Hey guys, Yuto here (@sudachi.recipes) and today I'm going to show you how to make a delicious sauce called "tsuyu" that gives extra umami flavour to your Japanese cooking. I always have a giant bottle of it in my fridge, but it can be hard to find if you live abroad! Luckily, I have a simple recipe which means you can make it yourself!
What is Tsuyu?
Tsuyu is a versatile sauce used in many Japanese dishes. It has a dashi base and is packed with umami. If your cooking is lacking "umami", this sauce will certainly help!
Tsuyu has a perfect balance of savory and sweet. It is made using:
- Dashi base
- Soy sauce
It is often used in the following dishes:
I use this tsuyu sauce in many of our recipes, you can click here to see all the recipes that use it. It's definitely a useful recipe to know!
Tsuyu uses one of the following dashi (a broth used to create depth of flavour)
- Kombu (dried kelp / seaweed)
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
- Awase (a mixture of kombu and katsuobushi)
- Shiitake mushroom
These ingredients are commonly used in Japanese cooking and should be available in Japanese food stores or possibly Asian supermarkets.
Dashi is usually made by boiling or steeping these ingredients in water, but for this tsuyu recipe we're going to skip the water and make a concentrated sauce using soy sauce and mirin.
Tsuyu is made in a concentrated form for easy storage. You can mix it with water when you're using it, I've written the ratios of tsuyu to water for each usage below.
In this recipe, we'll be using dried shiitake mushrooms as they are the most easily accessible in other countries. If you can't find them then you can try with other kinds of dried mushrooms (but I can't guarantee the taste!)
This recipe only uses 4 ingredients and they are all suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so enjoy!
How to use Tsuyu (water ratio)
As tsuyu is a concentrated sauce, there are different ways to use it.
- Pour a small amount directly onto rice (common 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, 3-4 parts water)
- For hot pots or "oden" (1 part tsuyu, 4-6 parts water)
Once you've made this sauce, you don't need to use it all at once. You can keep it in a bottle in the fridge for about one month. If you use it often then you can double or triple the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tsuyu Sauce
What is Tsuyu?
Tsuyu, also known as Mentsuyu is a sauce that is often used for dipping sauce or soup for Soba dishes or Udon dishes. But it's also used for various stewing type of dishes in Japan such as "nikujaga".
What does Tsuyu taste like?
It's similar to soy sauce (as it contains soy sauce) but it's sweeter and has more depth of flavour.
Is Tsuyu sauce vegan?
Generally speaking, it depends on what the broth is taken from. If the broth is made from kombu or shiitake mushrooms, then yes. But the one made with bonito flakes is also common, so in that case, it's not always vegan friendly. My recipe is suitable for vegans.Print