations this recipe is one of my favorites. It calls for ichiban dashi which provides plenty of umami. I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers in a jar. This could be your go-to recipe each time a recipe calls for mentsuyu!
Mentsuyu is Japanese noodle soup base. However, despite it’s name it’s used for a variety of dishes.
Literally translated, men means noodles and tsuyu means sauce or broth in Japanese.
Tsuyu is also how you refer to the dipping sauce for tempura.
Aside from noodles, you can use mentsuyu to season many things like vegetables, salads or even fried rice.
Since it’s so versatile, it’s one of those things you’ll want to make as a double or triple batch.
That way, you can see for yourself how it tastes and enhances the flavor of different foods.
Obviously, your go to use for the mentsuyu would be noodles.
So once you make this, all you need is some soba, udon or somen noodles and some garnishes!
This recipe uses a ratio of 8 dashi : 1 usukuchi shoyu : 1 mirin.
The dashi I used is the same one that I wrote about before – How to Make Dashi Broth (from katsuobushi and konbu)
This mentsuyu is the perfect broth for use in udon and soba noodle soup.
There are variations in the ratios used for mentsuyu including 5 dashi : 1 shoyu : 1 mirin or 4 dashi : 1 shoyu : 1 mirin.
With less dashi, the flavor becomes more robust as the mirin and shoyu ratios are increased.
You can experiment with the above and see which you like best!
Notes on Mentsuyu-
- Mentsuyu will keep for 3 days in the fridge, if you don’t plan to use it within that time frame, freeze to keep it fresh!
- Normally, store bought mentsuyu is concentrated and must be diluted prior to use. This mentsuyu is ready to use as is, no dilution required! store bought products which may be concentrated at 2-5x!
- Since we’re making it from scratch, it’s also free of preservatives and other additives (like MSG).
- This mentsuyu calls for usukuchi shoyu (薄口醬油）which is a lighter colored and lighter flavored soy sauce, as compared to regular shoyu (soy sauce). If you can’t find usukuchi shoyu, you can substitute with regular, but the flavor will be slightly different.
- Here’s some of my older recipes that call for mentsuyu-
Here’s a video I made walking you through how to make it!
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