I thought I’d start the new year with a healthy, seasonal recipe. Toshikoshi Soba, or ‘New Year’s Soba’, is a noodle dish which is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, but of course you can eat it at any time. It actually makes a great antidote to all the Christmas scoffing, because it’s a very simple dish. I got this recipe and all of the ingredients from the Japan Centre. If you’d like to see the original recipe, please visit the Japan Centre website.
Toshikoshi Soba (年越しそば)
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1.5l dashi stock
- 200ml soy sauce
- 100ml mirin
- 1tbsp sugar
- 200g soba buckwheat noodles
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 20g tempura flakes
- 150g kamaboko fish cake (optional)
Please note, if you’re living outside of Japan, all of these ingredients should be available in your local Asian food store. If you’re in the UK, I’d highly recommend visiting the Japan Centre or their website.
First, prepare the noodle soup. In a large pan, make your dashi stock. I’ve always been a bit put off by recipes including dashi because I didn’t really know what it was – but then I discovered you can just buy sachets of it! It’s worth noting that dashi usually contains fish (sometimes meat), so it isn’t suitable for vegetarians. however, vegetarian dashi is available, or you could make your own from scratch (something I should try at some point!).
Next, add the mirin and simmer gently for a few minutes.
Now add the sugar and let it dissolve before adding the soy sauce.
This makes the soup for your soba noodles.
In a separate pan, bring 1l of water to the boil. Add the soba, stir them slightly to make sure they’re all spread out around the pot.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 8 minutes.
Drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water, gently rubbing the noodles to remove any excess starch on the surface (sounds weird, but the noodles actually feel really nice when you pick them up!).
Next, thinly slice the spring onions and prepare your other garnishes.
The kamaboko should be pre-cooked when you buy it, so you can simply slice it up.
Gently re-heat the stock and pour into bowls, then add the noodles and garnish with spring onions, tempura flakes and kamaboko (optional).
Enjoy, and don’t forget to slurp!
I’ll be back in February with a new recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch! All the recipes I try on this blog have some connection to Japan and, because I don’t eat meat, they need to be vegetarian or pescetarian. I’m particularly interested in helping to promote Japanese recipe books, so do let me know if you have one I might like!