Mentsuyu vs Tsuyu vs Dashi: What is the Difference?

When it comes to the broth of Japanese noodles, “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)” is not only well-recognized in many countries, but the Japanese soup base is actually used by many people in recent years.

The Difference: Dashi vs Tsuyu vs Mentsuyu

Dashi Soup Stock

In addition to the Mentsuyu broth, Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is also popular in some countries. So a while ago, I did research on how they differed and posted this article.

Further, many of us Japanese can’t clearly tell the difference between “Dashi (出汁, だし)”, “Tsuyu (つゆ)”, and “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)”.

Therefore, today I also researched online how these are different from one another.

Dashi (出汁, だし)

Kombu Dashi

In Japanese cuisine, there are 2 types of Dashi soup stock, “Dashi (出汁)” and “Dashi (だし)”.

The former “Dashi (出汁)” is the regular Dashi stock made from ingredients such as Kombu seaweed, Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes, and dried Shiitake mushrooms.

On the other hand, “Dashi (だし)” is the Kansai-style liquid soup base made by lightly seasoning “Dashi (出汁)” with light-colored soy sauce or Usukuchi Shoyu

In the Kansai region around Kyoto, “Dashi (出汁)” is made mainly from Kombu, together with Katsuobushi and Niboshi dried sardines.

Kansai’s Dashi broth is lightly salted with a light color but is rich in umami. Because of that, it can accentuate the original taste of food materials used in it.

Tsuyu (つゆ)

Katsuobushi Dried Bonito Shavings

In contrast to “Dashi (だし)”, “Tsuyu (つゆ)” is the Kanto-style liquid soup base made by combining “Dashi (出汁)” with dark soy sauce or Koikuchi Shoyu

Kanto-style “Dashi (出汁)” is made mainly from Katsuobushi and is characterized by the pleasant fragrance from the bonito shavings.

One primary reason why Koikuchi Shoyu is prepared for making Tsuyu in the Kanto region around Tokyo is to add a flavor as strong as the fishy Dashi stock.

Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)

Mentsuyu Soup Base

As you may already know, “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)” is a liquid seasoning made by combining “Kaeshi (かえし)” with “Dashi (出汁)”. 

Kaeshi is made by simmering Koikuchi Shoyu, sugar, and mirin together, while to make Mentsuyu’s “Dashi (出汁)”, ingredients such as Kombu, Katsuobushi, Shiitake, and Niboshi are prepared.


DashiMaki Tamago

Mentsuyu, Dashi, and Tsuyu are all used to make the broth of Japanese noodles, like udon and soba, and these liquid seasonings form the base in various Japanese dishes.

(Reference Pages: olive-hitomawashi, Wikipedia 出汁, めんつゆ )


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.

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