A couple of years ago, when we went to Korea, we stopped by Japan on the way home. It was the first time that my husband experienced the cold Japanese noodles called soba. He loved it so much! We had soba noodles everyday while we were staying in Japan. We came back to the States, and he wanted to have soba noodles so badly! We could not find a restaurant which serves soba noodles in town. That’s how I started making soba noodles at home! Making the soba sauce may look little bit complicated and time consuming, but I promise you, once you have the sauce you can serve soba noodles dinner in 10 min! The sauce can be stored for 6 months in the refrigerator, so the only thing you have to do is just boiling the noodles! It’s a good deal for busy weekday dinner!
If you never had soba noodles before, you may try the soba sauce they sell in stores first to make sure you like it. If you like the sauce, then, you can make your own ^^
You can buy all the ingredients in any Asian store. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby, you can also buy dried anchovy, dried kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, mirin, and katsobusi on Amazon or other internet shops.
Things you need
For soba sauce
Makes 50-60 servings
- 30 g (1 oz) dried anchovy (Make sure you remove the anchoby innards. Otherwise, it will make your sauce taste bitter). See pictures below.
- 10cm x 10cm dried kelp (it’s kind of a thick dried sea weed)
- 30 g (1 oz) dried shiitake mushrooms
- 350 ml (about 1 1/2 cups) of sake
- 500 ml (about 2 cups) of mirin (this is sweet rice wine)
- 500 ml (about 2 cups) of water
- 250 ml (about 1 cups) of boiling hot water
- 500 ml (about 2 cups) of soy sauce
- 50 g (about 1.8 oz) of katsobusi (this is thin sliced dried tuna)
- 3 TBS brown sugar
- 2 serving of soda noodles
Make sure you remove anchovy innards before you use them. Use a toothpick, open the bottom of the anchovy, and remove the black innards.
This is over 50 serving of soba sauce. You can make the sauce ahead of time and keep it up to 6 month in the refrigerator. Once you have the sauce, the only thing you do is to boil the noodles and serve. It takes 6 minutes to boil the noodles!
For soba sauce
- (1) Place dried anchovy, dried kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, sake, and mirin in a pot, and leave it for 24 hr at cool room temperature
- Boil (1) in medium high heat until it is boiling vigorously, and add soy sauce
- While (1) + soy sauce is boiling. you can prepare the next step. Place katsobusi on a cooking screen. Place cheese cloth on a clean pot, and place the cooking screen with katsobusi on top of the cheese cloth. (Place the pot, and cheese cloth on top of the pot, then place the cooking screen on the cheese cloth). Also, prepare boiling hot water.
- Pour the boiled sauce carefully (slowly) on the cooking screen with dried katsobusi.
- You will collect dried anchovy and mushrooms on the screen.
- Pour boiling hot water on the cooking screen.
- Boil the sauce which passed through the screen, and add brown sugar to the sauce.
- Cool it and store it in the refrigerator.
- Dilute the sauce 1:2 (or 1:3) with cold water before you serve.
For soba noodles
- Boil the soba noodles (I boiled mine for 6 minutes).
- Wash the boiled noodles at least twice with cool running water.
Pick the noodles with chopsticks and dip the noodles in the sauce 2-3 times. Now, enjoy!