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


Seri soba / buckwheat noodles with water dropwort

The refreshing leaves and crispy stems of seri water dropwort, the subtle softness of enoki mushrooms, and the juicy soup released by usuage ... all perfectly match the deep earthiness of soba noodles in broth.
This is what we enjoyed as our toshikoshi soba [year-end buckwheat noodles] on December 31 last year.

With 125 g dried soba noodles per serving
522 calories (1/2 of recipe); 24.0 g protein; 6.7 g fat; 90.8 g carbohydrate; 84.2 g net carbs; 536 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 6.6 g fiber

With 100 g dried soba noodles per serving
436 calories (1/2 of recipe); 20.5 g protein; 6.1 g fat; 74.1 g carbohydrate; 68.4 g net carbs; 515 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 5.7 g fiber

200-250 g dried soba buckwheat noodles

1 large or 2 small usuage thin deep-fried tofu
70-80 g enoki mushrooms (75 g in photo)
Large handful seri water dropwort (65 g in photo)

For noodle soup
1000 cc kobudashi (1000 cc water with 2-3 pieces of kombu kelp soaked for 1+ hour)
30-35 g sababushi mackerel flakes + katsuobushi bonito flakes mixture (30 g in photo)
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tbsp regular soy sauce (50% reduced-sodium)

Dash of shichimi pepper (not in photo)


First prepare stock for soup.
Place kobudashi in pot, and bring to boil.
(If no kobudashi is at hand, put cold water and kombu kelp, soak as long as time allows, then bring to boil on low heat.)

Remove kombu before water boils.
Add sababushi + katsuobushi mixture, and simmer on medium low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Remove white foam that appears on surface from time to time. 
Strain, and obtain 800 cc (add water or regular dashi to obtain 800 cc as necessary; save any excess for other use).


Meanwhile, put sake and mirin in another pot, and bring to boil.

Add usukuchi soy sauce and regular soy sauce, and heat until almost boiling. 
Remove from heat.

Pour dashi.
Soup is basically ready.


Boil usuage to eliminate excess oil, squeeze out excess oil and water, and thinly slice.
Cut off root end of enoki mushrooms, and gently break up into thinner bundles.
Chop seri.


Cook soba noodles as directed on package.

When done, drain, soak in cold water, rub between hands, rinse well for a slippery surface, and drain.
(Have another pot of hot water ready to heat noodles again.)


While cooking soba noodles, bring soup to boil, add usuage, cover, and cook for a few minutes.

Add enoki, cover, and cook for another minute.
Turn off heat or keep soup warm.


When ready to assemble, heat soba noodles by soaking them in hot water.

Drain well.
Put soba in individual bowls.


Heat up soup as necessary.
Add seri stems to soup, and heat them through.

Pour goodies and soup over noodles. 
Top with remaining seri leaves and dash of shichimi pepper.

Serve immediately. 

  • Soba soup can be prepared in advance.
  • Because usuage absorbs soup, it may seem like there is not enough soup, especially if soba per serving is more than 100 g (dry weight).
  • Nutrition figures other than sodium are when all ingredients are consumed. Sodium figure is when drinking a few sips of soup and leaving most soup in bowl. The total sodium figure is 1004 mg with 125 g dried soba and 983 mg with 100 g dried soba, both when using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce.
  • Dried soba noodles contain a high amount of salt but about 90% is released into water while boiling.
  • If you like sweeter soup, reduce the amount of sake and use more mirin.
  • Seri soba more commonly features chicken, instead of usuage and enoki, as part of soup and goodies. Cook pieces of chicken in noodle soup and serve as above.

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