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soba noodles

soba noodles with toppings

cold soba noodles with dipping sauce

The morning after my book group I was a little hungover (oh these crazy gals and their books). I am rarely hungry in the mornings but as soon as I woke up I knew what I wanted: cold spicy noodles. Usually I go for a hot bowl of ramen loaded with veggies and chilies when I feel this way but something about the sun and feeling hopeful that the weather will turn warm (eventually) made me crave cold noodles.

But they had to be spicy.

This Japanese dish—although it’s big bowl of wheat noodles—felt light and healthy and IMHO beat out a greasy egg and bacon for rejuvenating your abused, tired, run-down self. Also I give thanks to the fresh veggies and extra wasabi.

Here is a quick way to make a vegetarian cold buckwheat soba with dipping sauce (without the bonito flakes is all):

Ingredients for 2 people
2 portions of buckwheat soba noodles
dried kelp (dashi kombu) or store bought dashi broth if you don’t want to make your own
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
wasabi paste
roasted sesame seeds
other toppings such as nori, green onion, carrots, cucumber

1) To make a dashi broth, soak dried kelp or kombu in water for an hour and then simmer for half hour or so. Add bonito flakes if you are not veggie. This article goes into more detail for making homemade dashi broth. Mine is the quickie version!
2) Bring a pot of water to boil and add the dried soba noodles. As soon as it boils again, turn the heat to a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes (or follow packet instructions). Do not overcook. Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
3) When the kelp broth (dashi kombu) has cooked for a while, remove the kelp and add the soy sauce and mirin. Bring to a simmer again and then let cool. This is your finished dipping sauce.
4) Slice your veggies such as nori, green onion, carrot and cucumber thinly and set out as individual toppings.
5) Serve the cold noodles with sesame seeds, dipping sauce, veggies and as much wasabi as you like for heat.

Dashi broth

soba noodles

nori, dried seaweed

cold soba noodles with toppings

cold soba noodles with dipping sauce