Soba Noodles with Dipping Sauce

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 20 minutes

Lightning-fast, cool, and refreshing, this is a standard summertime soup in Japan, where summers are plenty hot. Soba noodles, with their marked and pleasant buckwheat flavor, are available at most Asian and many health food markets, but if you can’t find them, substitute all-wheat somen noodles or angel hair pasta, both of which will take a few minutes less to become tender.

2 cups Kombu Dashi, chilled

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Salt

8 ounces soba (about three 60-gram bundles)

2 scallions, trimmed and minced

Wasabi for serving (optional)

Combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in small mixing bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Drop in the noodles and cook until tender, 2 to 4 minutes, then rinse in a colander under cold running water. (You can prepare this recipe a few hours in advance up to this point; separately cover and refrigerate the noodles and the dipping sauce.)

Serve each guest a small bowl of noodles twisted into a little nest on top of a couple of ice cubes and a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of the dipping sauce scattered with the sliced scallion on the side. Pass a little dish of wasabi, if desired, to stir into the dipping sauce.

10 Quick Garnishes for Soba Noodles with Dipping Sauce

  1. Matchsticks of daikon or other radish
  2. Julienne cucumber (seeded)
  3. Chopped pickles
  4. Grated peeled fresh ginger
  5. Tiny cubes of fresh or smoked tofu
  6. Minced Hard-Cooked Egg
  7. Nori Shake or Nori Chips
  8. Sesame seeds (black look stunning)
  9. Finely shredded Napa or other cabbage
  10. Chopped walnuts or other nuts