Zaru soba never fails to make its way into my menu every week. It requires minimal preparation and can be put together in a jiffy. Best of all, it is the perfect food for hot, humid days. My children are extremely fond of Japanese cuisine, especially their noodle dishes - soba, ramen, udon, somen ... hot or cold, dry or soup.
However, I tend to favour soba over the rest. Made of buckwheat, it is the healthiest option. And cold noodles just taste so refreshingly good!
My children usually have a plate of panfried saba to go along. Sweet, fatty and meaty. Most of the time, we make agedashi tofu to complete the set, but today, we all had a late, heavy breakfast. This was the welcomed light lunch that we all needed.
Zaru Soba Dipping Sauce
(for 2 Adults and 2 children)
- 1 cup soy sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee as it is less salty)
- Half cup mirin
- Chopped spring onions
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Toasted nori, cut into strips
- Raw quail's egg (which I only add to the adults' portions)
* I know many recipes call for dashi stock to be added, but so far, this self-concocted sauce seems to work for my family.
1. Boil the zaru soba till al dente.
2. Rinse briefly under cold water.
3. Leave it in a basin of ice cold water while you prepare the sauce.
4. When sauce is ready, serve soba atop ice cubes. I don't have the bamboo sieve, so I make do with my Japanese lacquered bowls (for some authenticity!). Provide a separate bowl with dipping sauce.
5. Place spring onions, sesame seeds and nori strips in individual saucers. Everyone can then add whatever or however much they like of each ;) While the kids make a beeline for the nori strips, I prefer more spring onions and sesame seeds in my serving. To give the sauce a richer flavour, add wasabi and raw quail's egg (only for us adults).