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Yamagata-dashi Style Soba Salad

Yamagata Prefecture’s specialty dashi, unrelated to the stock of the same name, consists of finely chopped, marinated raw vegetables which include potherbs, myoga ginger and shiso. This recipe substitutes a variety of herbs, and the tomato extract may be used as vegetarian stock instead of katsuobushi dried bonito dashi stock.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • Salt
  • Japanese eggplant, trimmed, 100 g / 3.5 oz.
  • Japanese cucumber, trimmed, 100 g / 3.5 oz.
  • 1/4 red onion, 30-35 g / 1-1.2 oz.
  • 4 okra, 40 g / 1.4 oz.
  • 1 green onion, 10 g / 0.4 oz.
  • Red bell pepper, 25-30 g / 0.9-1 oz.
  • Roughly minced herbs, such as dill, Italian parsley, thyme, coriander
  • Dried soba noodles, about 100-120 g / 4 oz.
  • Wasabi paste to taste (optional)*1
  • 4 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 T tomato extract
  • 2 T canola oil or any preferred cooking oil
Tomato extract
  • Ripe tomatoes, total 350-400 g / 3/4 -1 lb.
  • Salt 1/4 t
  1. 1Remove tomato stems; cut into chunks, add salt and puree in food processor.
  2. 2Strain puree overnight or a half-day in refrigerator, using dampened paper coffee filter (see photo). Change filter as needed; squeeze gently to extract juice.
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    Dissolve 2 t of salt in a large bowl containing 4 1/4 C of water. Reserve 1 C of this salted water in a smaller bowl.

  2. 2

    Cut the eggplant and cucumber into 5 mm / 0.2 in. cubes. As they are cut, place them into the large bowl of salted water to soak at least 30 minutes. Cut red onion into 3 mm / 0.1 in. cubes, then place into the smaller bowl of salted water.

  3. 3

    Parboil the okra in lightly salted water; plunge into cold water, drain and cut in half lengthwise. Dice okra, green onion and red bell pepper into 3-4 mm / 0.2 in. pieces. Drain the eggplant, cucumber and red onion, and squeeze out excess water.

  4. 4

    In a bowl, place all the vegetables together with about 1-2 T of the minced herbs. Reserve some herbs for garnish.

  5. 5

    Combine all dressing ingredients; add about 3 T (more to taste) to the vegetables. Marinate in refrigerator for at least a half-day; vegetables will keep 2-3 days in refrigerator.

  6. 6

    Mix 2 T dressing and 4 T tomato extract.

  7. 7

    To serve, prepare soba following package directions. Serve noodles cold, and sprinkle the mixture of dressing and tomato extract. Top with marinated vegetables and garnish with herbs.

  1. *1A dab of wasabi may be added to individual plates, or mixed into the sauce.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

Vol. 30

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