Cold Zarusoba on a hot summer day

Have you ever eaten zarusoba? A popular summer noodle dish from Japan, zarusoba is made of fat buckwheat noodles that’s served cold on a zaru, a slotted bamboo dish where the noodles are allowed to drain. The noodles are traditionally dipped in zarusoba tsuyu, a dipping sauce that’s made of dashi (fish broth) and soy sauce.

192 Zarusoba Bento

2 May 2008 • Bento #192

A couple of years ago, I tried to make zarusoba at home and I really didn’t like it. I found it too starchy and generally weird. Until I discovered that you were supposed to WASH the noodles after you cook them! That’s what you get from attempting to cook something when you can’t read what the package says. After that fortunate discovery, I’ve learned to enjoy zarusoba (washed of course!), with both homemade and store-bought tare.

Along with the zarusoba, I also took a century egg then sliced it into wedges. Unfortunately, we were out of spring onions. I absolutely love pairing the two together as the spring onions offers a refreshingly sharp contrast against the pungent preserved egg.

I felt like I needed a helping of something salty (my favorite food flavor is salty / savory) so I added a couple of octodogs to the bento. I know, I could’ve gone with plain hotdogs, but where’s the fun in that? To finish it all off, I added a couple of slices of cucumbers, cut into sakura-shapes. A bento I enjoyed chilled (except for the hotdogs, I reheated that in the microwave for a few seconds), it was a welcome treat on a warm summer day.

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9 Responses to Cold Zarusoba on a hot summer day

  1. Melissa says:

    I love love this bento! I’ve never had zarusoba, but it looks delicious!

    What do you use for your octodog eyes?

  2. Jannie says:

    I think I had something similar when I was in Japan. They were white noodles though, soaked in ice and usually with nore, spring onions and crab meat/shrimp for toppings. And some sauce for it.

    It was refreshing at first but got tired of it eating it all the time during summer time.

  3. Suzanne says:

    The store-bought kind could do with a little helping of grated ginger, in my own humble opinion. We also tried that at home, and I found that the tsuyu is too salty for my taste.

    • kaoko says:

      Maybe it’s the kind of flour used to make the noodles? And I guess yeah, hehehe, eating the same kind of thing everyday can kill the experience 😛

      Oh, my mom would love that. She’s addicted to ginger—we always have to ask for an extra helping for her dashi-based dipping sauces when we eat out. And about the tsuyu, maybe it’s brand dependent as well? Because I remember the one I bought was quite light on the saltiness. Well, either it’s a brand difference or I just like my food saltier ^_^

  4. Inga says:

    I so love how creative you are! How do the eyes stay on? Some sort of edible glue? 😉 I always wonder if your bentos stay intact and pristine until you eat them? Do they survive travel and handling ok?

    I’m such a sucker for sausages with eyes 😀

  5. Leki says:

    You like your food salty? xD Ako lang yata ang pinoy na hindi mahilig mag-lagay ng add-ons sa pagkain, except maybe catsup and garlic powder. Maggie savor/salt/patis/toyo lovers usually don’t like the food I eat or how I cook it. Dati pa naman I was roomies with someone addicted to salty food–nakaready na yung iodized salt and Knorr savor sa kanya sa table setting since I’m the only one who cooks sa condo.

  6. toni says:

    Aaaaahhhh cold soba!!! I love that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I order that a lot in Teriyaki Boy. Haha.

  7. kaoko says:

    I actually “glued” it on with mustard. ^_^;; Usually, the cheese would stick on by itself but I made the mistake of slicing too thickly this time. Thankfully, mustard was there to the rescue. And yes, surprisingly, they were still in place when I unpacked it for lunch.

    I don’t usually add extra salt or condiments but I do like savory food. Nobody has complained yet about my cooking being too salty though so it’s probably just savory rather than too salty. Unless…they were being too polite? *headdesk*

    Do they make good cold soba there? I have to confess, the only thing I order from Teriyaki Boy is their chicken and my most favorite menu item of theirs, the Gyu Saikoro Steak <3 <3 <3 Well, I order a few more things like the occasional chirashi, miso soup, yakitori and tempura, but I seldom stray from those.

    Crap. The mere mention of Gyu Saikoro steak has me craving. Now I wonder whether I should go there for dinner later. Hmmmm...

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