Cross over into the New Year with a Japanese tradition by eating a piping hot bowl of soba noodle soup called Toshikoshi Soba. This simple Japanese noodle dish will melt away hardship of the past year and welcome the journey ahead!
Gather all the ingredients. [Optional] Soak the kombu in water overnight. If you don’t have time, start soaking the kombu as soon as you can. Bring a big pot of water to a boil for soba noodles.
To Make Homemade Soup Broth
Add the kombu and the water (also known as cold brew kombu dashi) in a medium saucepan. Slowly bring it to a boil over medium-low heat (so kombu dashi will be more flavorful). When it comes to a close boil, discard the kombu (you can make furikake rice seasoning with the leftover kombu).
Add the katsuobushi and simmer for 30 seconds. Then turn off the heat and let katsuobushi sink to the bottom of the saucepan. Let steep for about 10 minutes (meanwhile, you can prepare the toppings).
Drain and reserve the dashi in the measuring cup (or bowl) and discard the katsuobushi (you can make furikake rice seasoning with the leftover katsuobushi). Put the dashi back in the saucepan.
Add the sake, mirin, usukuchi soy sauce (or regular soy sauce), and kosher salt.
Bring it to a simmer. Once boiling, remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
To Prepare Toppings
Rehydrate wakame seaweed in 1 cup water. Then squeeze the water out and set aside.
Thinly slice the green onion.
Detach the bottom of the kamaboko (fish cake) from the wooden board and slice 4 thin pieces.
To Cook Soba Noodles
In a pot of boiling water, cook soba noodles according to the package instruction. Unlike pasta, you do not need to add salt to the water.
Drain the soba noodles and rinse them under cold water to get rid of the starch. Transfer the noodles to individual bowls.
Pour hot soup broth over soba noodles, top with kamaboko, wakame seaweed, and green onions. Sprinkle shichimi togarashi if you like. Enjoy while it’s hot.
To Make the Quick Soba Broth (with concentrated mentsuyu; optional)
Follow your mentsuyu bottle instructions to make the broth.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, mentsuyu (noodle soup base), and mirin and mix well. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. The soba broth is ready to use.