Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs Mentsuyu

As you know, we Japanese sometimes have noodle soups, such as soba and udon, at home and for making the broth many Japanese home cooks use a certain 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 mix is easy to get on online shopping sites like, even if you are not in Japan.


The liquid soup base for the broth of Japanese noodles is generally called “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)“, but in addition, there are several products with names similar to Mentsuyu in the market, which can also be used to make Japanese noodle soup broth.

The Difference: Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu vs Mentsuyu

Among such soup mixes, one of the most popular products is Kikkoman’s “Hon Tsuyu (本つゆ)”, but how is the Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu sauce different from average Mentsuyu broth? Today, I did some research about that, so let me share it.

Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)

Mentsuyu Broth

First off, according to Wikipedia Japan, Mentsuyu is a Japanese seasoning made by combining “Kaeshi (かえし)” and “Dashi (出汁)”.

The former, Kaeshi is made by simmering dark soy sauce, sugar, mirin sweet cooking rice wine, and so on, while the latter, Dashi is a Japanese soup stock typically made from kombu seaweed, dried bonito shavings “Katsuobushi (かつお節)”, and shiitake mushrooms.

In the market, Mentsuyu comes in two types, “Concentrated” and “Straight”, and both are used to prepare the broth of Japanese noodles as its name translates to “the broth for noodles”.

However, in addition, Mentsuyu can also be used in various other dishes, say, as a seasoning for simmered dishes or “Nimono (煮物)”, and as a dipping sauce for tempura called “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)“. Hence, Mentsuyu 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, the sauce is a multipurpose seasoning for a wide range of foods. 

In fact, the Hon Tsuyu sauce can be used in various dishes in various ways, but it is a kind of Mentsuyu, so one of its main uses is to prepare Japanese noodle soup broth, such as udon, soba, and somen.

About Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi Sauce

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


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Meterials

The label says that the Hon Tsuyu soup base is made with dried bonito flakes “Katsuo-Bushi (かつお節)”, dried tuna flakes “Maguro-Bushi (まぐろ節)”, and dried sardine flakes “Iwashi-Bushi (いわし節)”, all of which are produced in Japan.

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Ingredients

Specifically, according to the ingredient list, the Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Koidashi sauce consists of 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 seaweed, seasonings (including amino acids), and alcohol.


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Uses

There are also usage examples on the side of the bottle. According to that, dilute the Hon Tsuyu sauce with water (hot or cold) according to the use as follows.

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 (Simmered Dishes) 1 : 4 – 6


Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu Notes

Note that you should refrigerate the Hon Tsuyu sauce after opening, otherwise there is a possibility the liquid gets 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.

1 Response

  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.

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