All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Somen no tomato-iri tsuketsuyu / dipping sauce with tomato for thin wheat noodles

This dipping sauce takes full advantage of the mighty tomato, which is known for its high umami content among vegetables. Many dipping sauces for noodles contain lots of sodium, and leaving more in the sauce cup naturally results in taking less sodium. But since Tom still likes to taste a bit more of the sauce than is good for him, here is a Tom-friendly variation. You can safely have a big taste of what is left in your sobachoko dipping sauce cup after finishing your noodles.

1/3 of recipe:
53 calories; 1.5 g protein; 0.1g fat; 9.6 g carbohydrate; 7.8 g net carbs; 281 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.8 g fiber  

(Serves 3; 80-90 cc per serving)

For dashi stock
200 cc water
Handful katsuobushi (hanakatsuo) bonito flakes (6 g in photo)
1 3-4 cm piece kombu kelp
1/4 dried shiitake mushroom

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
2 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 roma tomato (88 g in photo)


Prepare dashi stock.
Break kombu and dried shiitake into smaller pieces, and place in heat-resistant container.

Add katsuobushi.

Pour boiling water (200 cc water is microwaved until boiling).
Let sit until everything settles to the bottom.


Grate tomato.


In a stove-top safe container or small pot, put mirin and rice vinegar, and bring to boil.


Strain in dashi, add shoyukoji, soy sauce and tomato, and bring to boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 6-7 minutes while skimming white foam that appears on surface. 
Let cool, and refrigerate until use.

  • Keeps for a few days in the fridge.
  • Strong dashi is the key. If using regular dashi you have on hand, add some katsuobushi in a tea bag after dipping sauce is ready, simmer for a while, let cool, and remove katsuobushi bag.
  • The taste of this dipping sauce largely depends on the tomato. A very ripe roma tomato seems to work best. Sweet cherry tomatoes are also a good choice.
  • Among condiments often served with somen noodles, grated ginger pairs especially well with this dipping sauce.  
  • This is also good for udon thick wheat noodles.
  • If shoyukoji is not available, use soy sauce. If using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce, sodium content would be 1,014 mg (whole recipe) and 338 mg (1/3 recipe).
  • When made with regular soy sauce and shoyukoji made with regular soy sauce, sodium content would be 1,609 mg (whole recipe) and 536 mg (1/3 recipe). When made with regular soy sauce only, the figures would be 1,954mg and 651mg, respectively.
  • Whole recipe above: 160 calories; 4.4 g protein; 0.3 g fat; 28.7 g carbohydrate; 23.3 g net carbs; 843 mg sodium (when made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji based on 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 5.4 g fiber

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