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Aug 8, 2007 05:28 AM

Simple ideas for soba noodle sauce?

Hi all,

I have a pack of organic, high quality soba noodles here that have been taking up space for awhile simply because I can't figure out a good sauce for them.

The problem is that while I have a lot of Chinese and Thai ingredients (light soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, etc), apart from Japanese soy sauce, I have virtually nothing Japanese at all, and there are no stores that carry Japanese ingredients in my area.

I can easily get more Chinese, Thai, and typical North American ingredients easily. Does anyone have any suggestions that wouldn't overwhelm the soba and that would taste great?

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  1. Here's a delicious recipe for chicken soba noodle soup from Wholefoods. I really enjoyed it when I made it a few months ago. It may be not the best idea for August, but I love soup anytime of the year.

    1. I love Nigella Lawson's cold Soba Salad with a nice piece of MR salmon to top.
      Easy and light for hot summer nights.

      1. The most traditional flavor combination for soba is with soy sauce for salty and mirin for smoothness/sweetness. Instead of mirin, you might try combinations like rice vinegar or sherry with small amounts of other sweeteners (sugar, honey). I like making a sauce with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a little sesame oil and chinese hot mustard. I imagine that sauces with chinese flavored soy sauces might be interesting, too (mushroom, etc.)

        You dilute the sauce to the desired strength by adding water or fish (bonito) broth-- maybe something like anchovy broth would work too? (Dilute more for a soup, less for a dipping sauce)

        1. I LOVE this recipe for Otsu, which uses soba noodles.

          I've used regular soy sauce instead of shoyu.

          It's a great summer dish, light and filling.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jacinthe

            I'm getting a 404 not found for that link... could you try reposting? I'm not sure what otsu is (I'm having trouble finding out through Google, since the word seems to have a lot of different uses from city names to rock stars, etc) but from the one picture I found, this sounds like it might be exactly what I'm looking for!

            1. re: vorpal

              Go to the website and click on ethnic foods--it's there

              1. re: vorpal

                Hrm, when I click on the link it works. Go to, and then use the search box on the left to search for "otsu".

                It's basically a soba noodle dish with a soy sauce-vinegar (and some other stuff) dressing, with cucumbers and tofu. It's a wee bit sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time.

                1. re: jacinthe

                  I make soba once a week, mostly cold served with a grilled fish-usually ahi. This is what I did last night:


                  1/3 cup rice vinegar
                  2/3 cup light soy sauce
                  1-2 tspoons minced ginger
                  Sesame oil to taste
                  finely chopped hot pepper (I had jalepeno last night) to taste
                  sugar or sweet chile sauce -yes to taste OR wasabi powder or paste
                  squeeze of lime juice (optional)


                  chopped scallions
                  shredded carrots
                  thinly sliced peeled and seeded cucumber
                  thinly sliced snow peas
                  halved small cherry or grape tomatoes

                  Toss it all tgether with about 8-10 oz of cold soba noodles and chill before serving. Serves 2-4 people.