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Soba-tsuyu (dipping sauce for cold soba noodles)

Time 25 minutes
Yields Makes about 6 1/2 cups of dipping sauce
Soba-tsuyu (dipping sauce for cold soba noodles)

Hongaeshi (dipping sauce base)

1

Place the sugar and mirin into a pot over medium heat and dissolve the sugar completely. Add the soy sauce and heat until a thermometer inserted reaches 158 degrees, then remove from heat. Cover the pot with a clean cloth (instead of a hard lid). Set aside and cool to room temperature. Store the liquid, covered, in the refrigerator. You can keep the base for a couple of months. This makes about 2 1/2 cups of hongaeshi.

Soba-tsuyu

1

Boil the water and add the dried bonito flakes. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for a minute. Strain the dashi liquid in a fine strainer.

2

Add the hongaeshi to the dashi and then heat it to 158 degrees. Add a dash of mirin and sake, if using. Cool the pot in an ice bath. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Serve on the side with soba.

Adapted from Akila Inouye. Mirin (look for mirin made with just rice, rice spirit and malt) and dried bonito flakes are available at Asian markets.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
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