Hot weather reminds of Mr. Baseball. You know, that 1992 Tom Selleck movie where a white American moves to Japan and learns the ways of the people. While at the same time, saving the baseball team from being destroyed. It’s kind of like The Last Samurai but with baseballs, comedy, and a whole lot of mustache. There’s one scene in the film that has Tom Selleck’s character eating cold noodles with his Japanese love interest and her family. They where eating Zaru Soba, or Udon, but none the less it seemed like the family, and Tom Selleck, where wonderfully cooled and refreshed during that meal. If you’ve never heard or had Zaru noodles, go and watch Mr. Baseball and feel the icy coolness just consume you. Or warm hotness if you’re into Tom Selleck’s mustache.
My brother and cousin introduced me to this dish. Both made it for me after their studies in Japan. I was completely sold on it. Not only was it easier than Kraft Mac and Cheese for after school meals, but it was also healthier. Because, you know-as a 9 year old, I was really concerned with my health. It was simple because you could buy the bottle, cook some noodles, cut some scallions and then you had a great meal. I would make it almost every day when it got really hot outside.
I’ve been trying to challenge myself in my culinary adventures. Also the heat has made me really nostalgic for cold dishes because, well, I hate heat and humidity. So, I’ve been really excited to eat this dish. I went to the local Asian store and grabbed a bottle of the zaru udon/soba dipping sauce. I read the ingredients and was like “Hey! I can make that!” So I bought what was listed on the ingredients and went home to try to make the sauce.
It’s easy and requires no oil. It’s also quick to cook. The wait is a somewhat painful though. Because it’s meant as a cold dish, the cooling time to get the dipping sauce to ice cold takes a while. Unless you have access to the Iron Chef America Kitchen Stadium or have a blast chiller at home, then I would give the sauce some time to cook. You can actually make it in advanced and it will keep for 4-5 days.
There are a lot of ingredient descriptions and notes. Click on the ingredients to be directed to the “things to know” section to learn more info about it.
This is perfect for the random heat wave that is hitting the world. Icy cold noodles in icy cold dipping sauce for icy cold goodness [and Tom Selleck].
6 1 inch pieces dried kombu
4 cups water
1 tsp hon dashi
1 tsp mirin
4 tsp soy sauce
¼ cup katsuoboshi
1 tsp rice vinegar
4 servings dried udon noodles
1 tsp grated ginger
4 tsp grated daikon, optional
4 tsp minced scallion
chopped toasted nori, optional
combine the first seven ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to simmer on medium heat for 15 – 30 minutes.
remove broth from heat and chill completely for 2 hours
boil a large pot of water for noodles
cook noodles according to package instructions and blanch in ice cold water
strain broth to remove bonito flakes and kombu and discard
serve broth in small container beside strained noodles.
provide ¼ tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp of daikon and scallion, and some wasabi on side to allow person to add as much or little as they like.