Eating soba noodles on New Year’s Day is supposed to guarantee you long life. Hm. So much for ‘an apple a day’, I guess.
Anyway, I took the kids to the Japanese American National Museum where they had an ‘Oshogatsu’ New Year’s Day celebration. They showed the kids how to put together a bowl of soba noodles and then the kids got to eat it too! Not bad for a FREE museum day.
12-14 ounces dry soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
nori (dried seaweed)
kamaboko (fish cake)
2 cups dashi (soup base)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
First make the dipping sauce, put the dashi, soy sauce and mirin in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and cool. Quite honestly – I’m not gonna be a stickler here – you can get a bottle of dippin sauce for like two dollars at the Japanese market if you are so inclined. I won’t say nothin’.
Fill a large pot with water, approx 4 – 6 cups. Bring to a boil. Add the dry soba noodles and stir – usually this take only 2-3 minutes. Drain the noodles well and rinse with cold water.
You can top the noodles with anything really. Cucumber cut small, nori cut into fine strips, sliced kamaboko. Shredded chicken or char siu works too. (See somen salad recipe.)
Put some soba into bowls, top with the toppings you like and add a small ladle of the sauce. You don’t want a soup, you just want your noodles to be wet. Aaaaand…eat!