Tsuyu - Mentsuyu - Mendare - Japanese Noodle Sauce

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 10 mins

This is a concentrated broth often used in Japan for noodle type dishes, such as in udon, soba, etc. Many recipes can jumpstart from this basic tsuyu, such as oden, salad dressing, other types of sauces by incorporating vinegar, more sugar, ginger, garlic, miso, etc. You can buy type of tsuyu in Japan easily and nowadays most people buy bottled versions which are excellent depending on the brands. I really like Yamasa Kombu Tsuyu. But, the commercially available ones are expensive and may not be readily available outside of Japan. Normally the commercial brands fall into those which can be used straight ie no mixing with additional water or concentrated like this recipe. BTW, the (men) part means noodle in Japan, so mentsuyu means noodle broth and mendare means noodle sauce. But, this type of broth is the basis for many, many Japanese cooking and I hope you can make this and keep it bottled in the refrigerator. Once made, it is easily kept in the fridge for at least one year. This stock should go through several changes of cheesecloth to make sure it is completely clear of all debris before storing in the fridge. The leftover katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and kombu seaweed can be used for other things. I like to chop of kombu and stir fry it with katsuobushi, sesame seeds and a bit of teriyaki type sauce for making furikake which sometimes is used in plain rice in Japan or onigiri rice balls. This is my first one tsuyu recipe and I do have several versions of tsuyu and I plan to post additional ones in the future. The cup size I'm using is the Japanese cup size which is 200 ml = 1 Cup. When I mention soy sauce, I'm referring to the regular soy sauce and not light soy sauce which has more salt content and less color.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a medium sized pot heat water, soy sauce, and sugar until it boils. Turn down the heat to medium low and remove any scum from the surface.
  2. Add bonito flakes and kombu seaweed and again heat until boiling. As soon as it boils turn off the heat.
  3. Add mirin and refrigerate overnight for the taste to meld together.
  4. Using cheesecloth or other fine strainer, strain several times to remove all debris from tsuyu/broth. You can use bonito flakes and kombu seaweed as in description above.
  5. Keep in glass bottle or plastic bottle, capped, and refrigerate. Keeps at least 1 year.


Most Helpful

This looks like a great recipe, my only question is, if it's concentrated how much "sauce" to water when you use it? When would this be used as is?

mbmoody July 17, 2014

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