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Cold Soba with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba (cold soba with dipping sauce) has been a traditional fast food since Edo Period (1,603 - 1868) in Japan. From kids to elders, people in any social class enjoy the fresh and smooth soba by quickly dipping in a sauce. While it's a very popular quick dish for lunch, you can also find soba restaurants or posh izakaya establishments serve soba as a final course after various small dishes to savor. I remember my late father ate soba for lunch 3 - 4 times a week because it was one of his very favorite foods. 

This version, instead of typical soy sauce and mirin based sauce, I made it with extra amount of dashi with a generous addition of Brown Rice Black Vinegar. the result is a very refreshing umami-packed dipping sauce, which you can even drink up (and it's good for you, because of the high vinegar content).




(Dipping Sauce)

  • 14 oz (400 g) soba

(Suggested condiments: You can use all or choose some of them from below)

Roasted sesame seeds (either golden or black)
Thinly-sliced green onions
Thinly-sliced shiso
Grated daikon radish
Shredded nori seaweed
Grated ginger


  1. To make the dipping sauce, combine the dashi, soy sauce, black vinegar, and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and turn off the heat immediately. Let it cool down completely, and add the sesame oil. Chill in refrigeartor.
  2. Cook the soba noodles according the package's cooking instructions. Rinse under cold running water and drain well. Transfer to a bamboo strainer(s) or a plate(s).
  3. Pour the sauce into a serving cup/ bowl. To enjoy, take a small amount of the soba at a time and dip in the sauce (with or without condiments) and eat immediately.

In the summertime, I like to serve with a wide variety of ingredients including summer treats like sliced cherry tomatoes and raw corn.

    About the measurements used in our recipes

    For rice measurement, traditional Japanese rice measurement is used.
    • 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
    Other conversions (US to metric measures)
    • 1 cup = 240 ml
    • 1 inch (1") = 2.5 cm
    • 1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml