Nishin Soba

Nishin Soba is a typical dish from Kyoto, which consists of a soba noodle soup with sweet marinated dried herring added. As Kyoto is far from the seaside, it was hard to bring in fresh seafood from the coast, so dried herring established itself as one of the easier to transport fishes and became one of the important sources of proteine in the past.

As you can guess from this description, I ate this dish when I was in Kyoto in December, but I still wanted to put it up here, because it remained in my head. The taste of sweet herring together with a traditional Japanese soup flavour was completely new to me in that situation and at first I was a bit at a loss as to how I should judge it. But I grew to like the taste very fast and appreciate its difference to the other dishes I’ve eaten in Japan and also back in Europe (Yannik didn’t, btw. :P). For me, the subtle sweetness did fit very well with the broth and made for a well rounded meal together with the soba.

If you want to try it yourself, the following recipe might be helpful. I found it under this link and translated it for you (hopefully without mistakes :D). Enjoy your cooking!

http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/suginoki/c0312.html

You will need (for 4 persons):

  • 400g soba noodles
  • 1 sweetly cooked herring (you can either buy it or prepare it this way(scroll down))
  • 1 leek
  • 4 sheets of dried laver / seaweed
  • 7 cups of dashi broth
  • 120ml of mirin (sweet soy sauce)
  • 120ml of soy sauce

Preparation:

  1. Mix the dashi broth, mirin and soy sauce in a pot and let it boil up to prepare the soup.
  2. Boil the soba in plenty of water until they are boiled thoroughly. Pour the water and put the soba in 4 bowls. Add the soup to each bowl.
  3. Add the finely cut leek, the dried laver and the herring on top. Enjoy your meal! :)