Asian recipes/ Sauces, dressings & condiments

Homemade Mentsuyu – Japanese Soup Base

24 November 2020

I made Mentsuyu (Japanese soup base) for in a ramen soup, you can also just buy it in the store, but when I have the time I love making things from scratch. Mentsuyu was a real eye opener, to be honest I had never really heard of it, but it’s so tasty and rich in flavour. It’s a mixture of saké, mirin, soy sauce, kombu (dried kelp) and katsuobishi (dried bonito flakes, the shaved pieces of fish that dance around your plate if you serve it on something warm, really spectacular). Boil it all together for a few minutes and you’ve got a bowl full of umami!

Add a tablespoon to a bowl with a grated clove of garlic and pour the hot broth or to add to your stir fried ramen dishes for example. I also used it as a dipping sauce the other day for gyoza, mixed in with a drop of chili oil!

Recipe inspired by @justonecookbook

Mentsuyu - Japanese Soup Base

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By Saffron & Just One Cookbook Serves: 2 cups


  • ½ cup sake (120 ml)
  • 1 ⅛ cup mirin (270 ml)
  • 1 cup soy sauce (240 ml)
  • 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) ( 5 cm x 5 cm)
  • 1 cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (10 g)



In a saucepan, add sake and bring it to a boil over medium heat.


Let the alcohol evaporate, ± 30 seconds.


Add mirin, soy sauce, kombu, and katsuobushi and bring it to a boil.


Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.


Then turn off the heat and let cool, ± 10 minuutes


Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.


You can store Mentsuyu in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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