International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba (Japanese cold buckwheat noodles with dipping sauce)

(Japanese cold buckwheat noodles with dipping sauce)

Image Creative Commons by Karl Baron

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Cold buckwheat (soba) noodles are a favorite Japanese summer dish, cool and refreshing. Traditionally served on a bamboo tray, or zaru, zaru soba are dipped in seasoned soy sauce before they are ceremoniously slurped down.

4 servings


  • Dried soba noodles -- 1 (12-ounce) package
  • Dashi stock -- 1 1/4 cups
  • Japanese soy sauce -- 1/2 cup
  • Mirin -- 1/4 cup
  • Sugar -- 1 teaspoon
  • Nori, cut into thin shreds -- 1 sheet


  1. Cook the soba according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water and drain again.
  2. Add the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. Portion out into little dipping sauce bowls.
  3. Portion the noodles out on zaru bamboo trays or plates and garnish with a sprinkling of shredded nori. To eat, use chopstick to dip a few of the in sauce before taking a bite.

Zaru Soba Variations

  • Use fresh soba noodles if you can find them. You'll need around 1 1/2 pounds.
  • To give the tsuyu added flavor, stir in some chopped scallions or a dab of wasabi.
  • To out the nori's best flavor, toasting it lightly by waving it gently over a stovetop burner two or three times.

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