testing: menma recipe from Washoku.Guide

Recipe by Washoku.Guide. Find the original recipe here

The last recipe I tried for menma tasted like the sea. No hate on kombu dashi–used in the right amounts it adds wonderful flavor. Just this time, I wanted to try a recipe without kombu dashi.

Many menma recipes (such as this one) use Weipa (a Chinese soup stock) for flavor. However, Weipa/Weyper is not even remotely vegetarian (essentially chicken/pork bouillon).

Did you know? Although a Japanese condiment, most menma is made in China.

So… what can we do to make our own “Weipa”? Let’s see!

Start by slicing your bamboo. I used fresh, but canned is fine, too. If you use canned, just drain and wash the bamboo and move to the next step.

Fresh Bamboo for Menma Recipe
Weighing Bamboo

Here are the ingredients for the recipe.

Rayu is sesame chili oil. Pictured is a super accessible one.

Instead of Weipa, I used Better than Bouillon’s “No Chicken Base” which is entirely vegetarian. I was unable to find an ingredients list for Weipa, but one account suggests it also contains MSG so I added a dash of that, too.

Did you know? MSG is naturally-occurring and even refined MSG is innocuous. Here’s a great podcast that covers the history of MSG’s bad reputation and clears up the myths around it.
Ingredients for Menma
Sesame Chili Oil
Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian

Measure out your bouillon paste. Since I was making such a small batch, I waited for the scale to hover between 1 and 2oz.

Weighing Bouillon
Re-Weighing Bouillon

Add water and mix to complete your “Weipa” stock. Then, add the MSG, soy sauce, sake, and sugar.

Here’s how much MSG I added to my batch. Note that I only made 1/3 batch due to the amount of bamboo I had–if you follow the original recipe, use a bit more than this.

Adding MSG
Marinade for Menma

“Marinade” complete!

Add oil to a heated pan and cook the bamboo for 1 minute. Then add the marinade.

Add Oil to Pan
Add Bamboo Shoots to Pan
Add Marinade to Pan

Boil the menma until the liquid evaporates. Once there is no liquid remaining (but before the menma starts sticking to the bottom), pour in the mirin. Wait until the mirin evaporates, then take the menma off the heat and add a drizzle of rayu.

Boiling Menma
Boiled Menma
Adding Sesame Chili Oil

Menma is complete!

Completed Menma for Ramen

This was a delicious menma recipe–my favorite yet. The menma was flavorful but not overly salty. Savory, but not like the sea. A wonderful addition to any bowl of ramen.

recipe: menma from Washoku.Guide


  • 100g bamboo
  • 1-2g Better than Bouillon, No Chicken Base
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sayce
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mirin
  • Drizzle of rayu


    View instructions and the full recipe at Washoku.Guide

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