After a cold rainy (stormy) Spring, the 80 degree summer suddenly descended upon us here in Salt Lake City like the roof of a tanning bed. I find that in Utah, the heat comes directly from the Sun. Is it altitude? Whatever it is, the Sun is absolutely brutal. Even by the pool side, sitting in the water is absolutely crucial. Without irrigation, Utah would definitely be a desert scorched by the Sun.
I realized that Summer had arrived in full blast after attending the annual Gay Pride event — supposedly the 3rd largest Gay Pride parade in the US — last weekend. It was so hot that all we could manage to do was sit in the shade, and walk back to the car after watching the Gay Pride Idol contest and buying popcorn.
When I got home, the only thing I could think of was, SOBA. COLD SOBA.
In Japan, during the summer, we eat a number of different cold noodles. Hiyashi Chuka is a type of noodles garnished with delicious veggies. Somen noddles are very thin, almost like hair (thinner than angel hair) and eaten on top of ice with a delicious soy-based soup.
Of all Japanese noodles, my favorite is Zaru Soba. It is cold Soba (buckwheat) noddles simply dipped in cold Soba Tsuyu, or soba soup. The preparation is extremely simple. Boil the soba until it is soft, catch the noodles in a strainer, throw ice on the noddles to make them cold, and dip in soba tsuyu to eat! I often like to add things like chopped green onions or dried seaweed for flavor. I also like to serve the dish with fried gyoza (pot stickers). Yum!!
In addition to being delicious, Soba noodles have amazing health qualities such as decreasing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, reducing fat, and maintaining a healthy digestion.
It is the perfect summer dish.