My Moms Easy Soba Broth & Kakiage (Vegetable, Shrimp) Tempura Soba
It’s been one of those (two and a half) weeks for us at home. Two weeks ago Bebe was ill with bronchitis and last week, yours truly caught the dreaded illness from Bebe. It’s probably not the kind of blog post you want to continue to read when the opener includes “bronchitis”, but that’s just how real life is sometimes.
I’m finally functional and regaining my energy but Bebe and I are both still coughing. Not fun.
I haven’t had the energy to cook for about a week and a half, so I thought it would be a good time to catch-up on some recipe posts that I haven’t gotten around to since I have nothing new to share.
My Mom’s soba broth recipe is semi-homemade, but I also think it’s realistic considering most folks won’t spend time making dashi broth from scratch (recipe here) on a weeknight, probably more so if there are two working parents. My Mom only worked part-time when we were growing-up, yet still, the time constraints of running a home with kids, and carpooling my brother with his numerous extra-curricular activities, often left us with very simple and quick dinners. I don’t have any complaints though. Our meals were still healthful, tasty, and (semi) homemade.
I often serve my Mom’s soba broth recipe with frozen or dried buckwheat (soba) noodles that I buy at the Japanese market. It’s a good go-to meal as long as the freezer and pantry are well-stocked. The soba noodle combinations are unlimited.
One of my favorites is kakiage soba. Kakiage is a mixed vegetable (julienned carrots, onion, green beans, gobo/burdock root) and shrimp tempura “pancake”. My recipe and post regarding homemade kakiage tempura may be found here. I made this short-cut kakiage tempura to celebrate New Year’s Eve last month.
It’s a Japanese tradition to eat soba noodles at midnight on New Year’s Eve for good luck and is called “toshi koshi soba” which literally translates to something along the lines of: “end of the year soba for passing into the new year”.
The version of kakiage tempura soba I share today is super easy because 1) I used pre-made, ready-to-eat kakiage tempura that I purchased from the deli section of one of my favorite Japanese supermarkets, and 2) my Mom’s soba broth recipe is “semi-home” and uses made dried bonito stock and seasoned soy sauce or dashi shoyu.
The two “secret” pantry items that my Mom uses to make this broth are Hondashi brand (or other dry dashi bonito stock broth) and Kamada brand dashi shoyu (seasoned soy sauce). Both are pictured below for reference.
- 8 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Hondashi brand, Dried Bonito Soup Stock
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Kamada Dashi Shoyu (seasoned soy sauce), to taste
- 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking sake)
- 4 to 5 tablespoon soy sauce, to taste
- For Noodles & Toppings:
- - Homemade or pre-made kakiage (vegetable and shrimp tempura)
- - Sliced kamaboko (Japanese fish cake)
- - 3 individual portion sizes of frozen buckwheat soba noodles
- - Cooked spinach, optional
- - Shichimi togarashi (7-spice Japanese chili flakes), optional
- - Chopped green onions for garnish, optional
- In a medium stock pot, bring 8 cups water to boil.
- Add Hondashi brand powder dashi stock, dashi shoyu (seasoned soy sauce), mirin and soy sauce. Add or reduce soy sauce according to taste. (Note: soba broth tends to be bolder with deeper soy sauce flavor.)
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a separate pot, bring water to boil and cook frozen soba for 2 to 3 minutes until tender, but al dente. Drain.
- Cut kakiage tempura "pancake" into quarters or serve whole.
- Place soba broth in deep serving bowl, add soba noodles. Top with kakiage tempura, sliced fish cake, green onions and togarashi (chili flakes). Optional: add cooked spinach.