Cold udon or soba with hot dipping sauce

Cold udon or soba with hot dipping sauce

By
From
JapanEasy
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

In Japan udon and soba shops offer their noodles hiya-atsu – literally ‘hot-cold’. The noodles are served cold, and the broth, highly concentrated, is served hot. This has a couple of key advantages: the noodles won’t lose their texture if they sit in the broth for too long, and the temperature is naturally regulated so you don’t risk scalding your mouth. At the end of the meal, the sauce is topped up with hot water to dilute it, and customers drink the resulting broth as a kind of warming digestif.

Completely not difficult

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600ml strong dashi, see note
120ml mirin
150ml soy sauce
2cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced, (no need to peel)
4 portions udon or soba noodles
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 sheet nori, finely shredded with scissors
toasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. Combine the dashi, mirin, soy sauce and ginger in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Hold at a simmer while you prepare the noodles.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (5–8 minutes at a simmer for soba, 1–5 minutes at a boil for udon), then drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Massage and tousle them as you rinse, to get all the residual starch off. They should feel slippery and smooth rather than sticky and gluey. Drain them well, pressing gently to squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a plate or shallow bowl, and pour the hot broth into cups or small, deep bowls.
  3. Garnish the noodles with the spring onions, nori and sesame seeds. To eat, grab a mouthful of noodles, swirl them in the sauce, and slurp. When all the noodles are gone, top up the remaining sauce with hot water and sip the broth, contentedly.

Note

  • If you’re making it from scratch, use Ichiban Dashi, or a double-strength brew of instant dashi

Toppings for udon and soba

  • I love the minimalism of a basic bowl of udon or soba – just noodles and broth, perfect in their harmonious simplicity – but they do take well to toppings. On the next few pages are some ideas to add bulk and texture to your noodles, making them more of a proper dinner than a light lunch.
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