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I remember having been in Japan and ate several meals of cold soba. Their cold soba broth taste like soy sauce with only a stint of saltiness; it doesn't taste like it's made of sushi type sweetened soy sauce; neither does it taste like a simple mixture of soy sauce and water.

Instead of using pre-made cold soba broth, I want to replicate these Japanese cold soba broth at home. Googling directs me to different recipes: some suggest mixing soy sauce with chicken broth (I can't recall any stock-ish taste); some suggest mixing with Mirin (alcohol in a soba broth - I don't think so..).

Does any know how to make cold soba broth or at least know the essential ingredients?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The basis for any sort of Japanese soup dish is going to be dashi stock, a stock made of fish and seaweed. It has a much lighter flavor than chicken broth, so you might not have identified it easily. You can buy it in a powder form for convenience, and it can be sprinkled into other liquids rather than reconstituted.

This recipe is for soba with a dipping sauce, but it'll give you a good idea of the flavor profile you're looking for: Dashi stock plus kaeshi, which is made of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar (and simmered so it's not strongly alcoholic).

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I've got to disagree with one of your statements. As long as they can get the ingredients and boil water anyone can make a basic dashi stock. That being said, powdered Hon Dashi (kobikitchen.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/what-is-hon-dashi) is a useful thing to have if you are in a hurry or can't get konbu or bonito flake. As David Chang says "...there’s no reason in the world not to have a jar of instant dashi powder on hand: it’s cheap, it has some flavor, and it really is instant. Sometimes it’s a lifesaver" –  Didgeridrew Jul 21 '12 at 23:01
    
@Didgeridrew I was thinking from scratch as in hand-shaving your bonito and all that -- I forgot about the existence of shaved bonito flakes. Mea culpa,. –  Yamikuronue Jul 22 '12 at 23:57
    
I didn't consider hand-shaving bonito... or starting from fresh skipjack either...(cheftaro.com/foodamentals/how-katsuobushi-made) So I'll take a little of that culpa too. –  Didgeridrew Jul 23 '12 at 2:18

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