This is another quick cold noodle recipe with toppings that don’t require any cooking. Ikura (salmon roe) and grated daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cuisine and they work great with the cold soba. When daikon is grated in a traditional onioroshi (bamboo daikon grater), as opposed to generic metal or plastic grater, the daikon retains a nice crunchy texture while retaining its moisture well. Besides, using onioroshi is kind of like a ritual to me. It’s fun and almost therapeutic to grate daikon with a onioroshi. Don’t forget to add a good amount of thinly-sliced shiso leaves, as it gives a beautiful aroma along with sliced green onions (but if you don’t have shiso, it will still work without it).
Vegan optionSubstitute ikura with chopped blanched okra. Use kombu and shiitake dashi.
- 2 cups (480 ml) kombu and bonito dashi or your choice of dashi
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Japanese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black sesame oil
- 14 oz (400 g) soba noodles
- 4 oz (120 g) ikura (seasoned salmon roe)
- 1 cup (240 ml) grated daikon
- 12 medium shiso leaves, thinly-sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly-sliced crosswise
- To make the dipping sauce, combine the dashi, soy sauce, black vinegar, and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and turn off the heat immediately. Let it cool down completely, and add the sesame oil. Chill in refrigeartor.
- Cook the soba noodles according the package’s cooking instructions. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
- Divide the soba noodles into 4 bowls, arrange the ikura, daikon, shiso and green onions on top of soba. Pour the sauce and enjoy.
Once the sauce is poured, I like to enjoy only the soba with the sauce for the first bite, then gradually mix the toppings with the noodles as I eat.