Mentsuyu Sauce – homemade – delicious, simple, fast & handy (Vegan Version)

Prepare a mouthwatering bowl of noodles in just a minute by using this unique Japanese base sauce!

Mentsuyu sauce, also known as Men-Tsuyu or short: Tsuyu sauce, is a tasty and highly useful sauce from Japanese cuisine. When you need to move quickly, you can make it in advance and use it to whip up a fantastic noodle dish in a matter of minutes. Both as a base for incredibly quick hot noodles and as a dip for cold noodles. Perfect if you don’t particularly enjoy cooking but are hungry! You can make Kamatama Udon by simply pouring over udon noodles, adding some scallions, and mixing in an egg yolk. And one of my all-time favorite noodle dishes is kamatama udon.

Authentic mentsuyu recipes ask for a real dashi broth consisting of kombu (kelp) and bonito flakes, which are smoked fish flakes. But, I prefer to prepare the quick versions using dashi powder or, for vegans, skip the bonito flakes and replace them with mushroom powder.

The name of the game sauce
This sauce’s name is especially intriguing because it is self-explanatory: Men-Tsuyu: Men = noodle and Tsuyu = dipping sauce. An all-rounder sauce that can be used to season practically everything. It tastes like a somewhat sweet soy sauce with a lot of umami. Of course, you can purchase it ready-made, but homemade is just superior and contains no additives.

How you can use Mentsuyu sauce:

• Kamatama Udon (釜玉うどん):
Kamatama Udon is a warm (not hot) noodle dish with a creamy sauce made from raw egg yolk and mentsuyu. This method of cooking noodles is like the Japanese version of carbonara. Miso butter, fresh egg yolk, and mentsuyu sauce combined to create a creamy, silky, wonderful sauce with a plenty of umami. Definitely give it a go.

• Yaki Udon (焼きうどん)
Yaki Udon is a Japanese stir-fried dish prepared with Udon noodles mixed with Mentsuyu sauce and/or meat and/or vegetables. A dish like Yaki Udon may be made very quickly if you have Mentsuyu prepped in the fridge. It is most certainly so popular in Japanese taverns (izakayas) because to this plus the fact that it is so tasty.

• Zaru Soba – Cold Soba Noodles (ざるそば)
Zaru Soba are buckwheat noodles that are served cold with tsuyu sauce. It is a cold noodle dish that is frequently served in summer in Japan.

• Hegi Soba (へぎそば)
A speciality of Niigata is hegi soba noodles. The noodles are served cold, twisted into bite-sized pieces, and artfully layered on a large tray known as a hegi. As the tray is formed of thin strips of cedar wood, the word is derived from the Japanese word for “tray” or “strips.” Wasabi is often the preferred dipping sauce for soba noodles, although hegi soba is typically served with a yellow paste known as karashi (Japanese mustard). The noodles are frequently served with wasabi, karashi, mentsuyu sauce, and a variety of side dishes.

• Somen – Japanese cold summer noodles (そうめんの作り方)
Somen are white Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. Around 1 mm in diameter, they are very thin. With the use of vegetable oil, the dough is stretched into threadlike strips that are later air dried.

• As a dipping sauceTempura battered vegetables:
For anything baked in tempura batter, mentsuyu sauce is the best dipping sauce.

• Bukkake Udon (ぶっかけうどん):
Udon noodles are served in a thick sauce with mentsuyu and topped with other items in the meal known as “Bukake Udon.” Served warm or cold, it’s simple to make and tastes great either way!

Please leave a comment if you know any more dishes with mentsuyu sauce!

Mentsuyu Sauce homemade – delicious, simple, fast & handy (Vegan Version)

Recipe by Ella Josephine EsqueCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easier Than Easy
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Mentsuyu sauce is a delicious, handy and umami-rich sauce from Japanese cuisine. When you need to move quickly, you can make it in advance and use it to whip up a fantastic noodle dish in a matter of minutes.


  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) sake

  • 250 ml (1 cup) mirin

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 hand-sized piece of kombu

  • 1 tsp mushroom powder (ideally shiitake mushrooms alternatively porcini mushrooms)


  • In a saucepan, briefly bring sake to a boil so that the alcohol will evaporate. Add sugar, kombu, mirin, soy sauce, and mushroom powder. After brought to a boil, simmer for an additional 5–7 minutes over low heat. Take it off the stove and let it cool fully.
  • Pour into a lovely bottle or screw-top jar and keep chilled until needed. That lasts for roughly a month.

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