Japanese Soba Noodles (Zaru Soba) with Tempura
CourseMain Course, Side Dish
Main IngredientSeafood, Vegetables, Pasta & Noodles
- 2 ounces Japanese dried fish flakes, Kezuri-bushi
- 1 cup San-J Tamari Soy Sauce
- 1 cup mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 cups water
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 cups cold water, this must be very cold
- 1 extra-large egg, beaten
- 8 jumbo prawns, deveined, heads and shell removed, tails intact
- vegetables of your choice, see note below
- vegetable oil for frying
- 14 ounces dried soba noodles
- 4 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 tsp wasabi paste, optional
- Combine the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Whisk gently over medium heat until the sauce boils. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook on medium-low for another 3 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth or paper towel. Place the sauce in a sealable container and refrigerate to chill.
- Place the sifted flour in a chilled, medium mixing bowl. Combine the cold water and egg, then pour over the flour. Stir just until combined. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not whisk until smooth!
- Pour the vegetable oil into a deep fryer or wok to a depth of 2 inches. Heat on high heat until the oil reaches 350°F when tested with a thermometer.
- Using an oven mitt or protective glove, dip a few of the prawns into the batter and place them into the hot oil. Add only a few pieces at a time to maintain temperature and avoid overcrowding.
- As the prawns turn golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place the cooked prawns on a warm platter and keep warm.
- Prepare the vegetable tempura in the same manner by dipping vegetables into the batter and deep frying in small batches. Most vegetables will be cooked tender-crisp within 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the type of vegetables you choose and the size of each piece of tempura. Remove the cooked tempura vegetables with a slotted spoon, drain, and keep warm with the prawns.
- Prepare the soba noodles as directed, cooking al dente according to the package instructions (about 5 minutes in boiling water). Drain and cool under cold running water.
- To assemble, prepare 4 small, individual serving plates. Divide the cold noodles evenly among the plates. Sprinkle the noodles with the spring onions. Place the optional wasabi in a small bowl.
- On 4 additional small plates, divide the tempura prawns and vegetables among. In 4 small bowls, divide the chilled dipping sauce.
- Provide chopsticks for each diner. Using the chopsticks, each diner may mix some wasabi in their dipping sauce for spiciness, as desired. Use chopsticks to dip the noodles and/or tempura in the dipping sauce.