Learn About Soba – Japanese Buckwheat Noodles

What Is Soba?

Soba noodles are roughly as thick as spaghetti and are usually made of buckwheat flour. They can be prepared either as a hot or a cold dish and are very popular which make them readily available across Japan.

Soba dishes are eaten throughout the year but there are a few that are consumed only on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve. They can be bought dried in supermarkets but the ideal way of having soba is from freshly made noodles.

Freshly Cut Soba Noodles

How to Eat Soba?

Hot soba is usually served in a soup and are eaten with chopsticks. Slurping the noodles is said to enhance the flavor and helps with cooling them as they are eaten. The broth is drunk straight from the bowl and it is not considered rude if there is unfinished soup at meal’s end.

Cold soba Is served with a dipping sauce and are accompanied by garnishing like green onions and wasabi which can be added to the sauce depending on preference. The noodles are then picked up by the chopsticks and dipped in the sauce before eating. A few soba restaurants will provide hot cloudy water served in a small teapot. This is sobayu, the water that the soba noodles were cooked in. It is meant to be infused with the remaining dipping sauce for drinking once all the noodles are consumed.

Soba served with Tempura at Taku Restaurant

What Are the Nutritional Benefits?

Buckwheat noodles are high in protein and contain various types of amino acids, such as lysine and arginine which are essential building blocks for child development, growth and stamina. These nutrients are natural and healthy additions to one’s diet. They are not only excellent for mental and digestive health, but they are also believed by many to have properties that prevent disease.

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