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zaru soba (cold soba noodles)


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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Cost: $6.62 /serving


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Step 1

Gather all the ingredients.

Step 2

In a medium saucepan, add ¼ cup sake and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Let the alcohol evaporates for a few seconds.

Step 3

Add ½ cup soy sauce and ½ cup mirin (I add + 1 Tbsp mirin for my family's preference).

Step 4

Add 1 x 1 inch (2.5 x 2.5 cm) kombu and 1 cup dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi).

Step 5

Bring it to a boil and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool completely. Strain the sauce and set aside. You can keep the sauce in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Step 6

Boil a lot of water in a large pot. Unlike pasta, you do not add salt to the water. Add dried soba noodles in the boiling water in a circulate motion, separating the noodles from each other. Cook soba noodles according to the package instructions (each brand is slightly different). Stir the noodles once in a while so they don’t stick to each other. Check the tenderness and do not overcook. Before you drain, reserve 1 to 1 ½ cup of soba cooking water "Sobayu" (Read what you can use this in the blog post).

Step 7

Drain the soba noodles into the sieve and rinse the noodles to get rid of starch under running cold water. This is a very important step.

Step 8

Shake off the sieve to drain completely and transfer the noodles to the iced water in a large bowl. Set aside until the noodles are cool.

Step 9

To serve the noodles, place a bamboo sieve or mat over a plate (to catch water from noodles). Put soba noodles and garnish shredded nori sheet on top.

Step 10

You will need 90 ml (6 Tbsp) of dipping sauce per cup/person, which means 360 ml (1 ½ cup) for 4 servings. Since the sauce to water ratio is roughly 1:3, combine 1 part (90 ml) of dipping sauce and 3 parts (270 ml) of iced water in a measuring cup and check the taste. If it's salty, add more water. If it's diluted, add more sauce.

Step 11

Put chopped green onions and wasabi on a small plate and serve with the soba noodles.