June 22, 2017

All-Purpose Noodle Sauce

Recipe: Kimiko Barber

Use this All-Purpose Noodle Sauce, from the cookbook Cook Japanese At Home, with the recipe Tuna & Arugula On Soba
COVER_thumbnailThere are many ready-made noodle sauces available. Although they’re a useful standby and many Japanese home cooks have them, homemade is much better, and more economical. This keeps for up to 4 weeks refrigerated, and can be used for simmered dishes and broths, too.


  • 2 postcard-size pieces of dried kelp
  • 3 to 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Scant 1 cup mirin
  • Scant 1 cup sake
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ounce katsuobushi, dried bonito flakes
  • 3½ tbsp light soy sauce


Yield: Makes 6 Cups

  1. Put the kelp, shiitake, and 4½ cups of water in a large glass bowl, and let it stand in a fridge overnight.
  2. Put the mirin and sake in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the kelp, mushrooms, and soaking water to the pan, and bring to a boil, then add the salt and bonito flakes.
  3. Bring it back to a boil again, then reduce the heat to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off any scum that floats to the top, then add the soy sauce.
  4. Remove from the heat, and strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. Transfer the sauce into a sterilized glass jar with a lid. Store refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

How To Use: This recipe gives a concentrated sauce and needs to be diluted according to different uses. For noodle pouring sauce, mix 3 parts sauce with 2 parts water. This dilution proportion is a rough guide and you may adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.



Emma Lee


Recipes taken from Kimiko Barber’s Cook Japanese At Home published by Kyle Books.

Tags: Recipe sauce