- 1/2 pound dry soba noodles
- Vegetable oil, for drizzling
- 8 cups water
- 1 ounce kombu (dried kelp)
- 1 cup packed bonito flakes (1/2 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons shoyu or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light shoyu
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Kosher salt
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups chilled club soda or seltzer
- 12 large shrimp—shelled and deveined, tails left on
- Thinly sliced radishes, for serving
- Thinly sliced scallions, for serving
- PREPARE THE SOBA AND BROTH In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Shake out the excess water and transfer the noodles to a large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss to coat.
- Rinse out the saucepan. Add the water and kombu and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Discard the kombu. Add the bonito and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let stand until the broth is well-flavored, about 3 minutes. Strain the dashi through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Stir in the shoyu, light shoyu and sugar and season the broth with salt; keep hot over low heat.
- MAKE THE TEMPURA In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 365°. Set a rack over a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, whisk the rice flour with the baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Gently whisk in 1 cup of the club soda just until a smooth batter forms; add more club soda if the batter is too thick. Working close to the stove, dip 6 of the shrimp in the batter and add them to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- Transfer the soba to bowls and top with the hot broth. Garnish with the shrimp tempura, radishes and scallions and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.