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Japanese Soba Noodles (Zaru Soba) with Tempura


Special Diet


Main Course, Side Dish

Main Ingredient

Seafood, Vegetables, Pasta & Noodles


Authentic Japanese


Dipping Sauce

  • 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


Dipping Sauce

  • 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.
Tip: Prepare enough vegetables to serve 6 to 8 pieces per person. Use sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus (trimmed), whole green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash and/or Asian eggplant – cut into ¼-inch thick slices or florets. 
Tip: While frying, maintain the proper temperature of 350ºF and remove any extra batter that accumulates in the oil.
Tip: Check the first piece of vegetable tempura by removing it from the oil and cutting it open to determine whether it is cooked as desired. If not fully cooked, increase the frying time for the remainder of the vegetables, testing occasionally as the tempura fries.
Check out more Tamari Soy Sauce main course recipes.

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