tsuyu with eggplant

Dashi Tsuyu Sauce: Homemade Concentrated Recipe

Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Share My Kitchen

“Tsuyu” sauce enhances the umami flavor of your Japanese cuisine and is used in noodles and soups. It can come in a huge bottle, but it can be difficult to find it if you are abroad. Fortunately, it’s easy to make, and it’s suitable for vegans!

What is “TSUYU?”

Tsuyu is a sauce that can be used in many Japanese dishes. It is made with a dashi base, and it is full of umami. So this sauce is great for those who lack “umami” in their cooking.

Tsuyu is a delicious combination of sweet and savory. It is made from:

  • Dashi base
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin
  • Sugar

Japanese people don’t make tsuyu from scratch. It is readily available in their supermarkets. However, you can make it from scratch!

Recipes That Use Tsuyu Sauce

Because it has a deeper flavor than just soy sauce, tsuyu may be used in a variety of recipes. These are some of the most popular recipes that make use of tsuyu:

  • Gyuudon: beef rice bowl
  • Oyakodon: chicken and egg rice bowl
  • Devil’s onigiri: rice ball with seaweed, tempura batter and tsuyu
  • Tantanmen ramen: spicy sesame broth with ramen noodles

DASHI

Tsuyu uses one or more of the following dashi (broth that is used to enhance depth of flavor).

  • Kombu: dried kelp or seaweed
  • Katsuobushi: bonito flakes
  • Awase: combination of kombu and katsuobushi
  • Vegan Awase: combination of kombu and shiitake mushroom

These ingredients are common in Japanese cuisine and should be readily available at Japanese food stores, or perhaps Asian supermarkets.

Typically, dashi is created by boiling or steeping its ingredients in water. But for this tsuyu recipe, water will be replaced and make a concentrated sauce with soy sauce and mirin.

Tsuyu comes in a concentrated form, which makes it easy to store. It can be mixed with water when in use; there is a list with the proportions of tsuyu and water for each use below.

Dried shiitake mushrooms will be used for this recipe because they are readily available in other countries. But you can substitute other types of dried mushrooms if you are unable to find them (but there’s no guarantee how it will affect the taste).

This recipe has only 4 ingredients, and all are suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Enjoy eating!

HOW TO USE TSUYU (WATER RATIO)

There are many ways to use tsuyu since it is a concentrated sauce.

  • Pour a small amount directly onto rice – commonly used in donburi rice bowl dishes
  • Pouring onto noodles – 1 part tsuyu: 1 part water
  • Dipping noodles- 1 part tsuyu: 2 parts water
  • For boiling – 1 part tsuyu: 3 to 4 parts water
  • For hot pots or “oden” – 1 part tsuyu: 4 to 6 parts water

STORAGE

You don’t have to use the entire sauce once you’ve made it. It can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one month. And you can make it twice or three times if you use it frequently.

FAQ ON TSUYU SAUCE

What is Tsuyu?

Tsuyu also known as “mentsuyu” or “hon tsuyu.” This is a sauce most commonly used to make noodles such as thick udon noodles or soba noodles. It can be used to make soup or broth, or as a dip sauce. Also, it has a lot of uses for Japanese stewed dishes like “nikujaga.”

What is the taste of Tsuyu?

It has a similar taste to soy sauce, because it does contain soy sauce. However, it is sweeter and has a more extensive flavor or umami.

Is Tsuyu sauce vegan?

Tsuyu sauce has dashi. Typically, dashi is made with bonito  flakes known as “katsuobushi”. It contains katsuobushi which means that it contains fish. Therefore, this sauce is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. But don’t worry! This recipe is suitable for vegans because it only uses kombu (kelp) and dried shiitake mushrooms.

Homemade Concentrated Dashi Tsuyu Sauce

Make 200ml Japanese Tsuyu Sauce at the comfort of your own home. This sauce is great for adding umami flavor to noodles, broths, and sauces.

INGREDIENTS For The Best Homemade Tsuyu sauce

  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • 100 ml mirin
  • 2 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the mirin in a saucepan, then heat on medium or high level.
  2. Bring to a boil, and heat it for another 30 seconds.
  3. Then add the soy sauce and sugar, then boil for another 30 seconds.
  4. Let it cool.
  5. After cooling, transfer the mixture to a container or something resealable, then add the mushrooms.
  6. Before using your tsuyu sauce, keep in the fridge for at least one night.
  7. When you use it the next day, remove the mushroom then place it back in the refrigerator to store it for up to a month.
  8. Use it for sauces, broths, and rice!

NOTES

  • This recipe is suitable both for vegetarians and vegans.
  • The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
  • Make sure to use enough water to mix when you make different dishes.
  • Boiling shiitake mushrooms is not recommended as they can cause bitterness. After it has cooled down, strain the sauce and place in a container.
  • To make tsuyu using kombu, you can simply mix the kombu and mushrooms with water. Let it sit for at least 24 hours before making. Next day, take out the mushrooms and heat the sauce to almost boiling. Let cool, then add the kombu to the sauce and place in the refrigerator.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cool Down Time 20 minutes
Soak Time 12 hours
Category Sauce

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