The Basic Recipe: Mentsuyu Broth and Tentsuyu Sauce
As “Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)” has the literal meaning of “broth for noodles” in Japanese, the liquid seasoning is typically used to make the soup broth of Japanese noodle dishes, such as Soba, Udon, Hiyamugi or Somen.
Nonetheless, Mentsuyu is not only meant for those broth, but it can also be used to make “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)” or as the soup base for “Nimono (煮物)” dishes.
The Basic Recipe for Mentsuyu
When it comes to the making method, Mentsuyu is traditionally prepared by combining “Dashi (出汁)” and “Kaeshi (かえし)”.
Dashi is Japanese soup stock taken from Kombu seaweed, “Katsuobushi (鰹節)” dried bonito flakes, Shiitake mushrooms and so on, while Kaeshi is made from boiled Mirin sweet cooking rice wine and a mixture of sugar and dark soy sauce.
The basic mixing ratio of Dashi to Dark Soy Sauce to Mirin for Mentsuyu is 5 : 1 : 1, and Mentsuyu can easily be made at home by bringing a mixture of dark soy sauce and Mirin to a simmer, and then adding Dashi soup stock.
Tentsuyu is the dipping sauce for Tempura, and, as with Mentsuyu broth, can basically be made with Dashi soup stock, dark soy sauce, and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.
The basic way to make Tentsuyu sauce is the same as the one for Mentsuyu, but the basic mixing ratio of Dashi to Dark Soy Sauce to Mirin for Tentsuyu is 4 : 1 : 1.
By the way, if you have Kikkoman’s Hon Tsuyu at home, you can easily prepare a Tentsuyu sauce by bringing a 1:2 ratio of the Hon Tsuyu soup base to water to a simmer. This is because Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is a kind of concentrated Mentsuyu.