Cold Noodles with Laver

Zaru Soba

This is a hot-weather snack traditionally served in boxes lined with bamboo-slatted mats called zaru. If you haven’t any, drain your noodles extra well and serve them mounded on chilled flat glass plates.

Ingredients

Dipping sauce

  • cups dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably usu kuchi shōyu (light soy sauce)
  • tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 3–4 portions (each about 6 ounces) fresh soba (buckwheat noodles) or 10–12 ounces fresh-dried soba
  • ½ sheet Asakusa nori (dark dried laver

Condiments

  • ¼ cup chopped scallion(s)
  • 2–3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1–2 teaspoons wasabi (fiery green horseradish)

Method

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat through, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Chill the sauce well.

Prepare the noodles according to instructions for fresh for fresh-dried. Drain the noodles very well before mounding them on 3 or 4 small zaru mats or plates.

Dry roast the laver over direct medium heat for 1 minute or so. Fold it several times and crumble it in a clean, dry cloth. Sprinkle some of the crumbled laver over each mound of noodles. Serve the noodles at room temperature with individual cups of dipping sauce. Provide condiments in a serving dish or in separate small dishes, to add to your dipping sauce at the table. Dip your noodles, a few at a time, and eat.

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