Japanese Zaru Soba
	For dipping sauce:
	2 cups water
	1 kombu (see notes), rinsed and patted dry
	½ cup Japanese soy sauce
	½ cup mirin or dry sherry
	Salt or sugar, optional
	For noodles:
	½ pound soba (buckwheat noodles)
	Vegetable oil
	2 eggs, beaten
	4 large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
	4 shiitake mushrooms, lightly sauteed 
	1 sheet nori (dried seaweed), toasted above the stove burner until crisp
	Toasted sesame seeds
	Fresh chives
	1 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
	3 green onions, finely minced
	Make the dipping sauce:
	In a small saucepan, bring the two cups of water to a boil and drop in the
	kombu; then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard the kombu; stir
	in all of the remaining ingredients; cool to room temperature.
	Make the noodles:
	Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, no longer
	than two minutes. Drain under cold running water; drain again.
	Using a paper towel, brush a heated 10-inch nonstick skillet lightly with
	vegetable oil. Pour in the beaten eggs and cook, without stirring, until
	firm. Turn out onto a cutting board and trim the round edges to make a
	large square. Cut into smaller squares for garnish.
	Divide the noodles among four deep plates. Garnish each with a few squares
	of cooked egg, one shrimp, one mushroom, crumbled nori, toasted sesame
	seeds, a few chives and several ice cubes. Combine the grated ginger and
	minced green onion and place a small spoonful on the side of each plate,
	for diners to season their individual bowls of dipping sauce.
	Serves Four
	Kombu is an edible ocean plant used to make the Japanese broth known
	as dashi. It is available dried and packaged at Asian Markets and health
	food stores.

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