Soba So Good (Cold Soba with honey-soy sauce)

Soba So Good

I’ve just finished Michelle Maisto’s wonderful “The Gastronomy of Marriage – A memoir of food and love“. I was handed this book as part of Rachel’s efforts to get me to appreciate women authors (I find them mostly boring; always alternating between feminism and emancipation even for the horror/murder/fantasy/Sci Fi genres). I have to say Rachel scored on this one (yes, I’m not returning the book). It’s a good read mainly because it is light and peppered generously with vignettes of eating within the context of living together with minimal mention of shopping, shoes and couture. I’d recommend it to any foodie in a relationship with another foodie. It’s not about dominance, it’s about sacrifice.

There are many good recipes in there, but what I find more intriguing are her one-sentence descriptions of dinner prep. One that caught my eye was Maisto’s adaptation of Sybil Kapoor‘s Buckwheat noodles with Honey-Soy Sauce recipe. It is a simple but awesomely delicious dish that beats instant noodles in terms of taste, freshness and the sense of accomplishment.

Here’s my adaptation that’s faster with less cleaning up to do.

Basically it’s a cold Soba dish that combines flash-cooled Soba with honey, good soy sauce, ginger (thinly sliced matchsticks), sesame oil, lemon juice and Shichimi Togarashi. Toss everything in a bowl with cold tofu and toasted Nori and leave in the fridge for 10-30 minutes before serving. There’s no need to strive for balance in the sauce, just go with what you feel like. Some days I like it sweeter, some days more salty; just go with the flow. Simple no?

Instead of red chili flakes, I use a generous sprinkle of Shichimi Togarashi, the famous “7 flavor” pepper powder available at all Asian supermarkets. I think the perfumed powder is more interesting.

I love cold Soba for it’s refreshing clean taste, good bite and the way it picks up flavors. It’s easier to cook than pasta and I definitely feel better after eating it; sated but not bloated. Variations can include, for extra extra creaminess, a soft-boiled egg (or Onsen Tamago) on top.

So next time you’re hankering for a quick meal, instead of instant noodles, I hope you’ll give this a try because I think for a vegetarian dish, it’s pretty kick-ass.

Soba So Good

Posted on 24th Sep 2009 in Japanese, Recipes


There Are 6 Comments


[…] blog spent the month mostly on home-cooking like Tea-Smoked Eggs and Cold Soba but he was invited to taste the best of what the new Food Opera had to offer. And by capturing and […] | Feed 2009 commented on January 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm

[…] also introduced them to my Cold Soba with Honey-soy sauce but since no one really commented on it, I won’t […]


maameemoomoo commented on January 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I am a hardcore cold soba/udon fan.

Been contemplating to try this at home for the longest time.. but always never. After seeing this post of yours, i WILL try it out one of these days!

So Ivan, the honey soy sauce is just that? Honey, good soy sauce, ginger (thinly sliced matchsticks), sesame oil, lemon juice and Shichimi Togarashi? Very do-able! No more mulling over which sauce to get from the stores anymore –yes, i’ve been staring at them for a few minutes and left empty handed in the end–. Thanks!


ivan commented on January 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

@maameemoomoo: Yes, it is that simple. πŸ™‚ Just do the sauce at room temperature, mix with the soba and leave it in the fridge to chill for about 30mins.

Alternatively, if you want more flair, heat the sesame oil in a wok till it’s hot, throw in the toothpick ginger and turn off the flame. Mix everything except the lemon juice in the hot oil and let cool to room temperature.

Sesame oil has a very low burning point, i.e burns easily, so don’t let it smoke.

Add the lemon juice just before mixing in the soba and chill. πŸ™‚


maameemoomoo commented on January 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Lol.. pls, allow me to re-phrase. I really must not comment via mobile again!

“No more mulling over which sauce to get from the stores anymore –yes, i actually stare at them for a few minutes (many times already! it’s like a habit already. haha) and always, leave the store without any of it in the end–”


Thanks for the other option! But for now, it’s the simpler option for me πŸ˜‰


[…] Chilled Soba with Honey-Ginger sauce […]

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