The Basic Recipe: Mentsuyu Broth & Tentsuyu Sauce
The literal meaning of Mentsuyu (めんつゆ) is broth for noodles, so we typically use the liquid to make the broth of Japanese noodles, such as Soba, Udon, and Hiyamugi/Somen.
Nonetheless, Mentsuyu is not only meant for those broths but also Tentsuyu (天つゆ) or the soup base for Nimono (煮物) dishes.
When it comes to the composition of Mentsuyu, the Japanese seasoning traditionally consists of Dashi (出汁) combined with Kaeshi (かえし).
Dashi is Japanese soup stock extracted from ingredients such as Kombu seaweed kelp, Katsuobushi bonito flakes, and Shiitake mushroom,
while Kaeshi is a liquid seasoning made from boiled Mirin sweet cooking rice wine and a mixture of sugar and dark soy sauce.
The mixing ratio of Dashi to dark soy sauce to Mirin for Mentsuyu is generally 5:1:1,
and you can easily make it at home by bringing a mixture of dark soy sauce and Mirin to a simmer and adding Dashi stock.
Meanwhile, Tentsuyu is the dipping sauce for Tempura.
As with Mentsuyu broth, it typically consists of Dashi stock, dark soy sauce, and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.
The preparation for Tentsuyu is the same as Mentsuyu, but the mixing ratio of Dashi to dark soy sauce to Mirin is 4:1:1.
If you have Kikkoman’s Hon Tsuyu, you can effortlessly make Tentsuyu by bringing a 1:2 ratio of the soup base and water to a simmer.
It is because Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is a kind of concentrated Mentsuyu.