~ 5 ingredients how to japanese meat free recipes that noodle life totoro week

How to Make Totoro Soba

Cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him!
Posted October 27, 2019 by Stephanie
How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

It’s Totoro Week and I’m coming in hot with Totoro soba! Every year, around halloween, I like to take a week to indulge in my crazy self and make food that looks like Totoro. I’ve made Totoro sushi, Totoro cookies, Totoro bagels, and now I’m here with Totoro soba.

Totoro soba is definitely a thing on the internet. I’ve seen lots of them so I thought I’d try my hand too. If you’re a fan of soba and Totoro, I hope you give this a try because it is one of the easiest Totoro themed foods I’ve ever made.

Essentially this dish is a take on zaru soba, a cold Japanese noodle dish that consists of soba (of course) and a soy sauce based dipping sauce called tsuyu. When you get zaru soba in Japan, they usually serve it to you on a little bamboo strainer, with a bowl of tsuyu for dipping, as well as some extra condiments for flavor, like green onions, wasabi, and seaweed.

How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

I used to not be a huge fan of soba, but after our most recent trip to Japan, I realized that I had just been eating not-great soba. Good soba is nutty and firm and so, so delicious. It’s the kind of simple meal that is so incredibly satisfying.

And it’s even more satisfying when the soba comes in a cute little Totoro. To make him, I start out by cutting out his facial and tummy features out of cheese and nori. From there, it’s just a question of cooking the soba (I used a typical darker soba as well as white soba) then shaping the noodles into a Totoro shape and adding on his face and chest furries.

How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

One more tip for you: if you want to eat soba like the do in Japan, don’t throwaway the water that the soba cooked in! It’s called sobayu and after you’re finished eating the soba, you pour some into your dipping bowl of sauce to make a soup to finish your meal. Sobayu is super nutritious and I’d go as far to say that if you don’t have it, you’re not really having zaru soba. To save it, just use a noodle scoop to scoop the soba out into a large sieve or mesh strainer. Leave the hot soba water in the pot and take the soba in the strainer over to the sink and rinse the noodles off with very cold tap water. You’ll want to rinse the noodles very throughly under running water so that the starches wash off and the soba is easy to pick up with chopsticks.

Happy Totoro soba-ing!
totoro foods forever,
xoxo steph

PS – Stay tuned for my other two Totoro posts this week: a fluffy Japanese Totoro cheesecake and Totoro marshmallows using store bought marshmallows!

How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

How to Make Totoro Soba

Cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro.

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients

  • sliced mozzarella cheese

  • nori
  • 1 cup

    dashi

    see notes
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 bundle regular soba
  • 1 bundle white soba
  • sliced green onions to serve
  • wasabi if desired

Instructions

  • Make Totoro’s face: use a small round cookie cutter to cut out Totoro’s eyeballs. Use a nori punch or scissors to cut out the eyeballs. Cut strips of nori for the whiskers and an oval for his nose. Cut our chevrons for his chest hairs. Set aside.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • Make the dipping sauce: in a small bowl, mix together the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. It should be quite salty. Set aside.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • In two separate pots, cook the soba according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse, and drain well.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • Use the regular soba and arrange in a Totoro shape on a plate.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • Use the white soba to make Totoro’s belly.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • Add on the eyes, nose, whiskers, and chest hairs.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes
  • Serve with the dipping sauce in a small bowl, sliced green onions, nori, and wasabi (if using). To eat, pick up a bunch of soba and dip into the sauce and slurp. Add the green onions and nori to the dipping sauce bowl as desired.

    How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes

Notes

We used instant dashi for this – it’s super simple, just mix the package into 1 cup hot water.

4 Comments

  1. Lyndsay says:

    I am hungry for Totoro soba!!! Love the mozzarella eyes.

    1. Stephanie says:

      heehee cheesy eyes :)

  2. Nirupama says:

    So cute!

    1. Stephanie says:

      thank you so much! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to make Totoro soba: cold soba noodles with a soy-dashi dipping sauce in the shape of the ever lovable Totoro. You know you wanna eat him! #soba #japanesefood #totorosoba #totoro #totorofood #kawaiifood #soba #recipes