Bring complex umami flavour to your soup and noodle dishes with tsuyu dipping sauce. Called ‘men tsuyu’ in Japanese, this thin, clear sauce is made from dashi soup stock and a mixture of soy sauce, mirin and sugar, which is called ‘kaeshi’. As well as serving men tsuyu alongside piles of cold noodles, this easy stock can also be diluted with hot water for a seasoned soup broth to enjoy with hot noodles.
Let’s prepare the kaeshi first. Add the mirin to a saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble which will remove all the alcohol. Add the sugar to the pan while the heat is still on and mix it well so that the sugar dissolves.
Once you have obtained a smooth mixture, add the soy sauce to the pan and continue to mix.
Turn off the heat when the temperature reaches approximately 85°C. Once it reaches this temperature you may be able to see a thin film on top of the liquid. Make sure that the mixture doesn’t boil over as this will impair the taste.
Now that your kaeshi is finished, you can leave it to rest for a day or two. This helps to infuse the flavours together for a richer taste.
Right, now let’s prepare a simple katsuobushi bonito flake dashi. Start by boiling 300ml of water in a saucepan.
Once the water has boiled, add the katsuobushi bonito flakes and remove from the heat. Wait a few moments for the katsuobushi to sink to the bottom of the pan. Now strain the katsuobushi bonito flakes from the water with a colander to get your infused liquid dashi.
Now you just have to mix three parts of your home made dashi to one part of kaeshi to obtain a delicious men tsuyu sauce, ideal for dipping.
- If you follow this recipe, you will end up with more kaeshi than dashi, so store the kaeshi in the fridge and make some new dashi when you want to make men tsuyu again.
- It is easy to change the ratio of dashi and kaeshi to suit your taste preferences. Adding more dashi that the standard 3:1 ratio will give you a slightly sweeter taste.
- You can replace the katsuobushi bonito flakes with dried shiitake mushrooms for a 100% vegetarian option.
- Your homemade noodle tsuyu will last for a few days in the fridge.