HIYASHI SOBA & TEMPURA - Daring Cook's Challenge - Feb/2011


The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com

The Daring Cook's Challenge this month was a huge surprise for me. Japanese food. I have always admired the artful skills of Japanese cuisine and how light and healthy it looks. But I was never a huge fan due to one only thing. Japanese food to  me  is  was synonymous to raw fish. I don't enjoy raw fish. This month I had my eyes (and stomach) focused to the other side of this cuisine, now a new world to be explored.

I think the only Japanese dish that  is  was part of my repertoire of recipes is Yakisoba, which I truly enjoy. From now on, there will be many more!

Hiyashi Soba consists of cold buckwheat noodles topped with vegetables, eggs and ham, that is served with a dipping sauce. Tempura are pieces of veggies and seafood coated in a light batter and deep fried to a delicious crunchiness.


2 quarts (2 Liters) water + 1 cup cold water, separate
12 oz (340 g) dried soba (buckwheat) noodles (or any Asian thin noodle)


Cooking the noodles:
Heat 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles a small bundle at a time, stirring gently to separate. When the water returns to a full boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Repeat this twice. When the water returns to a full boil, check the noodles for doneness. You want to cook them until they are firm-tender. Do not overcook them.
Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse well under cold running water until the noodles are cool. This not only stops the cooking process, but also removes the starch from the noodles. This is an essential part of soba noodle making. Once the noodles are cool, drain them and cover them with a damp kitchen towel and set them aside allowing them to cool completely. 

This photo shows a package of Buckwheat Noodles and a bottle of Soba Base Sauce that I used  in my dipping sauce to replace soy sauce, vinegar, salt and sugar



¾ cup 70gm/2½ oz spring onions/green onions/scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (4 ⅔ gm) (0.16 oz) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1/8 gm) (0.005 oz) English mustard powder
1 tablespoon (15 ml) grape-seed oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil (if you can’t find this just omit from recipe.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste - roughly 1/3 a teaspoon of each


Shake all the ingredients together in a covered container. Once the salt has dissolved, add and shake in 2 tablespoons of water and season again if needed.

(for the omelette strips, I followed this RECIPE)

(Recipe adapted from this VIDEO provided for the challenge)

Ingredients for the batter:

1 cup flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1 egg
1 cup ice-cold water (+ ice cubes to keep batter cold)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing briefly with chopsticks.
Do this just before frying.

Heat the oil (160°C/320°F for vegetables ~ 170°C/340°F for seafood).
Start with the vegetables. Sprinkle them with flour and then dip into the batter. Fry until lightly golden. Drain over a wire rack lined with paper towels.

Vegetables and seafood should be very cold. 
I used:


A huge thank you to  Lisa from Blueberry Girl for showing me that Japanese food has so much to offer besides raw fish!

To see all the amazing creations of the other Daring Cooks, visit THE DARING KITCHEN, where you will also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge.


  1. WOW WOW WOW I love the photos and the ingredients are stunning. I amazed how well your final dish worked out so well and lovely that you could use perilla leaves excellent work and very professional photography as usual.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Wow, your tempura looks so delicious! Love all the vegetables you used, and the toppings for the soba. Excellent job on this challenge!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I found soba really easy! Great photos. :)

  4. This looks so delicous. Your photos are amazing I think I need a better camera and a big serve of your talent.

  5. Your soba and tempura came out beautiful! Your plating is gorgeous!

  6. You never cease to amaze me! I had the same reaction to the challenge - I am not a fan of sushi, so that always stopped me from seeing the other amazing Japanese food options. Your photos are fantastic and your soba salad and tempura look so amazingly delicious. Wonderful.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous, Renata! I love the final presentation, but the plates of ingredients look so tempting too. I agree that there's so much more to Japanese food than sushi, and I know I'll be making lots more soba. Just not from scratch.

  8. Everything looks fabulous! I love the way you presented your dish - beautiful photography!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  9. I agree - your photos are beautiful. I also love your dish set - perfect for this food.

  10. Renata, your food looks stunning! And the ingredients pics are sooo amazing! Congrats from Salted Lemons :-)

  11. Renata, that looks AMAZING. Your presentation and photos are so beautiful and your tempura is wonderful, especially the shrimp. That just looks like the best meal ever. :D

  12. Renata, your challenge looks like a huge success! Thanks for the encouragement and for visiting my blog today!

  13. Beautiful job! Your soba and tempura look fantastic!!

  14. I especially enjoyed the photos of your mis en place. Like most Asian dishes, the lions share of work is done during prep. The cooking takes much less than prep. From the photos you can see just how organized a cook you are. Wonderfully excecuted and I bet delicious as well.

  15. Absolutely beautiful post Renata. You clearly have very high standards and are very organised. Your food styling is beautiful, your photographs wonderful and top of all of that, you post in both Portugues and English. You are an inspiration. I would love to eat at your home!

  16. Que fotografias lindas Renata! Um prazer e uma inspiração, como sempre!


  17. Your plates are so beautiful! Great choice of ingredients as well. Good job. They almost look too good to eat! :-)

  18. Renata, your pictures are wonderful. I think a lot of us struggled to make the tempura look appetising, but you nailed it. Yum. :)

  19. Beautiful pictures! Your platter looks wonderful, great job!

  20. Renata, thank you, dear friend, for your kind words!
    BTW, you have been busy while I've been out of action! This looks fabulous!

  21. Lovely lovely arrangement as the Japanese make it! Your attention to detail is admirable. You really show the cuisine and culture of a country with your cooking skill. I too actually hate raw fish for valid reasons but love tempura, soba, mochi and many more! I have to say, I am inclined to think that you are a diplomat cooking for your foreign friends. Cheers!!!

  22. Wow! I wouldn't have thought that this is your first time to make tempura and the soba noodles. You did it perfectly! You must try the sushi tempura. That sushi i made was smoked salmon, or make a vegetarian one. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

  23. That's really amazing tableware! Congratulations on such a beautiful creation. Thanks for sharing and commenting!

  24. Your first time? Bravo, lovely job, deliciously done.

  25. I was just telling Lis how much I love your blog and your incredible creativity. This again proves it. Your tempura is gorgeous, your soba is making my mouth water, and the photos, especially the closeup of the dipping sauce with those lovely chopsticks and holder, is enough to make me consider buying a plane ticket and parking myself in your kitchen for a few day!! lol

  26. Excellent presentation, bits and pieces that comes together as one wonderful unity... and mouthwatering treat :-)

  27. That looks so good! Great job.

    I've answered your question regarding Rösti recipes (comment section)...




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