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 broths, but it can actually 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 how to make Mentsuyu, the Japanese seasoning is traditionally prepared by combining “Dashi (出汁)” and “Kaeshi (かえし)”.
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock extracted from ingredients such as the seaweed kelp “Kombu”, “Katsuobushi (鰹節)” bonito flakes, and Shiitake mushrooms, while Kaeshi is a liquid seasoning 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 adding it to Dashi stock.
Meanwhile, Tentsuyu is the dipping sauce for Tempura, and, as with Mentsuyu broth, can basically be made with Dashi stock, dark soy sauce, and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.
The preparation for Tentsuyu sauce is basically the same as the making of 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, you can easily prepare Tentsuyu sauce by bringing a 1:2 ratio of the Hon Tsuyu soup base and water to a simmer. This is because Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is a kind of concentrated Mentsuyu.