Cold noodles are one of the best things about the summer. My favorite cold noodles are soba noodles. When it's hot outside and steaming rice sounds like the last thing I want to do, I can always rely on soba noodles. But there have been more than a few times that I find that my tsuyu (soba dipping sauce) supply is bone dry or when my wallet is feeling the burn. Premade tsuyu in bottles is convenient if you do not regularly have a dashi-making method. But premade tsuyu is pricey - over $4 for only 12 ounces (about 6 or 7 servings) and if soba is a staple meal for the summer at your household, it's comforting to know that there is a budget-friendly alternative with very little fuss. Making tsuyu from scratch is astonishingly easy and uses only three ingredients.
Put the three liquids into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Store in an air-tight container until cool. Insider's tip: for the soba, boil it a few minutes longer than what the package tells you. Once you have passed the soba noodles through a strainer, immediately dunk the strainer full of noodles into an ice-cold bath of water. Keep the noodles dunked for about 10 minutes - this makes the soba "al dente." Serve soba with freshly chopped green onions, some nori and a dab of wasabi on the side of the tsuyu bowl. This meal is ideal for the summer because it's quick, easy and doesn't weigh you down.