The home chef: Breakfast Soba recipe

In the first of a new series featuring recipes from talented home foodies, we start with a contribution from David Taylor, the Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique for the NSW Local Bailliage of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Australia, an organisation that celebrates both the art of cuisine and culture of the table. When David’s head is not buried in a cookbook, or brewing his own home beer, he is taking that inspiration and conjuring up dishes like the one he is sharing with us. Similarly, if you have a recipe that you feel deserves a wider audience, drop us a line for consideration at

Breakfast Soba / Hiyashi soba by David Taylor

This is one of our favourite breakfasts in Japan and one we enjoy on summer mornings here in Sydney. It’s a Tokyo favourite – savoury, but at the same time refreshing. It always reminds me of very traditional Japanese restaurants in Tokyo with a rustic feel and a very welcoming atmosphere.

Using a soft boiled egg is a slight variation from tradition, which usually consists of tempura vegetables, fish or prawns, though personally making tempura before I’ve had coffee or breakfast is a bit much for me!

All of the ingredients below should be available from most bigger supermarkets in Australia, though if you can find a local Japanese grocery store near you, you’ll have a lot more options and often better quality.

            Soba and accompaniments
                        1 large egg
                        ½ medium spring onion
                        ½ tsp wasabi paste
                        1 tbsp shredded nori sheet
                        1 bundle of dry soba noodles
            Dipping Sauce
                        150ml light Japanese soy sauce
                        30ml Mirin
                        10g sugar
                        10g dashi powder and 150ml of water or 150ml dashi stock

Finely slice the spring onion at an angle, using only the white and light green parts, throw the top half away or use for Asian stocks.

Take a sheet of nori, cut in half lengthwise. Then use a sharp knife to shred it into thin strips.

To make the sauce simply mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.

Soft Boiled Egg:
Soft boil the egg by placing it in water at a rolling boil for 6½ minutes, then remove and place in iced water for about 5 minutes before peeling. Remember to put a small hole in the larger end before boiling or the egg may crack.

Cold Soba Noodles:
Most dry soba noodles come in little bundles that are a single serve. Use a saucepan large enough to easily accommodate the amount of soba you want to make, fill it with a generous amount of water and bring to a rolling boil.

Remove anything used to tie the bundles of soba and place the noodles in the saucepan for about 5 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged as soon as possible.

When they have softened and increased in thickness, remove the noodles with tongs and place in a sieve. Don’t waste the water we will use that in a moment. Now rinse the noodles with cold water to remove any starch and to chill them slightly. Once that is done, leave them in the sieve for a couple of minutes to drain.

Serving and Eating:
To serve you will need a medium-sized plate or low bowl, a small soup bowl and a jug if you prefer not to use the saucepan for keeping the soba water (Soba yu).

On the plate or low bowl, put one serve of the soba noodles and top with a soft-boiled egg cut in half and then garnish with a little shredded nori.

Next place 2–3 tablespoons of the sauce into the small soup bowl and add the same amount of water. Then add a little shredded spring onion and wasabi paste to taste, then mix with chopsticks.

Now eat the noodles with the dipping sauce. When done, add some soba water and more spring onions to the bowl and drink as a light soup.

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