You don’t need to wait until New Year’s Eve to make this delicious toshikoshi soba recipe. This dish is extremely easy to make with just a simple and wonderful umami broth and nutty soba noodles. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds and chopped green onion for a bit of colour and crunch and you’ve got a lip-smacking, steaming bowl of soba noodle soup.
Soba is fast becoming one of my favourite types of noodle. At the beginning I wasn’t quite sold. If you’re just used to eating pasta in its Italian form then the nutty flavour of buckwheat soba is a little odd to begin with. Even more so if your first taste of soba is in a cold preparation, which is often the case.
However, after learning how versatile soba is, I quickly became a convert. Soba can be prepared hot in a soup or broth, or cold with any number of sauces and dressings, like this sesame-ginger soba.
I’ve realized how easy it is to amp up the nutritional value of whatever soup I happen to be making by boiling up a bundle or two of soba noodles and adding them, along with a selection of veggies, to something like this colourful kabocha squash soup, for example.
This particular recipe for toshikoshi soba is traditionally eaten in Japan on New Year’s Eve, just before midnight. I’ve seen many versions of this recipe, each with a different variety of garnishes and accompaniments. I’ve decided to keep my toshikoshi soba super simple and vegan with just a sprinkling of green onion and sesame seeds.
The broth is everything, and this soup by itself doesn’t need much in the way of garnishes, in my opinion. It’s truly one of the most delicious broths I’ve ever tasted. Mirin is a key ingredient and I wouldn’t recommend substituting it for anything else, it just won’t be the same, so definitely search it out and get the good stuff.
One thing’s for sure, I definitely won’t be waiting a full year to make this toshikoshi soba recipe again!
- 6 cups (1.5 liters) water
- 1 large piece of kombu / kelp (about 15 – 18 grams / 0.5 – 0.6 oz)
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 300 grams (10.5 oz) soba noodles
- ¾ cup (175 ml) soy sauce
- ½ cup (120 ml) mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- 2 green onions, sliced (optional)
- The night before place the water, kombu and shiitakes in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to prepare the soup.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the soba noodles. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse well under cold water, rubbing them gently to remove the starch. Drain again and set aside.
- Remove the kombu and shiitakes from the water and bring the stock to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Divide the soba into four bowls and ladle over the hot broth. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.
Adapted from Japan Centre
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2699mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 9g