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.

Mentsuyu (めんつゆ)

Mentsuyu broth

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.

Basic Recipe

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.

Tentsuyu (天つゆ)

Tentsuyu sauce

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.

Basic Recipe 

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.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia めんつゆ, Kotobank 天つゆTravelingfoodlabKikkoman ) 


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. January 17, 2022

    […] To properly build your broth, you could always jazz your store-bought meat up using both water and mentsuyu. Mentsuyu is a soup base that’s also of Japanese origin. It consists of katsuobushi and kombu. […]

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