3.079 Zaru Soba


24 (Sat) March 2012

Zaru Soba


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Though not one of my personal favorites, zaru soba may become part of the steady rotation in our home.  In Korea, where the dish is so popular that it can be found in any Japanese restaurant and in specialty restaurants that aren’t ostensibly Japanese, it’s often referred to as “memil (메밀) (buckwheat) guksu (국수) (noodles).”  W has always loved it.  And recently, DJ has declared this chilled buckwheat noodle dish to be one of his all-time favorites, which now seems obvious in light of his affinity for mul naeng myeon.  It’s cheap to buy, easy to make, and healthy to eat.

This attempt was moderately successful.  While supermarkets here often carry both imported soba and domestically produced memil guksu, I went with the E-Mart brand because it was cheap.  Unfortunately, it tasted cheap.  Even the color was sickly pale, probably a sign of low buckwheat content.  I’ll need to sample additional brands before determining the ideal cost:quality ratio.  Some supermarkets also offer the noodles packaged together with a serving of dipping sauce or sell dipping sauce separately in a jar, but I improvised with a mixture of stuff that I had on hand, including sukiyaki sauce, ponzu sauce, sugar, and water.  Close enough.  The preparation of wasabi, daikon radish, scallions, and laver was simple and straightforward. Overall, not too shabby – at least the wife and kid enjoyed it.

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