Cold Soba Noodles with Mentsuyu

A sunny day makes everything fine.  Along with yakitori tonight, I made these clean and simple soba noodles. 

This served about 6 as a side.
8 oz dried buckwheat soba noodles
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 scallions, very thinly sliced
nori seaweed
toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups mentsuyu

For the Mentsuyu:
Two 4" pieces of kombu (dried kelp)
1 1/4 cups soy sauce
1 cup mirin
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 oz bonito flakes / Katsubushi

Rinse the kombu under cold water for about 15 seconds just to remove excess saltiness.  In a large saucepan, put the kombu in 3 1/2 cups of hot water.  Cover and leave for about an hour.
Then add the soy sauce, miring and sugar to the water and kombu and bring just to a boil over medium high heat. 
Add the katsubushi and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit until all the flake have sunk to the bottom.
Strain the sauce into a bottle or jar and let cool, then store in the refrigerator.

For the noodles:
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add the soba noodles.  Stir to make sure the noodles don't stick together.  When the water comes to a boil, add a cup of cold water and bring back to a boil.    Cook according to package directions.
Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles from continuing to cook.  Drain thoroughly.  
In each bowl place some noodles, and add the grated carrots.  Gently pour some mentsuyu around the edge of each bowl.  Garnish with sesame seeds, nori and sliced scallions.

On a side note, this episode of No Reservations is a must see.  I just happened to be watching it while making dinner tonight and coincidentally, it's an episode from Japan.


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