Tentsuyu: Tempura Dipping Sauce

Tentsuyu: Tempura Dipping Sauce

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 22 mins
  • Steep Time: 15 mins
  • Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
43 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 43
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1053mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 3g
Calcium 10mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tempura is a Japanese dish where seafood and vegetables are coated in a cold batter and then deep-fried. The result is a light and airy, crispy dish that's sometimes offered as a topping or side dish for soup. It is most often served with a dipping sauce called tentsuyu, made from dashi soup, mirin, and soy sauce. Tempura with tentsuyu makes a delicious appetizer or quick vegetarian side dish.

A simple recipe, tentsuyu can be put together in a matter of minutes if you have premade dashi soup stock on hand, which can be made ahead of time or purchased at Asian food markets. We've included a recipe for homemade dashi, but skip making your own if you prefer to make store-bought. Grated daikon is often an accompaniment to the tempura and tentsuyu, either served alongside or directly in the sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the Dashi Soup Stock:
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 (2-inch x 2-inch) piece kombu
  • 1/2 cup dry bonito flakes (packed)
  • For the Tempura Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup dashi soup stock (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: grated daikon

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this tentsuyu is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Dashi Soup Stock

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tentsuyu: Tempura Dipping Sauce, Dashi soup stock ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place the cold water in a small saucepot and add the kombu. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer 5 to 7 minutes until tender. You should be able to pinch through the kombu with your thumbnail.

    water in a small saucepan with kombu

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Turn off the heat and remove and discard the kombu. Add the bonito flakes and let steep 10 to 15 minutes. Bonito will sink when ready.

    bonito flakes in a small saucepan with water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Strain through a mesh strainer and press the bonito with a ladle or the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the bonito.

    bonito flakes strained from the liquid

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. The dashi is ready. Yields approximately 1 1/2 cups.

    dashi broth in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Make the Tempura Dipping Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tempura Dipping Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add the dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to a saucepan and mix well.

    dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

    Tempura Dipping Sauce boiling in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Serve in individual small bowls. Add some grated daikon on top of the sauce or alongside if you like.

    Tentsuyu: Tempura Dipping Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • The type of dashi soup stock you use will affect the flavor of the sauce; for example, kombu dashi has the most subtle flavor while iriko dashi brings a gentle fish flavor to the sauce.
  • If you need to increase the quantity, just follow the ratio of three to four parts dashi soup stock, one part mirin, and one part soy sauce.