If you are looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, zaru soba or cold soba noodles is a great option. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the dipping broth and soba noodles. Just assemble and enjoy!
Ingredients in Zaru Soba
Before making this dish, make sure you have all the ingredients you need. You may need to venture to your closest asian grocery store to find some of these items.
- Soba noodles: You can usually find this at an asian grocery store like H MART or 99 Ranch Market. If you don’t have one near you, you can always order these online or see if they carry them at your local Walmart or World Market.
- Tsuyu soup base: If you can’t find this in the store, you can make it homemade using this recipe.
- Green onions: These are an essential for this dish. They add so much flavor and texture to this dish.
- Nori: Optional, but highly recommended. They add additional flavor and saltiness.
I also like adding a source of protein and a vegetable or fruit side dish to this meal. For the protein source, you can add boiled eggs, salmon or tofu. For the vegetable side dish, you can add seaweed salad, pickled vegetables or edamame. And for the fruit side dish, anything you have lying around should work just fine.
How to make Zaru Soba
First, boil a pot of water over high heat. Add the dry soba noodles and boil for 4-5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse in cold water until noodles have cooled down. Transfer the noodles to an ice bath and prepare the rest of the meal.
In a small bowl, combine water and tsuyu soup base. In another small bowl, add sliced green onion. Transfer the cold soba noodles to a plate and top with nori strips. I like to keep some extra on the side in case I want to add more.
Add as many green onions as desired to the dipping broth. Then, use chopsticks to dip cold soba noodles into the broth, then eat.
Where to find soba noodles
You may be able to find soba noodles in the Asian or International section of your local grocery store or Walmart. If you are unable to find soba noodles there, try your local asian grocery store. H MART and 99 Ranch Market are good options if you have them close to you.
If you can’t seem to find them anywhere or just prefer to stay at home, you can also find them online. They are dry noodles so they ship pretty well. Here are some options:
I do make a small commission if you purchase any of the above items using my links.
What are soba noodles made out of?
Soba noodles are made with buckwheat and wheat flour. The buckwheat is what gives them the darker, grainer texture compared to wheat noodles. Though they may look like whole wheat noodles, most soba noodles are refined grains, meaning most of the fiber is removed.
Are soba noodles healthy?
Soba noodles can be a healthier option than wheat noodles if you purchase a whole wheat version that contains fiber. The fiber contained in these noodles not only can improve digestive health, but can help reduce blood cholesterol and improve overall health.
If you purchase soba noodles with the fiber removed, aka the refined grain version, there won’t be any significant health benefits compared to regular wheat noodles. That being said, soba noodles can be part of a healthy diet as long as the focus of the diet is on whole, nutrient dense foods.
What else can I add to this dish?
Personally, I like to add a source of protein and a side dish of fruit or vegetables to make zaru soba a full, balanced meal. For the protein side dish, I love having grilled salmon, boiled eggs or tofu. Good vegetable side dishes include seaweed salad, pickled vegetables or edamame. And for fruit, a small pear or a few slices of mango pair great with this dish.
What can I use instead of soup base?
If you don’t have any tsuyu soup base, you can still enjoy this recipe. One option is to make it homemade. This recipe uses sake, mirin, soy sauce, kombu (dried kelp) and dried bonito flakes. Just simmer the mixture in a pot and strain out the solid parts to make your broth.
Alternatively, you can also replace the soup base with some chicken or vegetable broth. This will yield a different flavor, but it will still taste quite delicious!
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Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)
- 1 bundle soba noodles
- 2 tbsp tsuyu soup base
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1-2 stalks green onion sliced
- 1 sheet nori cut into slivers
- First, boil a pot of water over high heat. Add the dry soba noodles and boil for 4-5 minutes.
- Immediately drain and rinse in cold water until noodles have cooled down. Transfer the noodles to an ice bath and prepare the rest of the meal.
- In a small bowl, combine water and tsuyu soup base. In another small bowl, add sliced green onion.
- Transfer the cold soba noodles to a plate and top with nori strips.
- Add as many green onions as desired to the dipping broth. Then, use chopsticks to dip cold soba noodles into the broth, then eat.