Japanese Salad with Shiso Leaves, Sake, and Soba Noodles

2 cups

Buckwheat noodles, called soba, a Japanese stable, are the backbone of this classic composed salad. It also includes shiso leaves, daikon, sake, and radish sprouts -- plus a flurry of deep-fried tempura crumbs for crunch.


For the dressing:

  • ¾ cup soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sake

  • 4 teaspoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

  • 3 tablespoons dried bonito flakes

For the salad:

  • 11 ounces soba noodles (about 3 bundles)

  • ½ sheet toasted nori, cut into matchsticks (optional)

  • 1 piece (6 inches) daikon radish, peeled, finely grated, and squeezed of excess juice

  • Shiso leaves

  • Radish sprouts

  • Tempura Crumbs


  1. Make the dressing: Cook soy sauce, sake, mirin, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until bubbling, about 4 minutes. Add bonito flakes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Pour through a fine sieve into a small bowl; discard bonito flakes.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook according to package instructions, about 5 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold running water.

  3. Arrange noodles in 4 serving bowls; drizzle each with 1 tablespoon dressing. Arrange nori, radish, shiso leaves, radish sprouts, and tempura crumbs around bowl. Serve with remaining dressing.

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