Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles -ざるそば)

A traditional healthy and delicious Japanese lunch, zaru soba is simple and easy to make!


  • 7 ounces dry soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup grated daikon
  • 2 scallions (finely chopped)
  • wasabi paste
  • shredded nori

Mentsuyu dipping sauce:

  • 1 6-inch kombu (dried kelp)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce bonito flakes or 3/4 teaspoon dashi powder (for vegan: use an additional 1 6-inch piece kombu)


  1. Add the kombu to 2 cups of water and set aside for 30 minutes.
    Add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar and bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu and discard it, or slice it into to sticks. You can then pan fry it with a little soy sauce to eat as a side. Add bonito flakes (or dashi powder) and boil for 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for a couple of minutes, until all the flakes have sunken to the bottom of the pot. For vegan: add the kombu but do not boil. Instead, let the kombu steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the mentsuyu into a container with a lid, let cool to room temperature, seal and refrigerate. The mentsuyu is best when very cold.
  3. Squeeze out half of the water from the grated daikon. you want to keep some of the water so it stays moist but remove enough so you can shape it into a little mound. Set aside.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to the instruction on the package (noodles usually take between 5-8 minutes to cook). Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well and divide noodles among two plates or shallow bowls.
  5. Pour about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of mentsuyu into a bowl for dipping the noodles and serve with a side of grated daikon, scallions, wasabi and nori. Add them to the mentsuyu before eating.


Keywords: recipe, cold noodles, Asian noodles, healthy lunch, buckwheat noodles

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