Simple cold soba noodle (zaru soba) with genmaicha tea infused dipping sauce!
Genmaicha Tsuyu Dipping Sauce
- 4 tablespoons genmaicha tea (roasted brown rice Japanese green tea)
- 3 cups water (hot)
- 4-5 tablespoons bonito flakes
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1 teaspoon sake
Toppings (Pick and choose the ones you like!)
Making the Genmaicha Tsuyu Dipping Sauce
- Steep approximately 4 tablespoons of genmaicha tea in 3 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes. Ideally you would want to put this in some sort of tea ball or teabag. If you don’t have one you can strain out the tea leaves with a strainer once the tea has been steeped.
- Once the tea is done, in a pitcher add in about a handful of bonito flakes (approx. 4 tbsp), pour in the tea and let it meld for about 10-15 minutes
- Then add in the soy sauce, mirin, sake (optional)
- If you are using a pour-able pitcher you don’t need to really strain the bonito flakes since it sinks to the bottom and you can get away with just slowly pouring out the sauce into dipping cups but if you are using a bowl to make the sauce then strain out the bonito flakes.
- Let the sauce chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Prepping the Toppings
- Pick and choose the toppings you like. You don’t need to use them all. If you want to keep it simple, green onions (scallions) and seaweed (nori) is more than enough for some good flavourings.
- If you are using seaweed, I found it easiest to use scissors to snip them up into slivers
- For ginger and daikon, use a fine grater to shave it into mush. Once grated, they have a lot of excess water – squeeze and drain the excess liquid out.
Cooking the Soba Noodles
- In a pot, add water and set it on medium heat until the water boils. Do not add salt to the water – the dipping sauce is already very salty so we don’t want to go overboard with the salt.
- Follow the directions on the packaging to cook the soba noodles. I usually cook it for 1 minute less than it says and then taste it for done-ness so I don’t overcook it and get mushy noodles. For my batch I added the noodles into boiling water and cooked it for about 4 minutes.
- Once the noodles are done, run it under cold water and rinse off all the starches. When the noodles are cool, add it into a ice bath for a few minutes.
- [Optional] Sesame oil during the ice bath is optional. It is not traditionally added but I find a hint of nuttiness adds a nice flavour. A little goes a long long way, so less is more. I would go with only adding a few drops in to a maximum of no more than 1/4 teaspoon.
Serving the Noodles
- Pour the dipping sauce into small cups or bowls and serve with the soba noodles with a side of toppings! 🙂
- When the meal is done, you will most likely have a lot of the dipping sauce left. Traditionally zaru soba would use the leftover soba noodle water to water down the dipping sauce to make it into a soup! Instead of the soba water, I re-steeped the tea in a teapot and used that to water down the dipping sauce to make the soup instead. 😉 Neat eh?
- When boiling the noodles, watch it like a hawk. They boil over very easily. When you start to see the bubbles go insane and rise up, gently blow into it – it’s wierd but it works, it makes the bubbles die down a bit.
- Sesame oil during the ice bath is optional. It is not traditionally added but I find a hint of nuttiness adds a nice flavour. A little goes a long long way, so less is more. I would go with only adding a few drops in to a maximum of no more than 1/4 teaspoon.
- Just a warning, prepared wasabi is POTENT – a little goes a long long way, so use it sparingly as a topping.
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 476 kcal
- Sugar: 16 g
- Sodium: 4874 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 101 g
- Protein: 23 g