For the Dipping Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, add the sake and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
- Add soy sauce and mirin, mix well then add the kombu and katsuobushi
- Bring the sauce to a boil and continue to cook over a low heat for another 5 mins before removing from the heat, straining the sauce and setting aside.
For the Soba Noodles
- In a large pot, boil enough water to cook the soba noodles. When the water reaches a boil, add in the noodles and cook till done. Ensure the noodles don’t stick together and aren’t overcooked.
- While the noodles cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the noodles when they’re done.
- Using a sieve, drain the soba noodles and rinse the noodles under cold running water to get rid of the extra starch.
- Transfer the noodles in to the iced water and set aside till the noodles are cool and ready to eat.
- Make ready the hegi, or a flat bamboo sieve. Take a few strands of the noodles at a time. Loop the strands onto the sieve to make a nice little bundle. This is one portion. Allow for about 10-12 portions or so per person.
- Arrange each bundle separately, to allow for easy pickup with chopsticks.
- Serve directly on the hegi, or place a plate under the bamboo sieve to catch any drips. Put soba noodles and garnish with shredded nori sheet on top.
- Put one part of cooled dipping sauce and 2-3 parts of iced water in a serving pitcher or small individual bowls.
To Eat Soba Noodles
- First fill out a dipping bowl with diluted tsuyu, and add green onions and/or wasabi (optional). Then pick up a bundle of soba noodles at a time, dip in the tsuyu briefly, and slurp the noodles up. The dipping sauce is very salty, so don’t soak the noodles in the sauce for a long time.