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Vegan Zaru Soba ( Cold Soba Noodles)

It’s unbearable hot and you don’t have much appetite for food? You need to try this light and refreshing Vegan Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles). It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up this ultimate cold noodle salad to cool you down on a hot summer day.

vegan cold soba noodles

This is a classic summer noodle dish originated in Japan and widely spread throughout Asia. These chilled soba noodles are traditionally served on a bamboo mat with grated daikon radish and wasabi, then garnished with shredded nori seaweed and sliced scallion.

Here are some vegan Japanese noodle dishes you probably would like too: Vegan yaki soba, Vegan Yaki Udon, Asian Soba Noodle Salad.

What is Zaru Soba?

cold vegan-zaru-soba-noodles

Zaru soba is a Japanese soba noodle dish. Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles) simply boiled and chilled in icy water then served over a bamboo strainer. Topped with shredded nori seaweed and scallion. When eating, dip chilled soba noodles in a soy based dipping sauce called ” Tsuyu Sauce (つゆ)” (usually made with bonito Dashi) . Then add some freshly grated daikon radish and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) to the sauce before serving.

Zaru Soba is one of the most delicious ways to eat buckwheat noodles, so simple and quick to make. We’re planning to use kombu tsuyu for our vegan soba dipping sauce (vegan tsuyu sauce), to make it a complete vegan dish.

Soba (Buckwheat Noodles)

There are different types of dried soba noodles. The major differences are the ratio of buckwheat flour in the noodles and flavors. 

The majority of dried soba noodles on the market are mixed with wheat flour. If you are on a gluten-free diet, you will need to choose Ju-wari Soba. It’s made with 100% buckwheat flour without wheat gluten, thus it’s easy to break after cooking.

In terms of flavors, there are a wide selection of flavored soba such as matcha green tea, ume plum, coconut, or shiitake soba…etc. It’s totally personal preference.

ingredients for vegan zaru soba
Ingredient list for Vegan Zaru Soba
  • Freshly Grated Daikon Radish- you can omit this one if you can’t find it in your local shops.
  • Wasabi- Wasabi is grated Japanese horseradish, a common ingredient for sushi. It is pungent and spicy. This ingredient can be optional if you don’t like wasabi.
  • Nori Seaweed- This is a must-have, as it gives our soba noodles so much flavor. I use sushi nori and shred it with a scissor. It’s cheaper than buying shredded nori.
  • Scallion/spring onion and Toasted white sesame seeds- They’re must-haves.

Vegan Tsuyu (vegan soba sauce)

Vegan Tsuyu (vegan soba sauce) can be made ahead and keep in the fridge up for a week. For our vegan soba sauce, we need:

  • Kombu Tsuyu– or Shiitake Tsuyu, They’re two basic Japanese soup bases, both work great with this recipe. You can find them in most Asian markets (Japanese food section).
  • Soy Sauce- I use LKK gluten-free light soy sauce. You can choose Japanese soy sauce too. A big no no to dark or sweet soy sauce.
  • Mirin- Mirin is a Japanese sweet wine. It’s a pantry staple in many Japanese kitchens.
  • Maple Syrup- give the dipping sauce a touch of sweetness.

How to Make

how to make vegan zaru soba noodles
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (no salt required). Separate the dried soba noodles when dropping them into the boiling water. Stir the noodles while cooking so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Check to see if they’re cooked. Drain the water with a strainer and place the noodles under cold running water to remove excessive starch. Then transfer into a bowl with icy water for a minute to cool down
  3. To make the vegan soba dipping sauce. Add water, kombu tsuyu, soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Place the noodles on a bamboo mat (optional) over a plate, topped with shredded nori seaweed, sliced scallion, and toasted sesame seeds. Add grated daikon radish, Wasabi (optional) to the vegan soba sauce. Serve the dipping sauce in the small bowl then pick up soba noodles, dip them in the dipping sauce briefly every time, and slurp up. 😉
cold soba noodles in soba dipping sauce
The dipping sauce is salty, so don’t soak the noodles in the sauce.
how to eat soba noodles
If you like icy cold noodles, best to keep the sauce and noodles in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.

Hope you like this hot summer life saver! 😊 

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vegan cold soba noodles

Vegan Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)

Vegan Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles) takes less than 10 minutes to whip up. Ultimate cold noodle salad to cool you down on a hot summer day.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 349kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

Vegan Zaru Soba Sauce

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil (no salt required). Separate the dried soba noodles when dropping them into the boiling water. Stir the noodles while cooking so that they don’t stick together.
  • Check to see if they’re cooked. Drain the water with a strainer and place the noodles under cold running water to remove excessive starch. Then transfer into a bowl with icy water for a minute to cool down.
  • To make the vegan soba dipping sauce. Add water, kombu tsuyu, soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Place the noodles on a bamboo mat (optional) over a plate, topped with shredded nori seaweed, sliced scallion, and toasted sesame seeds. Add grated daikon radish, Wasabi (optional) to the vegan soba sauce. Serve the dipping sauce in the small bowl then pick up soba noodles, dip them in the dipping sauce briefly every time, and slurp up. 😉 (Note4)

Notes

*Note1– The majority of dried soba noodles on the market are mixed with wheat flour. If you are on a gluten-free diet, you will need to choose Ju-wari Soba. It’s made with 100% buckwheat flour without wheat gluten, thus it’s easy to break after cooking. Always check the ingredient labels before purchasing.
*Note2– This is a must-have, as it gives our soba noodles so much flavor. I use sushi nori and shred it with a scissor. It’s cheaper than buying shredded nori.
*Note3- Wasabi is grated Japanese horseradish, a common ingredient for sushi. It is pungent and spicy. This ingredient can be optional if you don’t like wasabi.
*Note4- Vegan Tsuyu (vegan soba sauce) can be made ahead and keep in the fridge up for a week. If you like icy cold noodles, best to keep the sauce and noodles in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 2028mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg

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