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Zaru soba
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Zaru soba recipe

Now let's start with the basic recipe for refreshing zaru soba.
Course Soup
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Noodles
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $15


  • 14 oz. dried soba noodles
  • 1 part ice water
  • 1 part mentsuyu/tsuyu noodle soup base
  • shredded nori seaweed
  • 2 green onions or scallions
  • wasabi optional

You can buy mentsuyu in a store, but if you prefer to make your own, here are the ingredients you will need:

  • ½ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup katsuobushi bonito flakes
  • 1 1 inch x 1 inch piece kombu


Dipping sauce

  • Make mentsuyu dipping sauce by adding the sake to a medium saucepan and boil over medium heat. Let boil for a few seconds to allow alcohol to evaporate.
  • Add soy sauce and mirin.
  • Add kombu and katsuobushi.
  • Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for five minutes. Allow to cool completely. Strain sauce and set aside.

Soba noodles

  • Boil water in a large pot and add soba noodles. Do not add salt to water. Cook according to package directions stirring regularly to ensure they don’t stick together. Before draining, reserve one to 1 ½ cups water and set aside.
  • Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
  • Transfer noodles to a large bowl of ice water so they cool completely.
  • Place a bamboo mat or sieve over a plate to serve. The plate will catch the water from the noodles. Put soba noodles on the mat and garnish with nori.
  • To serve the dish, combine 6 tbsp. water with about 1 ¼ cup dipping sauce. (This will get you the 3:1 ratio). If it’s too salty, add more water. If it’s too thin, add more sauce.
  • Put chopped green onions and wasabi on a small plate and serve with the noodles.