Make this soba noodle soup as easy and authentic as you like while pleasing your taste buds. Dashi, a true Asian broth, is one of the easiest and best tasting broths, but is unfamiliar to many Americans and consequently seems rather daunting. Dashi stock is full of flavor and worth the extra effort to obtain the three ingredients needed to make it from an Asian store! I’ve given suggestions for more authentic ingredients to add, but if you’re feeling somewhat hesitant, start with ingredients that you’re familiar with.
3 1/2 cups dashi stock or broth (see recipe below or use dashi bullion found in Asian stores)
9 oz or 3 bundles of soba noodles, found in the Asian section of most supermarkets
1/2 cup low-sodium tamara or soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin, Asian section
1/2 – 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (optional)
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and jullienned (optional)
3 green onions, chopped and separate white from green parts
½ cup carrots, grated
1 cup snow peas or broccoli
2 baby radishes, sliced into paper thin rounds (optional)
4 to 8 oz salmon fillet (optional)
1 piece of ginger, 2 inches long, peeled and slivered into 4 pieces lengthwise
1 4 x 6 inch piece of konbu seaweed, wiped with a damp cloth
2 cups bonito flakes
5 cups cold water
Place the ginger, konbu and water into a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Once the water gets a few bubbles around the edges, turn off the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes remove the Kombu from the water and discard it. Turn the heat back on and once again when bubbles start to appear at the edges, turn off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, strain the stock into a bowl, discard the bonito flakes and clean out the pot.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to the package instructions, usually for 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to overcook them). Drain the noodles and cool them under cold running water.
In a saucepan combine the dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, honey, and shiitakes (optional). Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add the white portion of the green onions, carrots and snow peas and cook until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, divide the noodles between four bowls. Place a portion of cooked salmon into each bowl along with some radish slices (both optional). Ladle the soup mixture into each bowl. Top with the remaining green onions. This is also terrific with a poached egg, toasted sesame seed, and furikake seasoning added to each bowl. Enjoy your new adventure!