Homemade Mentsuyu Sauce Recipe: Perfect For Noodles

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 8, 2022

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Mentsuyu. It’s perfect for adding flavor to all your favorite Japanese dishes.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own mentsuyu sauce right at home. And it’s so much better than anything you can buy in a store.

Let’s make this delicious sauce so you can start using it in your dishes!

Homemade mentsuyu sauce

How to make mentsuyu at home

Homemade tsuyu sauce recipe

Homemade Mentsuyu sauce recipe

Joost Nusselder
The good news is that making tsuyu sauce at home is easy. So it’s a great way to save money, especially if you make it in larger batches! I’ve included a recipe for 2 cups of this delicious dashi-flavored tsuyu sauce to keep things simple. You’ll need some katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and I recommend Yamahide Hana Katsuo Bonito Flakes because you can buy it in 1 lb bags, and it’s more budget-friendly that way.
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Cook Time 10 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
  • 1 piece dried kelp (kombu)
  • ½ cup cooking sake
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup mirin

Instructions
 

  • Grab a saucepan and pour in the sake, mirin, and soy sauce. Then add in the dried bonito flakes and the piece of kelp.
  • Bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let your sauce cool down.
  • Remove the piece of kelp and strain the mixture using a sieve.

Notes

The end result is a concentrated tsuyu, and you have to dilute it before use.
To store this men tsuyu, transfer it to a glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to 30 days.
Just a heads up: tsuyu is high in calories, sodium, and sugar because of the soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Check out this video by YouTuber JapaneseCooking101 on making men tsuyu:

Cooking tips

  • In order to make a perfect mentsuyu sauce, it is important to use dashi soup stock. You can make your own dashi or buy it at a Japanese grocery store.
  • The key ingredient in mentsuyu sauce is soy sauce. Use a good quality soy sauce for the best flavor.

Here’s how to use it when making any type of hot noodle soup

  1. First, you have to dilute the tsuyu with some water.
  2. Then, you must heat up the tsuyu.
  3. Next, you pour the hot broth/sauce over the noodles.

Substitutes

Mentsuyu substitute for mirin

If you don’t have mirin, use a little more of the sake (same amount) and add a teaspoon of sugar to make it a little sweeter like the mirin would.

Kombu substitute for mentsuyu

If you don’t have kombu, you can of course use a dashi powder if you have that, or substitute it with a few dried shiitake mushrooms to still get umami in the dish.

The same goes for the katsuobushi by the way, just use a pre-made dashi packet or use shiitake mushrooms (best together with kombu to make a vegan dashi that’s great as well).

How to store the sauce

Keep the mentsuyu sauce in a clean, airtight container in the fridge. It will last for up to 2 weeks.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to make your own mentsuyu sauce, put it to good use!

Also read: these are the best tsuyu or mentsuyu bottled sauces to buy

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.