Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cold Soba Noodles With Dipping Sauce 笊蕎麦,ざるそば

Zaru soba is a very popular summer dish in Japan and it is perfect for the few remaining hot days we have for the year. Soba noodles, made from buckwheat can be use in soups, salads or even stir fries but it tastes the best when it is served cold with a dipping sauce and condiments on a hot day. Since I still have some leftover homemade dashi left, it only took me 15 minutes to prepare this dish. Use instant dashi if time is not on your side. A vegetarian instant dashi is also available from the Japanese grocer.

serves 4
you'll need;
500 g of soba noodle

for the soba tsuyu sauce;
2 cup of dashi 
1/2 cup of Japanese soy
1/4 cup of mirin
2 tbs castor sugar

and  a few the following condiments;
finely chopped spring onions
freshly grated wasabi or tubed wasabi
seven flavour pepper (namani tohgarashi) pictured above
toasted sesame seeds
finely shredded nori seaweed
grated ginger

Cook soba with plenty of water , be careful not to allow the water to boil over. Simmer til noodles are cooked, not mushy and not al dente as well.

Drain noodles and rinse under cold water for a minute, wash out the excess starch and the water runs clear.

Place drained noodles on plates with bamboo mats.

Serve with the sauce and condiments of your choice.

Place a little condiment on the noodles and dip it into the sauce. Traditionally a little of the noodle cooking water is added to the sauce and drank after the meal , it didn't quite do it for me :)


  1. Oh what a beautiful meal that is! It is a perfect meal for hot days!

  2. Perhaps I may eat more soba in order to lose weight.

  3. Oh I'm loving you this, such a beautiful and healthy dish!

  4. We eat a lot of this in summer back in Japan! Looks very authentic especially you used homemade dashi! いちばん!

  5. Looks so pretty! Very healthy too :)

  6. CW,
    Thank you very much! Hopefully we still have a month of hot weather left!

    Haha it is very healthy indeed :)

    Haha thank you!

    little panda,
    Oh thank you very much! :)

    Thank you! Very healthy indeed!

  7. Oooh... I love soba!.. which brings to mind, that I once had (first had) green soba on a JAL flight to Narita... and my sister told me they were green worms, and I developed a weird fear of them.

    But I love them now =)

  8. You are indeed doing a Japanese week :) Love how simple and beautiful this dish is, perfect as my weekday lunch with my girlfriends!

  9. Such a delicious dish, love Japanese cuisine much..

  10. that is so simple it has to be good!!

  11. Wor, this is my kid Lucas's favourite, so long did not cook for him, must cook soon for him.

  12. Amanda,
    Muchas gracias!

    msihua ,
    Haha that is a funny story, she is evil :)
    Glad you are over that now haha.

    love to eat,
    Not really planned this way but it is a lot easier once you have bought certain ingredients :) Do it soon while our warm days last!

    Thank you! Glad you like it!

    Haha it is indeed! :)

    Oh you are such a wonderful mother! It is good he loves all kind of food!

  13. Oh My! I just had something like that today :) I used udon and instant dashi as well.... :)

  14. Simple and beautiful! I can see why this is a popular summer dish!

  15. I l,ove this kind of taste!!! Wonderfull

  16. I love the way you do a certain theme, it is very easy to follow and of course quite economical :) This looks amazing!

  17. Suresh, that first shot is awesome! See, only you can make a simple meal look so appetising.

  18. Harriet from CarltonMarch 3, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    Oh I love it! Such simplicity not to mention how beautiful it looks!

  19. penny,
    What a coincident! Perhaps we both knew that long hot days are coming to an end :) I was going to have udon but changed my mind.

    Thank you! :)

    colombina ,
    I'm glad you like it :)

    You are right! I haven't planned any of my meals for a while now but it works out ok so far :)

    Thank you very much! I'm struggling with my photo taking :(

    Thank you :) try it soon?

  20. Every time I come here you impress me so much. Homemade dashi, then such a beautifully presented meal. Well done!

  21. Hey buddy this looks great! Is summer really over? We had tomato egg for the third night and we just can't get enough of it!
    Bought some Japanese curry blocks today, will try making it tomorrow.
    Cheers buddy!

  22. New to me..sounds great and looks so yummy!!

  23. Oh no. Now I have a major dilemma. I've just been over at Zurin's Cherry on a Cake and I had decided to have her glass noodle salad for dinner tonight and now I've seen these soba noodles. They look so good! And I crave wasabi day and night so I was sold once you mentioned that it pairs well with wasabi. I'm gonna have so much trouble deciding which one to have tonight! :)

  24. Darling,
    When I saw the first photo I thought your were doing a review lol. Great photos, we can have this in Singapore everyday :)
    About the shopping, we bought a whole lots of pastes, condiments, noodles and herbs. Will sure to email you some pics.
    Sophia xxx

  25. I love these noodles and they are perfect and really refreshing for the hot weather here. And always have soba noodles at home too. :)

  26. I have never tried soba noodles...I will have to try these sometime.

  27. I know I would love this. Even at 9:00am this looks wonderful!

  28. I'm seriously thinking of changing my name as alongside zhajiangmian, cold Japanese noodles is another dish, I'm not really fond of. That said yours looks good as always.

