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).
- 2 cups (480 ml) kombu and bonito dashi or your choice of dashi
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Japanese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black sesame oil
- 14 oz (400 g) soba
(Suggested condiments: You can use all or choose some of them from below)
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
1 cup = 240 ml
1 inch (1") = 2.5 cm
1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml