5 In Main Dish/ Noodle/ Video

Zaru Soba Recipe

Zaru Soba is cold buckwheat noodles with dipping sauce, and it is a cool summer noodle dish in Japan.  Zaru means a colander or a strainer in Japanese, and cold Soba noodles are usually served on a slotted bamboo mat that lets water drip through.  Zarusoba is the great dish to beat brutal summer heat over there.

Soba is a popular Japanese food in the US, and dried Soba noodles can be found at most supermarkets here.  One of the reasons why Soba is popular here is because Soba is much healthier than other noodles made from refined flours.  Soba has fewer calories and more nutrients such as Vitamin B, various minerals, and fiber.  Another reason is that Soba doesn’t contain any gluten.  Recent gluten free diet fever may be contributing to the popularity of Soba noodles.

Not only is Soba healthy, but it tastes great, of course.  It has a wheaty, nutty, wholesome flavor.  It can be wonderful in hot soup too.  Hot Soba is for anytime, but there is a special dish eaten on New Year’s Eve, Toshikoshi Soba.  Because Soba noodles have no gluten, they can be cut more easily than other noodles. It is believed that eating Soba will cut misfortune of the previous year and bring good luck in the next year.

It is hard to get freshly made Soba noodles in the US, unfortunately, because that’s the best kind.  If you can find frozen Soba noodles at Japanese supermarkets, that may be the next best option, but dried Soba noodles are pretty good too.  Besides, that’s better than having no Soba noodles at all.  That would be tragic!

Zaru Soba is such a perfect dish to eat when you don’t have much appetite in the warm weather. People enjoy the cool sensation of the noodles going down their throat smoothly rather than chewing it well, although you can still taste the aroma of Soba in your mouth.  Zaru Soba can be as simple as our recipe here, but you can also dress it up with Tempura and other toppings if you’d like.

Zaru Soba Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings



  1. In rolling boiling water in a big pot, add dried Soba noodles and stir. After coming back to a boil, cook for 3-4 minutes (follow the instructions on the package). Strain and cool Soba under running water a bit. Chill in ice water for a couple of minutes. Then strain again.
  2. Mix Men-Tsuyu and cold water, and divide into dipping bowls.
  3. Place Soba on plates and top with shredded Roasted Seaweed. Serve with Men-tsuyu, green onions, and wasabi.

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  • Hector Calderas
    February 12, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for your amazing Recipies, i tell you some thats sounds like, my own teacher, i am a profesional Japanese Chef, in diferents kinds of food, and you are realy my best help, thank you again, and God bless you.

    • Noriko
      February 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      you’re welcome!

  • Adam Rotmil
    June 21, 2014 at 11:44 am

    You can make fresh soba noodles from scratch too. Look it up 🙂

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      thanks for your suggestion!

  • Berto
    October 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Only 100% buckwheat soba is gluten free. Most soba you find has wheat added.