Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs. Mentsuyu: Japanese Soup Base

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

To make the broth, many home cooks use a liquid soup base available at every supermarket in Japan.

Some overseas people may have used it because, nowadays, the Japanese soup base is easy to obtain on online marketplaces like Amazon.


As you may already know, 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 include Kikkoman’s Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ).

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs. Mentsuyu

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is arguably among the best and most popular Japanese soup bases.

But how does the seasoning sauce differ from regular Mentsuyu broth? Today I researched that, and here, I will share the result.

Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)

Mentsuyu Broth

First of all, according to Wikipedia, Mentsuyu (めんつゆ: literally, noodle broth) is a Japanese seasoning made by combining Kaeshi (かえし) with Dashi (出汁).

The former Kaeshi is a seasoning made by simmering dark soy sauce, sugar, and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.

Meanwhile, the latter Dashi is a soup stock extracted by boiling ingredients in water, such as Kombu seaweed and Katsuobushi bonito shavings.

In the market, Mentsuyu comes in two types, concentrated and straight, but both are mainly used to prepare the broth of Japanese noodles, as it is a Tsuyu primarily meant for Men (麺: meaning noodles).

Mentsuyu is versatile and multi-purpose. For instance, we use it as a seasoning for Nimono simmered dishes or as a dipping sauce for Tempura called Tentsuyu (天つゆ)

Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Liquid Soup Base

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

This sauce is a seasoning packed with plenty of umami, and as with Mentsuyu, it is for a wide range of dishes. 

As the Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is a kind of Mentsuyu, one of its main usages is making broth for Japanese noodles, such as udon, soba, or somen.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi Sauce

Lastly, for your reference, here is in-depth information on the Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi sauce.


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Meterials

The label indicates this Hon Tsuyu soup base mainly uses domestically produced Katsuobushi (かつお節: dried bonito shavings), Maguro-Bushi (まぐろ節: dried tuna flakes), and Iwashi-Bushi (いわし節: dried sardine flakes).

The specific ingredients used in the concentrated Mentsuyu broth are as follows.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Ingredients

Soy sauce (including Soybean and Wheat flour), High fructose corn syrup, Sugar, Salt, Fish flakes (Bonito, Tuna, Sardine, and Frigate mackerel), Katsuobushi extract, Fermented wheat seasoning, Mirin, Kombu, Seasoning (including Amino acid), Alcohol


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Uses

There are also usage examples on the side of the bottle, which I listed in the table below. Following the ratios, dilute the Hon Tsuyu sauce with water (hot or cold) for each use.

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 pots 1 : 8 – 10
Nimono simmered dishes 1 : 4 – 6


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Notes

By the way, the Hon Tsuyu sauce is free from preservatives. So you have to refrigerate it after opening it. 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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