Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

How to use Mentsuyu

A summertime delight

Mentsuyu is just great for the summer. It is such a lovely and light sauce that just goes so well with Japanese noodle dishes such as somen and soba. In Japanese noodles in the summertime are often eaten alongside a small bowl of sauce to dip the noodle into. This sauce is called mentsuyu and has a nice sweet and salty taste to it.


Itfs very easy to find mentsuyu in the shops. If you are living in Japanese then of course you can just wander on down to any supermarket in the country and shelves of mentsuyu will be present for you to choose from. If you live abroad then finding some mentsuyu to buy shouldnft be too difficult if you are in an urban centre. Most Japanese supermarkets and most asian grocery stores stock and sell mentsuyu as it is a very important Japanese ingredient.


Shops that offer a large range of mentsuyu products will of course have the very cheapest which may have been made with low [rice manufacturing in mind to give a product that is reasonably good but not great though to mentsuyu that has been made in small batches with the finest of ingredients. It is possible to make mentsuyu yourself at home too! In fact, if you make mentsuyu at home with fresh ingredients, you can make a very tasty one.


Probably the most important part of mentsuyu is the base which is known as kaeshi in Japanese. Kaeshi consists of mirin (which is a sweetened rice wine), sugar and soy sauce. This base is terrific and really can be used in so many ways, as these flavours and ingredients can add intense flavours to most dishes. The key to a good homemade mentsuyu is quality ingredients. For this reason, if possible try to great the highest quality soy sauce you can find as well as a really nice and high quality bottle of miron too. The great thing about making it is that it will last for months in the fridge! Some people even freeze it and use it later! So, feel free to double the recipe or even triple it, itfs up to you how much you make as it can last such a long time in the fridge.


This recipe doesnft include any meat products so of course this is totally fine for any vegetarians and/or vegans to use this in their dishes.


OK, here goes, here is a great recipe that will last the ages!

Easy to make, easy to use

To make the kaeshi, youfll need mirin, soy sauce and sugar as mentioned before. Please put to the side, 1 and a half cups of white sugar, 1 and a half cups of high quality mirin and 8 and a half cups of soy sauce. Ok, thatfs the easy part donec


Next, start heating a pan, add the mirin and bring this to the boil, once it has started to boil, turn the heat down so that it is just simmering, then allow it to simmer for a few minutes, which will allow for the alcohol to evaporate away. Following this, add and mix the sugar into the mirin until the sugar has melted into it. Keep stirring while the sugar is melting to allow for a consistent sauce, and also to ensure that the sugar doesnft burn. Once the sugar is stirred in sufficiently and it the mixture has started to bubble away again then take it off the heat. Thatfs it, itfs as easy as that. Put this to the side and allow it to completely cool down before putting this into an airtight container and putting this into the fridge to store. As mentioned, because all the base ingredients in kaeshi last a long time so does mentsuyu and for this reason, youfll be able to keep this in the fridge for many, many months!


The sky's the limit when it comes to using mentsuyu. Because the three base ingredients, sugar, mirin and sugar are capable of being used with almost anything, mentsuyu truly does go with almost anything. Mentsuyu is certainly known perhaps most of all as the king accompaniment to noodles. A popular use for mentsuyu is to put a little mentsuyu in with some water and add in a little wasabi to taste. Mix the wasabi in with the water and mentsuyu then dip whatever noodles you have prepared into it. If this is your first time, then Ifd recommend starting with about a 70% water 30% mentsuyu mix and then if that isnft strong enough, gradually add in more mentsuyu till itfs just right for you. This little dish is super easy and really hits the spot in the summer when people tend to shy away from big stogy meals because of the heat.


Mentsuyu is very important when making nimono too. Nimono is one of the classic Japanese boiled vegetable dishes. To make it, a selection of vegetables as well as chicken and/or meats are boiled in with mentsuyu. The mirin in the mentsuyu allows the vegetables to hold their shape and not fall apart and all three flavours from the mirin, soy sauce and sugar give the dish a wonderful umami flavour that goes perfectly with rice or well just on itfs own.


When talking about mentsuyu uses in dishes, itfs hard to go past tempura. Most tempura restaurants will serve tempura with a small side bowl that is a mix of warm water and mentsuyu. Patons, then pick up the tempura pieces with chopsticks and dip them into the mentsuyu water mix before eating. Itfs such a wonderful addition to the crisp and delicious flavours of the tempura to have a slight salty and sweet mentsuyu taste enveloping the tempura. Tempura just wouldnft be tempura without a good mentsuyu to dip it into!


For a novel idea, why not try adding a little mentsuyu in with natto. Natto is a very popular dish consisting of soybeans that have been fermented in at a temperature of about 40 degrees celsius and when complete a very sticky and tacky mixture of soybeans is formed. In Japan, itfs not uncommon to see people mixing in a little mentsuyu with their natto to give it a little flavour. Once this is mixed in with some rice it forms a strong yet strikingly scrumptious dish.


So there we have it, you can now make and use mentsuyu effectively to make yummy Japanese dishes. Remember that it lasts a really long time, so youfll be able to add it to all your Japanese dishes!