What Is Mentsuyu?
Mentsuyu is very common seasoning in Japan.
Raw materials of it are dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.
Basically, mentsuyu is used as a soup for Japanese noodle dishes, for example, soba, udon, and somen noodles after diluting with water or hot water.
Besides that, mentsuyu is extremely useful seasoning that you can use for various Japanese dishes such as stir-frying dish and simmered dish. (Please check the below link to see the details of those.)
Good Substitutes for Mentsuyu
If you have a bottle of mentsuyu, it helps a lot for making Japanese food.
But, what if you can’t find any of it at home?
In fact, you can make mentsuyu from scratch so easy!
Here, I would like to introduce 4 ways to make homemade mentsuyu.
1. Soy sauce + Mirin + Dashi Granules
To reproduce the dashi flavor of mentsuyu, dashi granules is one of the most useful material.
Please try to make it according to the materials and procedures on the site below.
2. Soy sauce + Mirin + Other Dashi Materials
If you don’t want to use or don’t have any dashi granules, you can skip it.
Mixing only soy sauce and mirin is fine, but you may want to some flavor of dashi stock instead of dashi granules.
At that time, you can substitute the following materials for dashi granules.
・Chicken stock powder
・Dried bonito shavings
Please check the details of those alternatives on this site.
10 Best Dashi Stock Substitutes
3. Soy sauce + Sugar + Sake + Dashi Granules
If you don’t have mirin at home, you can substitute sugar for it.
The sweetness of mirin will be replaced with sugar and the alcohol of mirin will be replaced with sake.
When you need 1 tablespoon of mirin, please mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with 1 tablespoon of sake*.
*If you don’t have sake, please use white wine instead.
The recipe of homemade mentsuyu for here is the same as (1). Please just replace mirin with sugar + sake.
4. Soy sauce + Sugar + Salt + Dashi Granules
Mirin, sake, and white wine: If you don’t have any of these, here is the idea for you.
Mix the following seasonings together and warm a little so that sugar and dashi granules melt easily.
・0.8 cup (200ml) Water
・3 tablespoons Say sauce
・1 tablespoon Sugar
・A pinch of Salt
・1/2 teaspoon Dashi granules
By the way, please check here when you want to use some substitute for dashi granules.
How was the 4 ways of making mentsuyu substitutes?
The taste of homemade mentsuyu would be vary depending on the type of dashi or whether you use mirin or sugar.
So, please find your favorite way of making mentsuyu substitute!