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I am currently working on my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. This project is based on the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. The back of the book jacket states that the book contains “the tastes, ingredients, restaurants, dishes, and recipes (more than 70) that every food lover should experience or dream about.” As I am a food lover, I certainly didn’t want to miss out on anything, so I purchased this book and began my project.
Soba is Food #32 🙂
Soba is made from buckwheat flour and is Food #32 in my project. It is sort of like spaghetti and it’s entirely delicious! This delightful noodle is very popular in Japan, and now it’s popular world over!
My understanding is that making fresh soba is an art and pretty complicated. Fortunately there are many dried varieties available that are easy for the home cook to prepare and enjoy!
My Experience With Soba In Japan
The first time I tried soba on our trip was on a Japan Airlines flight to Japan. Doesn’t get much better than that! Here is the soba we were served as part of our lunch. It is on the left, just underneath the cup of wine.
The soba was cold, and it was garnished with seaweed and sliced scallions. To the left of the wine you will see the bottle of “Noodle Sauce.” We poured this sauce into the soba and enjoyed it immensely!
The second time I tried soba was in a restaurant in Kanazawa, Japan. This time the soba was in a hot broth! You can see the menu options below, followed by the soba that I ordered and enjoyed. The soba I had included some delicious tempura. 🙂
I tell you, this hot soba with tempura was absolutely incredible and I truly fell in love with soba when I was in Japan!
So, I was able to experience soba served both hot and cold while en route to Japan or in Japan. They were both so good. It seems that soba is generally served cold for summer, and hot for winter. Makes sense to me!
By the way, here is a picture of the knife used to make soba in Japan. Pretty impressive don’t you think?
My Experience With Soba At Home In Texas
Here I am in Texas on the cusp of summer, and yearning for soba noodles again. For now, it’s got to be some cold soba!
I can’t tell you how refreshing and how much my husband and I enjoyed this meal! You can enjoy a delicious cold soba meal so quickly and easily. All you need is a pack of dried soba noodles, some Soba noodle sauce, sliced scallions, finely grated daikon radish, and wasabi.
The scallions, daikon radish, and wasabi completely elevate this dish to the divine as far as I’m concerned. 🙂 The scallions should be finely diced. And I used a box grater to finely grate the daikon radish.
Basically all you need to do is boil the soba noodles according to package directions. It only takes a few minutes. Then drain and chill the noodles for a few minutes until cold.
Place some of the soba sauce in a dipping bowl, and then put your chilled noodles in another bowl. I recommend adding the scallions and daikon (to taste) to your soba sauce. However, it’s fun to put a bit of wasabi on the tip of your chopsticks, scoop up some of the soba, dip into the soba sauce, and then SLURP AWAY!
Ok I haven’t even discussed slurping yet! It seems in Japan it is perfectly acceptable to slurp these noodles noisily! So please enjoy making a lot of slurping sounds when enjoying this dish!
Soba is the perfect noodle to slurp with!
COOKING WATER AND SOBA SAUCE
Last but not least, I want to mention that a lot of people like to mix some of the cooking water used to cook the soba with some of your leftover soba sauce. You will warm up a little of the cooking water to add to the sauce, and then drink it down. I didn’t try this this time, but I will next time. 🙂
I really hope you will enjoy some cold soba soon! You will love it!
Some Other Foods You May Enjoy
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Cold Soba Noodles With Dipping Sauce
- 150 grams soba noodles I used Sukina brand
- soba sauce I used Assi brand
- 2 scallions finely diced
- 2 inches daikon radish peeled and finely grated
- wasabi few dollops of wasabi!
- Cook your soba in boiling water according to package directions (I boiled mine for 4 minutes). Drain and run cold water over the noodles. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to continue to chill.
- Prep your scallions and daikon radish. I used a box grater to grate mine.
- Pour some soba sauce in a small dipping bowl. Add some scallions and radish to the soba sauce, and wasabi if you like! Dip the cold soba noodles into the soba sauce, and slurp away!