Zaru Soba - Cold Noodle in Dipping Sauce

Japan is usually very hot and humid in summer. To combat this heat, several dishes get their cold version. One of them is the famous soba, a buckwheat noodle that we already talked about in another article. Today we are going to talk especially about the zaru soba, a cold (or iced) pasta that is usually dipped in a delicious sauce.

At first glance it may seem strange to eat a cold or chilled pasta, but soba pasta goes perfectly with any environment and with dipping sauce. It was one of the greatest delicacies I ate in Japan, a simple, cheap and popular dish among the Japanese.

Unlike Western noodles, most Japanese noodles are usually rinsed vigorously under cold running water. This makes them cool and also takes away excess starch, which negatively affects the taste. It is not enough to just throw cold water, you must rub and wash the noodles rigorously, for a superior taste.

Zaru soba - cold noodles in dipping sauce

How is the cold noodles - Zaru Sobaa?

Japanese cold noodles are called se zaru soba not because they are cold. Zaru is the name of a drainage basket made of bamboo, where the cold soba usually stays (similar to a sieve). The cold pasta comes on a Zaru where you take what you are going to eat and dip it separately in the sauce. Similar to dipping sushi in the sauce.

The sauce in which Zaru soba is dipped is called Mentsuyu. It is made from soy sauce, mirin sake and hondashi (fish-based seasoning). The Mentsuyu affectionately known only as tsuyu It can be bought in a ready-made bottle or made at home with its own variations.

It can be accompanied with chives or wasabi. Sometimes the dish is accompanied with tempura and is known as tenzaru. Bukkake is the name given to cold soba noodles that come in a bowl with sauce mixed in and some additional ingredients.

Zaru soba - cold noodles in dipping sauce

Recipe - How to make a Zaru Soba?

Ingredients for the soba
  • Pack of soba noodles;


  • chopped chives;
  • Nori sheets cut into strips;
  • Wasabi

For the Tsuyu sauce 

  • 2 glasses of water;
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (shoyu);
  • 1 spoon of mirin sake;
  • 1 spoon (dessert) of hondashi;
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar;
  • 2 pinches of ajinomoto or salt to taste;

If you find Kaeshi, just mix it with hondashi;

There are no secrets, just make the soba, put it in a sieve and eat it by dipping in the sauce. If you want to add chives, it is recommended to serve them in a separate container. The sauce should be made with the mixture of ingredients boiling over medium heat. Then it should be put in the fridge for a while. Nori can be mixed with noodles before serving.

Zaru soba - cold noodles in dipping sauce

Zaru Soba isn't Japan's only cold noodles. There are versions of cold udon and ramen, as well as several other dishes. What do you think of Zaru soba? Have you had the chance to try this dish? Hope you enjoyed this little article, we appreciate the comments and shares. We also recommend reading:

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