Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs Mentsuyu

As you know, Japanese people sometimes have noodle soups, such as soba and udon, at home.

For making the broth, many home cooks use a liquid soup base that is available at almost any supermarket in Japan.

Some overseas people may have used it before because, in recent years, the Japanese soup base is easy to obtain on online marketplaces like


The liquid soup base for the broth of Japanese noodles is generally called “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)“.

But in addition, in the market, there are several products with names similar to Mentsuyu, which can also be used to make the broth of Japanese noodles.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs. Mentsuyu

Among such soup bases, one of the best and most popular products is Kikkoman’s “Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)”.

But how does the Hon Tsuyu sauce differ from regular Mentsuyu broth? Today, I did research about that, so here let me share it.

Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)

Mentsuyu Broth

First of all, according to Japanese Wikipedia, Mentsuyu is a Japanese seasoning made by combining “Kaeshi (かえし)” with “Dashi (出汁)”.

The former Kaeshi is made by simmering dark soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (sweet cooking rice wine).

Meanwhile, the latter Dashi is a Japanese soup stock made by heating  ingredients, such as kombu seaweed, Katsuobushi bonito shavings, or dried shiitake mushrooms, in a pot of water.

In the market, Mentsuyu comes in two types, concentrated and straight, but both are mainly used to prepare the broth of Japanese noodles, as the name of Mentsuyu translates to “broth for noodles”.

Mentsuyu actually can be used in various ways, for example, as a seasoning for Nimono dishes or as a dipping sauce for tempura called “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)“. 

So it is a kind of versatile seasoning.

Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Liquid Soup Base

On the other hand, according to the official website of Kikkoman, this Hon Tsuyu Koidashi is a 4 times-concentrated Mentsuyu broth.

Packed with plenty of umami, this sauce is a multipurpose seasoning for a wide range of dishes. 

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is essentially a Mentsuyu, so the sauce can also be used in various ways.

But one of its main usages is the making of the broth for Japanese noodles, such as udon, soba, and somen.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi Sauce

Lastly, for those who want to find out more about the Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi sauce, here is the in-depth information.


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Meterials

As for the ingredients, the label says this Hon Tsuyu soup base is made with domestically produced “Katsuo-Bushi (かつお節: dried bonito flakes)”, “Maguro-Bushi (まぐろ節: dried tuna flakes)”, and “Iwashi-Bushi (いわし節: dried sardine flakes)”.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Ingredients

Specifically, based on the list above, this Koidashi sauce is made from soy sauce (including soybeans and wheat flour), high fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, fish flakes (bonito, tuna, sardine, and frigate mackerel), bonito extract, fermented wheat seasoning, mirin, kombu, amino acid seasoning, and alcohol.

How to Use

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Uses

On the side of the bottle, there are usage examples, which are listed in the table below. Following that, dilute the Hon Tsuyu sauce with water (hot or cold).

Usage Examples Hon Tsuyu : Water
Dipping Sauce for Noodles 1 : 3
Broth for Noodles 1 : 6 – 8
Donburi-Mono, Tentsuyu 1 : 3 – 4
Oden, Nabemono (Hot Pot) 1 : 8 – 10
Nimono 1 : 4 – 6


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Notes

The Hon Tsuyu sauce is free from preservatives. So you have to refrigerate it after opening. Otherwise, the liquid may get moldy.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. Jay says:

    I love eating zarusoba. I use the Mizkan Hontsuyu as a soup base regularly. It says on the package to use 3 water:1 hontsuyu to make dipping sauce for zarusoba.

  2. Carol Burns says:

    I am just starting to learn how to make Japanese and Chinese and Thai foods as I love sushi and termpura etc. I have bought a wok- cookbooks for beginners and various Asian sauces from Amazon to get started such as sweet soy dark soy mirin Hon Tsuya and a couple of other ones plus the noodles

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