Updated: Sep 26, 2021
There are some days when you just want to eat something cold, aren't there? You get home, hot and maybe a little sticky and the thought of a hot meal is just, well, meh..that's when you need to try out chilled soba noodles. The Japanese call this dish zaru soba and it is a big summer favourite in Japan. It's healthy, nutricious and, best of all, cooling on a hot day - it's vegetarian friendly too. You can make the dipping sauce and keep it in the fridge, so putting the meal together can be done in minutes. Then it's just a matter of putting a little of each garnish into the sauce, taking some noodles in your chopsticks and giving them a good dip. I've used shiso leaves, nori and spring onions as a garnish but you can use your imagination here. Some Japanese like to add a little wasabi to the dipping sauce as well for a mustardy kick.
You can find the recipe below and the youtube tutorial by clicking Zaru Soba or just scroll to the bottom of the page. If you want to find out more about shiso leaves and how to grow them, take a look at my "grow your own/make your own" section of the website.
Happy slurping! Kurumi XXXX.
Chilled Japanese soba noodles
(makes 2 servings)
4 portions dried soba noodles
3 spring onions
8 shiso leaves
1.5 nori sheets, finely shredded
for the dipping sauce
600 ml water
2 tsp japanese stock granules
1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp japanese rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp japanese cooking sake
6 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
to make the soba, boil plenty of water in a large pan. put the soba into the pan and cook for 5 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet
(if the water comes back to the boil, add a cup of water and adjust the heat to stop the water boiling - siba noodles shouldn't be boiled)
when the soba is cooked, drain it through a colander and rinse it well in cold running water. (on a really hot day, you can chill the noodles further with ice cubes)
to make the dipping sauce, put the the dashi, rice vinegar, sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce into a small pan with water (600ml). bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
finely shred the shiso and chop the spring onion.
when you eat, add a little of each shiso, spring onion and nori into the dipping sauce, then add the soba. now, you can officially slurp!