Lunch/ Recipes/ Snack

Quick Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce)

This Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) is ready in minutes! Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder, it’s a super refreshing dipping sauce for a hot summer’s day.

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

(In a rush? Click here to jump straight to the recipe!)

Isn’t it funny how a bite or a sip can take you back to a single moment in time?

How food has the uncanny power to ignite your memory and link you back with the people you met long ago?

Or how this simple little cold soba with mentsuyu recipe can whisk you away across the seas and deep into the heart of Japan!

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

 

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So I’ve started typing my journals from our yearlong Wandercooks adventure. A month and a half down and I’m just shy of 20,000 words written and 5 and a half notebooks to go! Eep.

It’s been an adventure even just reading back through those first two months of our journey. Right now I’m lost in our wandering travels – west and south along the coast of Japan from Osaka to Shikoku and Kyushu.

Along the way we often found ourselves staying with locals in small towns and villages off the beaten track, or in the occasional bustling city for a change of perspective.

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

Travelling this way opened our eyes to a different side of Japan that we’d never seen before on our previous visits in Osaka and Tokyo. Beneath the exterior, Japan is a complex and often contradictory country – never more so than in its cuisine!

We just love Mandy’s (from Lady & Pups) attempt to put her feelings into words on this subject. (And not gonna lie, her sriracha senbei recipe sounds incredible!)

How can such contradictory ingredients come together in perfect harmony, and delight your tastebuds with subtle complexity?

And just how can one simple little bowl of soba noodles and mentsuyu sauce be so satisfying?

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

I don’t know about you, but our addiction all started after an exhausting day of cycling around Matsuyama, Shikoku. Wandering where we willed, we eventually realised we’d made our way deep into the middle of suburbia with growling stomachs and wavering energy.

And we were HUNGRY.

(Not quite HANGRY, but a few stomach growls away, for sure).

Like a lifeline on the horizon, the neon lights of a supermarket flashed before our eyes, beckoning us inside for a quick and easy (and bonus: inexpensive) meal.

There a little plate of cold soba noodles sat beside an unassuming tub of black dipping sauce. With no idea what it would taste like, we bounded outside and sat in the carpark, too hungry to walk a minute further, wooden disposable chopsticks flicking back and forth as we slurped up cold noodles with glee.

It was then we knew: we needed to find this recipe!

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

Quick Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce)

So what’s the secret to the most refreshing bowl of noodles you could ever ask for?

Four simple little ingredients:

These key players are all you’ll need for this simplified mentsuyu recipe, but if you feel like taking things even further you can always make your own dashi stock from scratch with fresh kombu and katsuoboshi (bonito flakes).

We love adding aonori (seaweed powder) as a garnish for our mentsuyu, it brings an extra depth of flavour and colour to your dipping bowl, but it’s not super essential.

And if you’re feeling really inspired, you could also make your own noodles too!

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

Have you tried cold noodles before? What did you think? Cold noodles are so different to their warm counterparts, and super refreshing too! P.S. If you love noodles, check out our Mountain-Style Udon Noodles recipe or Temple-Style Noodles (hint hint: they’re both made with your feet!).

And if you’re after more BBQ style stir fry sauce check out our Japanese Yakisoba.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Quick Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) is ready in minutes! Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder, it's a super refreshing dipping sauce for a hot summer's day.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. This one’s an easy one guys. Simply stir together your soy, mirin, sake or rice wine and dashi powder in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Take it off the heat and set aside, allowing it to cool completely before use. Garnish with a sprinkling of aonori powder or thinly sliced nori for extra flavour.
  2. If you’re raring to eat already, go ahead and bring a medium pot of water to the boil, then add in your soba noodles. Cook according to packet directions (usually around 3 mins or so), then drain and remove from the heat.
  3. For the most refreshing experience, allow your noodles to cool completely before serving. You might like to run them under cold water to speed this up, or pop them in the fridge for 10 mins or so before serving so they cool down more quickly.
Notes
To stop your noodles from drying out (and add in a little extra deliciousness), stir a tsp of sesame oil through your noodles they start to cool down.

Mentsuyu sauce is quite strong, so feel free to add extra water to dilute the flavour and make it more like a soup if you prefer.

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce) - The perfect light meal in Summer. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi powder. Have this ready in minutes! | wandercooks.com

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  • Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    23/01/2017 at 9:59 pm

    I so love the power food has to food has to “ignite (my) memory and link (me) back with the people (i)met long ago!”And I so love the look of this Cold Soba Noodle Sauce recipe!

    • Wandercooks
      07/02/2017 at 1:54 pm

      Haha thanks Shashi, so glad we’re not the only ones! 🙂

  • Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    23/01/2017 at 8:09 pm

    Never tried cold noodles. That sauce looks really simple to make and delicious, bet it has lots of flavour.

    • Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:32 am

      Yep! It’s jam packed with flavour, and despite having similar ingredients to other Japanese recipes, it’s got a unique flavour all of its own.

  • Debra C.
    23/01/2017 at 5:04 pm

    I love it when something simple is amazing! These noodles look delish – I could slurp them up right now. What a treat!!

    • Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:31 am

      Oh trust me, we slurped. Oh how we slurped! Hahah 😛

  • Elizabeth
    23/01/2017 at 4:58 pm

    This sounds fantastic! I do love soba noodles (in fact, I’m making some for lunch today), but I’ve never tried eating them cold before. Need to remedy that!

    • Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:30 am

      Would love to know what you think of the cold version Elizabeth!

  • Priya
    23/01/2017 at 3:34 pm

    I have never tried this out. I’m glad I stopped by to learn something new..

    • Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:30 am

      Glad to help Priya – I think that’s the best part about being a food blogger – sharing and discovering so many new things about the world around us. ☺️

  • Ruby & Cake
    23/01/2017 at 2:06 pm

    Going to have this with dinner tonight! It looks so delicious and perfect for this hot weather 🙂

    • Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:28 am

      Woohoo, you’re in for a treat. Hope you enjoy!

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