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 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 dosed in seasoned soy dipping 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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