Zaru soba with tempeh! (Buckwheat noodles with cold dip sauce and tempeh – vegan, high carb, low fat, whole foods, plant based, low fodmaps)


This cold noodle dish from Japan is just wonderful! And even better – if you have IBS you can keep it low in FODMAPs!

Basically I boil some soba noodles from 100% buckwheat (no added fat or wheat), rinse it in cold water until cold, and then I fill the bottom of a deep plate with a cold dip sauce made of kombu dashi, tamari, sugar and mirin – and then I add any ingredients to it. 

In this case I added tempeh marinated in the same dip sauce + maple syrup, and I added nori seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, raw broccoli, raw scallions (only green part for you fodmappers!), grated ginger or pickled ginger sticks, the zest of a lemon.

You make the cold dip sauce by making kombu dashi (see recipe in an earlier post, or below) and cook the dashi for a minute without the kombu (kelp seaweed) together with an intensive sauce you make in another pan. The intensive sauce is made by cooking tamari and mirin with sugar until the sugar crystals is absorbed. By combining about half the dashi with half the intensively salt and sweet tamari sauce you get the zaru dipping sauce. You need to put it aside until cool before you eat it together with the cold soba noodles.


Zaru Soba with tempeh

Cold dip sauce

2.5 dl tamari

0.5 dl mirin

0.5 dl sugar

5-7 dl kombu dashi (kelp seaweed, water, maybe nutritional yeast)

1. Make the dashi by slowly bringing 1 litre of water to a boil with 5×2 cm kombu seaweed (kelp). It doesn´t matter if it´s several layers of kombu stuck together. Bring it very slowly to a boil, let it take about 30 minutes – and remove the seaweed before it starts to boil to aquire the desired taste. In the japanese recipes they often add animal-based bonito flakes (made of dried fish) when the water is boiling, but since I am vegan I add nutritional yeast flakes instead – or just skip it. 

2. While the dashi is slowly put to a boil, make the other part of the sauce – the intensively sweet and salty one. Combine 2.5 dl tamari soy with 0.5 dl mirin and 0.5 dl sugar and simmer on a low heat until sugar is absorbed. 

3. Add 5 dl kombu-dashi to the intensive sauce. Taste. If it´s still too salt or too sweet, add one or two additional dl of kombu dashi.

4. Put the dip sauce in the refrigerator until cool.

Soba noodles

Soba noodles from 100% buckwheat

1. Put water to a boil.

2. Add as much soba noodles you intend to eat.

3. Wait until the water is boiling again. Add a glass of cold water to stop it from boiling. Every time it starts to boil, add another glass of water. Continue for 5-7 minutes. This is to prevent the noodles from cooking apart or become too soft. You want them “al dente”. Remember to stir, so they don´t stick too much to each other.

4. When the noodles feels ready – soft, but still al dente – remove the noodles from the water and put them in cold water until they are really cool. Remove them from the cold water. Or you could cool them by rinsing them in cold water.

This moment – cooking the noodles – is best to do when the dip sauce is cold and ready.

Tempeh in marinade


1 dl dip sauce 

Maple syrup

Grated ginger (optional)

1. Cut the tempeh into cubes.

2. Steam the tempeh cubes for 15 minutes, until the bitter taste is gone or reduced.

3. Combine the tempeh with 1 dl of the dip sauce, maple syrup to taste and grated ginger if you want to use it.

It´s ready to serve!

Fill the bottom of a deep plate with cold dip sauce! Don´t be moderate – add a lot! It gives taste to everything you will add to your plate. 

Add the cold soba noodles, the tempeh, and whatever you want to add. I recommend ripped nori, toasted sesame seeds, grated ginger or pickled ginger sticks, lemon zest, raw scallions (only green part for you fodmappers out there!), raw broccoli and maybe wasabi.

Use your chopsticks to mix around the noodles with the sauce in the bottom continously while eating!



Some pictures of the process:

  Tempeh cubes in marinade (the dip sauce, maple syrup and grated ginger)

  I chose to marinate the raw greens as well, and added toasted sesame seeds to it.


  After boiling the soba noodles until the desired al dente texture, I rinsed them in cold water like this to make them really cold. This also removes some of the strangely milky-tasting excess flour from the soba noodles. You can also add the noodles to a pan with cold water after boiling them if you prefer to cool them that way.


This is the ready cold dip sauce made of tamari, mirin, sugar, nutritional yeast and kombu dashi (kelp seaweed stock).  

  Add the cold dip sauce to the bottom of the plate you are going to eat from.


 Add the noodles and other ingredients you intend to use on top of the sauce. Mix well to make the sauce stick to the noodles. You can mix around the noodles and the sauce with your chopsticks while you eat, to get more tasty sauce on your food. Serve with green, unsweetened tea!