  29. Wow, this looks good in our hot weather here!

  30. Wonderful meal..simple and comforting !

  31. Looks great! Cold soba are the bomb, I wish I could find good ones around here.

  32. I love soba noodles and am bookmarking this. We are still in "comfort food" mode in Minnesota but that will change.

  33. This actually looks very healthy as well .

  34. I like the simplicity of this dish, nice presentations too!

  35. What a simple and lovely meal. I could even have these noodles for breakfast. They look delicious.

  36. quelque soit la recette j'adore les nouilles
    bonne soirée

  37. shaz,
    Oh thank you very much! I actually made dashi for something else, just using the left over :)

    I can't believe you had the same dish 3 days in a row :)
    Let me know how it goes.

    Thank yu very much!

    Haha thank you! Let me know what you end up cooking :)

    Sophia darling,
    No Iol It is perfect for Singapore weather.
    Looking forward to that!

    Divina Pe ,
    They are indeed :) Speaking of which I must really stock up on them

    Try get some, you'll like it!

    Haha it might be a little early for this ? :)

    Mr Noodles ,
    Haha perhaps you might have to! Thanks.

    Perfect all year round indeed!

    Thank you very much!

    Haha thank you, you must try harder :)

    Claudia ,
    Thank you :) We are slowly going into comfort zone

    It is very healthy indeed,

    Thank you very much!

    Thank you! I would have them on a hot morning too!

    Fimère ,
    Merci! bonne soirée

  38. I used to have this when I was pregnant with my son. I love Japanese cooking. Few ingredients, great tasting dishes. That bowl of goodness is beckoning me to eat it!

  39. Delicious noodles, I love the dipping sauce!

  40. The Noodles look delicious. I'm not too sure about cold ones though :)

    I'm spending a month traveling around Japan in January. I hope I get to try lots of interesting dishes like this one!

  41. Cool! You served the soba on bamboo like they do in Japan!

  42. 涼麵我最愛吃了,賣像真的太棒了!

  43. Great pictures and a nice recipe.. thanks for sharing.

  44. Wow. I would love to have some of this right now! It looks satisfying and beautiful and healthy all at once.

  45. Soba is such a healthy food that you can enjoy with anything, really. I actually prefer cold soba to warm. This looks great!

  46. Everything you make is so simple, fresh and DELISH!

  47. I don't normally like soba noodles but I have to say, you made me want to go out and buy some and eat them!

  48. The cold soba noodles would tatse wonderful with the condiments that you prepared. As always, I have learned something new from you.

  49. First time here.. looks lovely.. with very beautiful pics..

  50. I love zaru soba! I should eat more of this in Singapore's hot weather =)

  51. i like green tea soba. that rocks.

  52. What a beautiful dish, so simple and elegant too!

  53. Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Oh really! Does he like soba? haha!
    It is so delicious and healthy!

    5 Star Foodie ,
    Thank you, give it a try soon :)

    Brisbane Baker ,
    Haha you won't be getting any cold noodles in Jan so you are safe :)

    Fresh Local and Best ,
    Haha I was given the zaru soba plate so I thought I might just use it :)

    大肥 ,

    Nostalgia ,
    Thank you :)

    Hungry Dog ,
    Thank you very much! Make some soon!

    Thank you! It is wonderful on a hot day!

    figtree ,
    Oh Thank you very much :)

    tasteofbeirut ,
    I is not my favourite but it is so tasty eaten this way :)

    Oh thank you I'm glad I'm able to share what I know :)

    Aysha ,
    Thank you very much!

    Daisy blue,
    Thank you very much, come back soon!

    Absolutely! Perfect for Singapore weather!

    Cumi & Ciki,
    Yeah that is great too!

    Thank you very much!

  54. Heyy! I ended up making this last night after I realised I had already used up my glass noodles ages ago and had forgotten. It was my first time making dashi (a vegetarian version) and I used your directions, just missing out the bonito flakes. It was truly heavenly once seasoned up with the mirin, salt and sugar. I almost made it into a noodle soup (which wasnt hot but warm because of the cold soba noodles- It was SO flavourful! Best of all I got to have my beloved wasabi... I love wasabi. I just wanted to ask you if you could suggest any other vegetarian things to make with the kombu I have left over from making the dashi tomorrow as I don't want to waste it? Thanks so much for your recipe... I will be making it again and again!

  55. Oh Sanjana I am so please to hear it turned out well! )
    you can make a delicious relish with the leftover kombu;
    finely shred the kumbo, simmer in a pot uncovered, over low heat with some water and 2 tbs of rice vinegar for 45 minutes.the water should have mostly evaporated by then. Add some soy sauce and sugar and let reduce until you have about 1T liquid. sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. It is delicious! Good luck trying :)

  56. Nice!! Cold soba noodle is great!

  57. The kombu relish sounds a-ma-zing! I'm going to try it next week! :D Thank you!

  58. Having no Mirin or bonita flakes, I made dipping sauce by:

    Boiling (2) cups chicken broth // lowering heat and stirring in (2) Tbsp. cane sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup good-quality white wine // simmering (at medium heat) for about 10 minutes // chilling.

    This worked very well. Fresh, finely grated ginger added in to chilled sauce was oh so good!


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