Washoku Wednesday: Soba Noodles

Soba has become quite the dinnertime staple in the Uncover Japan household. I can’t wait to try out Courtney’s recipe below!

Soba, or buckwheat noodles, are popular throughout Japan and served hot or cold. Many soba dishes are served daily as inexpensive food found at train stations, but some dishes are seasonal or for special events like New Year’s Eve (ie toshikoshi soba eaten for good luck). The noodles are approximately the size of spaghetti.

Soba can be served cold typically with dipping sauce called tsuyu. Tsuyu is made of sweetened soy sauce, mirin and dashi. Hot soba dishes are typically served in a lighter broth than the dipping sauce.

Note: Soba noodles made with solely buckwheat can be very brittle so many restaurants add flour to it to help with elasticity. Often, the darker the noodles, the higher the percentage of buckwheat. Those who cannot eat gluten want to look for 100% buckwheat soba.

Gomaiso & Avocado Soba Noodles
From RawSpiceBar
This recipe was part of a monthly spice subscription. The recipe quickly became one of our favorites served at dinner as a side dish to salmon, or the following day as my main lunch.

Gomaiso (I like to make it spicier by adding dried chiles)
2 ripe avocados
1 pound uncooked soba noodles
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced

1.5 TBSP soy sauce
4 TBSP sesame oil
1 lime, juiced
4 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped

1. Cook soba noodles as directed on package. Once cooked, drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cooled.

2. Transfer to serving bowl and combine cooled noodles with shredded carrots, cucumbers and radishes.

3. Prepare soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chopped garlic in a small bowl.

4. Toss vinaigrette with cooled noodles and vegetables.

5. Top with chopped avocado and spicy gomaiso (or you can do a quick mix of all ingredients like I usually do).

Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce by Just Hungry
Refreshing Japanese dish perfect for summer heat!

Soba noodles with grilled shrimp and cilantro from Food + Wine
One of my favorite dinner recipes that is a total mix of eastern and western flavors but done perfectly.

Soba noodles with swiss chard-miso pesto from Chowhound
I was totally intrigued by this Japanese “pesto” using swiss chard with miso. Lucky for me, I had plenty of chard from my weekly veggie box and decided to give it a try. Turned out wonderful though I added some chicken for the hubby!

Soba noodles with miso-glazed tofu and vegetables from My Recipes
Great recipe that I make to take for work lunches. Also a nice dinner option that feels lighter and perfect for hot summer evenings.

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