Lunch/ Recipes/ Snack

Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Dipping Sauce)

20/01/2017 (Last Updated: 29/07/2019)

This Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Dipping 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.

Noodles being dipped in cold mentsuyu noodle sauce.

Why We Love This Recipe

We love having a batch of Mentsuyu sauce in the fridge so it’s always on standby whenever we get hungry! It’s so refreshing to dip cold soba noodles in the chilled mentsuyu sauce, especially in summer. But you can also enjoy it warm, poured straight over a batch of freshly cooked noodles. 

This mentsuyu recipe uses dashi powder for a quick and easy alternative to making real dashi stock. 

Noodles in a bowl of mentsuyu sauce beside a packet of uncooked soba noodles.

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Noodles wrapped around a pair of chopsticks resting on a small bowl.

What is Mentsuyu?

Mentsuyu is a popular dipping sauce / soup base used in Japanese cuisine. It’s a refreshing and tasty way to enjoy noodles any time, because it’s so quick to prepare! There are two main ways to enjoy it:

  • Cold – Tsuketsuyu – dip cold soba noodles into chilled mentsuyu sauce. This is how we’ve prepared today’s recipe.
  • Warm – Kaketsuyu – just pour mentsuyu straight over boiling noodles. The mentsuyu will mix with leftover cooking water on the noodles to make a delicious and healthy broth. 

Noodles overspilling a bowl of mentsuyu sauce, with splatters of sauce on the table.

Mentsuyu Recipe – Ingredients for 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 too. 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!

A hand placing a bowl of noodles on the table next to a small bowl of noodle sauce.

How to Make Mentsuyu Soba Sauce

  • 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.
  • (Optional) Garnish with a sprinkling of aonori powder or thinly sliced nori for extra flavour.

To Prepare Cold Soba Noodles With Mentsuyu Dipping Sauce

  • If you’re ready to eat, 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.
  • Allow noodles to cool completely before serving beside your cooled mentsuyu sauce.
  • Dip your noodles in the sauce and eat!

Mentsuyo cold noodle dipping sauce with aonori sprinkled on top.

FAQs

Should I dilute mentsuyu before using it?

This recipe for mentsuyu doesn’t need to be diluted, but you can always do so if you prefer a less intense flavour. Most store-bought mentsuyu sauces are concentrated and very strong, so they will probably need to be diluted first. 

Do I need to use kombu and katsuoboshi to make real dashi stock for mentsuyu?

For this quick mentsuyu recipe we used dashi stock powder instead of real stock, which is a convenient way to save time. But if you prefer to make your own dashi stock from scratch using real kombu and katsuoboshi, by all means please do!

Cold mentsuyu dipping sauce with a bowl of noodles in the background.

Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.

Variations & Substitutes

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

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 Sauce.

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Dipping cooked soba noodles in mentsuyu dipping sauce.

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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Calories: 833kcal
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake or rice wine
  • 1 heaped tsp dashi powder
  • 200 g soba noodles

Optional garnish:

  • 1-2 tsp aonori powder optional or thinly sliced nori

Instructions

For the sauce:

  • 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.

For the noodles:

  • 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.
  • 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

FAQs

  • Should I dilute mentsuyu before using it? This recipe for mentsuyu doesn't need to be diluted, but you can always do so if you prefer a less intense flavour. Most store-bought mentsuyu sauces are concentrated and very strong, so they will probably need to be diluted first. 
  • Do I need to use kombu and katsuoboshi to make real dashi stock for mentsuyu? For this quick mentsuyu recipe we used dashi stock powder instead of real stock, which is a convenient way to save time. But if you prefer to make your own dashi stock from scratch using real kombu and katsuoboshi, by all means please do!
 

Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.
 

Variations & Substitutes

  • 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.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 833kcal | Carbohydrates: 178g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4996mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 9mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Dannii
    29/07/2019 at 6:15 pm

    That sounds like a delicious sauce for noodles. I will definitely be trying it.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2019 at 10:49 am

      Please do! Would love to know what you think. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Pinelopi Kyriazi
    29/07/2019 at 6:04 pm

    Awesome! I made this yesterday and it was absolutely mouthwatering! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2019 at 10:49 am

      Oh fantastic, thanks Pinelopi, hope you enjoyed!

  • Reply
    Farah
    29/07/2019 at 4:19 pm

    How fascinating! I love how your recipes expose me to a whole different culture!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2019 at 10:47 am

      Aww thanks Farah, glad to share in your kitchen adventures. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    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!

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

      Haha thanks Shashi, so glad we’re not the only ones! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    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.

    • Reply
      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.

  • Reply
    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!!

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

      Oh trust me, we slurped. Oh how we slurped! Hahah πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    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!

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

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

  • Reply
    Priya
    23/01/2017 at 3:34 pm

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

    • Reply
      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. ☺️

  • Reply
    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 πŸ™‚

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

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

    Leave a Reply

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