This is one of our favorites- healthy light meal that is pretty quick to prepare. It pairs well with high fat or heavy foods like tempura. I learned how to bundle the soba noodles from my Japanese host mom- it's not as easy as it looks!
The easiest way to make dashi (Japanese soup stock) is to let konbu (kelp) and katsuokushi (fish flakes) sit in water overnight. See the JustHungry blog for details, the Cold Water Method.
Soba Dipping Sauce
Mix over low heat until dissolved:
1/3 C soy sauce
1 TB sugar
Then add 3 C dashi (see JustHungry blog for recipes & instructions)
Heat to a slight simmer
Cool in fridge if you want cold dipping sauce for the cold noodles.
Meanwhile, prepare soba noodles according to the package directions. Mine cooked for 6 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water, then add the noodles and cold water to a large pot (I re-use the pot I cooked them in) and swish until the noodles are cold. This may take a change of water to cool them down.
In order to form the soba noodles into nice little bundles, do NOT strain the water from the noodles!
The easiest method is to grab a chunk of noodles in the water between your thumb and forefinger. Then swish the noodles until they are somewhat untangled.
Pull this untangled group of strands out of the water with the middle of the strands on your forefinger. Use your other had to wrap both ends around your finger, forming a loose O shape.
Place soba rings on a plate or a soba draining basket and serve with bowls of the dipping sauce.