Cold, refreshing soba noodles to cool you down during hot girl summer.
Written by Doobydobap
Cold Soba aka Naeng Momil / Zaru Soba
Naeng momil is my favorite summer food. The insanely hot humid summers in Korea would make me lose my appetite and the only thing that would make me crawl out of my air-conditioned room would be this dish.
Cold buckwheat noodles are a popular dish in Asia, especially in Korea and Japan. Naeng momil origins come from Japanese zaru soba and the two are very similar. The dipping sauce, aka the tsuyu. The tsuyu, or mentsuyu, is a smoky umami-bomb soup base that is so versatile in many dishes. This particular recipe makes enough mentsuyu for four, but make sure to reserve the leftover broth for future use!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dish, this is how you enjoy it.
- Portion ½ tbsp of grated daikon and 1/2 tsp of wasabi to your broth. Add the thinly sliced scallions to the broth for extra crunch.
- Pick up a conservative amount of noodles with your chopsticks to dip in the tsu-yu. You do not want to be greedy with the noodles because you want to slurp them in one go.
- Gently dip the noodles into the cold tsuyu sauce. You do not have to dowse the noodles with sauce as the broth is concentrated.
- Slurping is encouraged! Add more toppings if needed.
- ½ leek
- ½ onion
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 cup light soy sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup sake
- 1 sheet kombu
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup bonito flakes
- 100g daikon radish
- 2 tsp wasabi
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 200g soba
Char the leek and onion until it’s blackened and blistered. Use a blow torch or put under broiler settings on your oven. This process helps give the broth a smoky and deep flavor.
Add the leek and onion to a pot. Add ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sake, kombu, and water. Reserve the kombu for later!
Turn the heat on high and until the mixture starts to bubble. Lower the heat to a simmer and reduce the broth for 20 minutes or until the onions and leeks have turned translucent and let out their flavors.
Turn the heat off and add the bonito flakes. Let it steep in the residual heat for 10 minutes.
Strain the broth. Cool the mixture down and set it aside in a fridge. Optionally, use TSUYU! Here's an amazon link of where you can buy it.
Grate the peeled daikon radish. If you don’t have a grater, use a food processor or a blender. Add a little water to help it blend easier.
Strain the daikon by squeezing out the liquid with your hands. Form into small balls.
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. PRO TIP: The noodles will boil over if left unattended! Have a jug of cold water ready next to the pot so that when it starts foaming and rising you can add a dash of cold water to bring the water down.
Drain the noodles and wash the noodles under cold water. This process prevents the noodles from cooking further and allows them to retain a springy and chewy texture.
Pour ½ cup of broth for each person. Add equal parts ice to the broth.
Add the grated radish, wasabi, and spring onions to your liking to the broth. Start by putting ½ tbsp of grated radish in the broth first and see!
Dip your soba noodles into the concentrated broth. Slurp and enjoy 🙂
Hi, I’m Tina aka Doobydobap!
Food is my medium to tell stories and connect with people who share the same passion. My recipes are a culmination of my experiences. I hope you enjoy recreating them at home, and if you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram!
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