Old recipes aren’t always the best, but there is an emotional quality to them that can’t be found anywhere else. They bring us closer to the past and allow us to relive special memories. Granted, just because you have grandma’s recipe, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to make it “just like grandma used to make”. In fact, a popular conspiracy theory on our end is that recipes from grandmas often “accidentally” omit some minor detail so that you can never get it quite right! Regardless, we enjoy re-discovering old recipes, especially ones dear to our hearts.
The original recipe for cold noodles (shown above from mom’s recipe book) comes from my grandma. This dish was a summertime favourite growing up. Especially in the pre-air conditioning days. They can be made in advance, and they require minimal stove/oven time (read: heating up an already hot kitchen). Growing up, we would typically have the sauce with cold somen (super skinny noodles). We would always serve it in a tall water glass: piled high with noodles and topped simply with green onions and sauce. Here, we used buckwheat noodles (soba) and got a little fancier with our toppings and presentation. Either way, cold noodles are a perfect meal on a hot day – and we’ve had plenty of those lately! If you’ve never had them before, we definitely recommend you give either version a try.
Below is our take on my grandma’s cold noodle sauce. The main reason for the adjustment was to make the sauce less salty – more of a cold soup than the traditional, saltier dipping sauce style. This gives some flexibility to add saltier toppings like pickles, without going overboard on our daily sodium intake. It also means that we can drink the broth without feeling too bad afterwards.
- 3 cups ichiban dashi (primary dashi)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 to 4 tbsp soy
- Noodles (somen or soba)
- Dissolve sugar and soy in dashi.
- Refrigerate and serve with cold noodles.
- Toppings: anything goes! But note that depending on the toppings you choose, you will likely want to adjust the sauce with a little more or less soy.