The buckwheat noodles was served chilled on a small bamboo weaved basket with some ice cubes on the side. The condiments were finely grated daikon, finely chopped spring onion, some toasted sesame seeds and shredded nori seaweed. The dipping sauce was served chilled in a separate little bowl.
Here’s my take on the Japanese cold soba noodles using ingredients easily obtainable from supermarkets and Asian grocers in Australia. You can substitute and use other ingredients you like in your soba dish, like tempura.
Difficulty level: Easy Preparation time: 30 mins
Ingredients (2 servings):
1 serving of Soba noodles
1 part tsuyu
2 part water
1/4 square sheet of nori seaweed
1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 small fish cake* (optional)
4 small Chinese fried tofu** (optional)
1/2 small can of corn kernels (125 gram)
1/2 bunch of spinach
8 fresh raw prawns, deveined and shelled
1/4 small sweet potato, finely julienne
1/4 zucchini, finely julienne
4 white button mushrooms, sliced
Spring onion, finely chopped
1) Boil your sauce together until fragrant. Set aside in a glass bowl; store and refrigerate to chill.(Add more water or less tsuyu if you want a less salty dipping sauce but you will find that the bland toppings really needs a tastier sauce so don’t make it too thin either.) The quantity of the dipping sauce to make depends on your personal preference.)
2) Boil your soba in boiling water until al dente. It should take maybe 5-6 minutes. Drain cooked soba and soak in cold tap water to stop the cooking process. Drain and wash soba well in running cold water to remove any excess starch. This will prevent the noodles from sticking to each other when you are ready to serve and when eating it. Store covered in the fridge to chill until required.
3) Boil or steam your prawns, julienne sweet potato, mushroom and zucchini. Put aside in their batches on a serving platter. Steam your spinach separately. Squeeze dry with a Japanese sushi bamboo mat.
4) Whisk one egg. (I use the whole egg so as not to waste the eff-white if there’s not other recipe requiring only egg whites. As traditional Japanese cooking only uses the yolk). Pan fry egg in a pan. Cool down and cut into fine long shreds.
5) Take a piece of nori seaweed and toast it over a medium open flame. Remember to toast on the smooth side-not the rough side as loose seaweed may drop onto the open flame and burn.
6) Assemble your noodles in a bowl and add the toppings so you can see each ingredient separately. Finally, topped with a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds and shredded nori seaweed.