Kake Soba With Mentsuyu is a comforting noodle soup brimming with flavors and nutrients. It’s easy to make and will totally impress!

About My Kake Soba With Mentsuyu

Kake soba is one of my favorite ways to enjoy soba noodles in a hot dish. It has Ramen bowl vibes, but it’s completely its own thing with its own flavor profile.

If you’ve never had soba noodles, imagine a nice and chewy texture with a mild nutty flavor. They’re delicious! And when served with a hot broth made up of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, they’re a real treat.

What to Serve With Kake Soba

  • This smashed cucumber salad is one of my absolute favorite sides for a nice warm kake soba. It’s cool crisp, and punchy!
  • If you like bok choy, you should definitely give this seared baby bok choy a go!
  • These easy Chinese greens are perfect because the process is hasty and the flavor profile compliments the soup wonderfully.
  • And, of course, what’s a Japanese soup without a side of gyoza?

Ingredients

Exact measurement can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Soba noodles. This noodle variety is made from buckwheat, which offers up a nutty, earthy flavor and it is SO good.
  • Cooking sake. This Japanese cooking wine is made up from fermented rice and it’s what brings the pop of sweetness and umami to the broth.
  • Mirin. The sweetness in mirin helps balance out the saltiness in a dish, so this is another ingredient that helps balance things out.
  • Soy sauce. I always opt for a low-sodium soy sauce (Kikkoman is my go to). There’s way less sodium, yet you don’t lose any flavor.
  • Kombu. Not to be mistaken for nori, kombu is made from kelp. It’s nutritionally dense, and much stronger in flavor than nori.
  • Katsuobushi. Sometimes referred to as Bonito Flakes, this stuff is just dried, smoked, and fermented fish fillets. It looks like tiny shreds of thin, pink paper and let me tell you, their flavor is poppin’!

*Marked ingredients are for from-scratch mentsuyu, but you can get a premade base for ease!

Ingredient Accessibility

I want to note that shopping for these ingredients is definitely worth a visit to your local Asian market. Some areas have big corporate markets like H Mart, but there might be some small unheard of gems hiding that are worth seeking out— Google it for your area.

How to Make Mentsuyu

  1. Bring the sake to a low simmer in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Let it go for for about a minute.
  2. Stir in the mirin and the soy sauce, then add the kombu and the katsuobushi. Give it all a good stir, ensuring that all of the katsuobushi has been immersed.
  3. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and set it aside to cool. Once cooled, pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Press on the katsuobushi with the back side of a spoon or spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.

Bringing the Kake Soba & Mentsuyu Together

  1. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mentsuyu into a medium pot and add 3 cups of water to it; bring it to a simmer.
  2. In the meantime, cook the soba noodles as per the directions on the package.
  3. When the soba noodles are ready, give them a rinse under cool water and transfer them to bowls.
  4. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and garnish your soup with your preferred garnishes.

Ideas for Garnishing

  • Fish cakes (kamaboko)
  • Scallions
  • Soft-boiled egg
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tempura shrimp
  • Seared bok choy

Useful Kitchen Tools

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More Soba Noodle Recipes

Easy Kake Soba With Mentsuyu

Kake Soba With Mentsuyu is a comforting noodle soup brimming with flavors and nutrients. It's easy to make and will totally impress!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 oz Soba noodles

MENTSUYU

  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • Kombu (about a 2 x 2-inch piece)
  • 1 cup Katsuobushi, packed

IDEAS FOR GARNISH

  • Scallions, thinly sliced
  • Blanched spinach
  • Soft-boiled eggs
  • Kamaboko (fish cakes) thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tempura shrimp

Instructions

MENTSUYU

  • In a medium-sized pot, bring the sake to a low simmer over medium-high heat for about a minute or two.
  • Stir in the mirin and the soy sauce.
  • Add the kombu and the katsuobushi and stir again. Make sure all of the katsuobushi flakes have been immersed into the liquid. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Let it all simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the stove; set aside to cool. Once it's cooled a bit, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, pressing on the katsuobushi with the back side of a spoon or spatula to push out as much of the liquid as you can. Every drop counts!

KAKE SOBA WITH MENTSUYU

  • To make the soup, transfer 3/4 cup of the mentsuyu concentrate to a medium pot. Add 3 cups of water to it and bring it to a simmer.
  • While you wait, cook the soba noodles as per the package's directions.
  • When the noodles are ready, briefly rinse them under cool water, then transfer them to bowls.
  • Pour the hot broth over the noodles and garnish your soup with your preferred garnishes!

Notes

  1. Mentsuyu is a concentrated base for soup, not a broth. Always mix it with water. 
  2. Mentsuyu will stay fresh in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to a month.
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