The buckwheat nuttiness of soba noodles is a refreshing change from the mildness and softness of white flour pasta. Buckwheat noodles, or soba, are a staple in Japanese cuisine. Chewy with a grainy texture, they're eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature. Because these cold soba noodles have such a grainy taste and texture, they're perfect when paired with simple, clean flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, and dashi.
- 1 1/2 cups dashi
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 8 ounces dried or fresh soba
- Accompaniments for the soba:
- 1 teaspoon wasabi, or to taste
- 3 ounces peeled and finely grated daikon
- 2 trimmed and finely chopped green onions
- 1 large sheet nori, cut into thin strips
Bring dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Set out 4 serving plates. Divide equally among plates: dab of wasabi, grated daikon, and scallions.
In the meantime, bring 2-quart pot of water to boil over high heat and add soba. Return water to boil and cook the noodles until tender but firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Have ready a large bowl or pot ready with ice water. Use strainer to remove soba from pot. Place soba into ice water and chill until noodles are cold. Drain noodles.
Make mound with noodles on each plate. Pour dipping sauce into individual little bowls to serve alongside noodles.
To eat, stir some daikon, wasabi, and green onion into dipping sauce. Take some noodles with chopsticks and dip.