Mentsuyu, which means “noodle broth” in Japanese, is a multi-purpose seasoning found in numerous Japanese dishes. Made from a combination of some of Japan’s most iconic ingredients, it’s a convenient way to increase the depth of flavor in any savory recipe. Mentsuyu is commonly used in noodle soups, rice bowls, hot pot, and dipping sauces. While pre-made mentsuyu can be purchased from Asian grocery stores in various concentrations, it’s simple and easy to make your own version at home using pantry ingredients!
To make mentsuyu, you need just four ingredients: mirin, soy sauce, dashi powder, and water. In this recipe, the majority of the flavor is derived from dashi powder, so be sure to use one that you like! We recommend soda bushi dashi powder, which is made from frigate tuna and produced in the southernmost port town of Kochi prefecture on Shikoku Island. It dissolves when stirred into water and is a quick way to create a flavorful stock! The use of mirin provides a hint of sweetness, while soy sauce adds another dimension of saltiness. The result is a well-balanced sauce that can be used in recipes such as hot and cold udon or soba, ochazuke, wafu-style pasta, and tempura dipping sauce.
Depending on how you plan to use your mentsuyu, you can concentrate it by boiling off excess liquid or dilute it by adding water. Feel free to taste and adjust according to your preference! Mentsuyu can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.
- Combine all the ingredients together and use in your favorite noodle dish/soup, rice bowl, hot pot or as a dipping sauce.
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Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.