My favorite popular Japanese brand of kombu-based mentsuyu (Japanese noodle dipping sauce) is an all-purpose sauce that makes everything delicious. Since I used it regularly, I would import my own, but since it's a luxury item if you live outside Japan, I started to make it at home. The dashi stock is the key!
Combine all the ingredients except the honey, and let sit overnight.
Heat the mixed ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the smell of alcohol disappears from the steam, remove from heat and strain.
Using a tea strainer, strain once more, and transfer to a bottle sterilized with boiling water, and store in the refrigerator.
Add honey to taste.
Story Behind this Recipe
I did some research on the internet and made my own version using ingredients at hand.
Dried bonito gives the mentsuyu a very refined taste. Dried bonito flakes makes a strong dashi stock. After straining, use the bonito to make stock from a second, third, and fourth batch for other dishes, like oden (fish cake stew), simmered dishes, takikomi gohan (rice cooked with other ingredients), or soup. It's really tasty!