San Francisco Chronicle

Cold Soba Noodles
september 10, 2013

I've been wanting to make some Asian soup for a while now, so how lucky am I that this recipe ran in last week's paper? Plus, it's a nice hot day outside. I'll cut up some cucumbers, scallions and carrots to serve along side. Should be easy, right?

But there was the issue of the broth.  I sent my husband out to gather ingredients and he found some kombu (which is dried, brown seaweed) but he couldn't find any bonito flakes. So my son and I ventured out a few blocks to Sunset Super, the end-all, be-all of Asian grocery stores. Of course we found bonito flakes, but only after asking the stocker who directed us to a strange looking packet written only in Japanese. As Sunset Super is a Chinese market, none of the checkout workers could confirm that I was actually buying what I thought I was buying. But then the register rang true - "bonito flakes" it said, and we were home free.

--- After dinner follow up:

Shockingly, this dinner was a resounding success. The noodles are very plain, with a brothy dipping sauce, a few scallions, sesame seeds and a plate of raw vegetables to share - which seems a good thing for the under 10 set. Both my kids ate their entire bowl, asked for seconds and told me how much they liked it. "I could eat this again and again," said my curmudgeon son, who rarely likes anything. Yes!

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