This Japanese soba noodle recipe is the soba noodle soup that Japanese slurp on New year’s eve. They call this traditional soba noodle recipe “Toshikoshi Soba”. It can be cooked in 15 minutes and is so perfect for the busy new year’s eve.
What is soba noodle?
Soba is the word for buckwheat in Japanese. Therefore soba noodles are made from buckwheat. Buckwheat is gluten-free. Though, unless it is stated, most soba noodles are made from buckwheat and wheat flours. 100% buckwheat does not contain any gluten so it tends to break apart easily. In order to improve its elasticity and texture, wheat is added. It has a delicious nutty flavour.
Where can you buy Soba noodles
Soba noodles come in three forms in Japan; fresh, cooked, frozen and dry. Nowadays people who live outside of Japan can find them easily and not just from Japanese or Asian grocery stores but also from supermarkets. You can definitely find dry Soba noodles online.
How to cook dry soba noodles?
The most common type of soba noodle available outside of Japan is dry soba noodles. So I am going to teach you how to cook the soba noodles. You need about 70-90g (2.5-3oz) for one serve. Boil 1-1.3L (0.26-0.34gal) of water in a large pot, and the cook soba noodles for about 4 min. This cooking time may vary so check the packet instruction.
How to make noodle soup
Soba noodles are often used for making soba noodle salad because of its health benefits and popularity. They don’t require soup, but this is a soba noodle soup recipe. And the soup is super easy to make and only three ingredients are required! You need Dashi stock, soy sauce and mirin.
Soba has been eaten over the years as a lucky charm. Although the origin of traditional eating is often unclear and “Toshikoshi (meaning crossing over year) Soba” is no exception. Here are 5 theories:
- The most famous theory is buckwheat signifying longevity and good luck.
- Buckwheat is easy to cut, so it eats the hardships and evils of the year to cut it off.
- Starting the year with a clean slate by eating soba noodle which is good for your gut health.
- Collect Gold (money): In the past, Goldsmiths used to use buckwheat flour to make gold leaf.
- It has become a custom to eat soba on New year’s eve when people, who could not reach the end of the year were served soba noodle, their luck had begun in the following year in Kamakura period.
Topping suggestions for soba noodles
Toppings vary from region to region. Some just simply eat soba noodle soup with green onion. My mother often adds prawn tempura. Tempura byproduct Tenkasu is good too. Also, you could add kamaboko fish cake, eggs and scatter scallions and sprinkle shichimi chili powder if you like a little bit spiciness.
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- 480ml/2cup dashi stock *1
- 30ml/2tbsp soy sauce
- 30ml/2tbsp mirin *2
- 180g/6oz dry soba noodle
- 2.6L/11cups water to cook soba noodle
- Combine all soup ingredients into a saucepan over medium – high heat and bring to boil.
- Turn the heat off and set aside.
- Cook Soba noodle. Boil water in a large pot.
- Add soba noodle and stir with chopsticks.
- Cook for 4 minutes. *5
- Drain the water and place the noodle into two separate noodle bowls.
- Top with tempura prawn, kamaboko fish cakes, and scallion.
- Pour the soup over the noodle and sprinkle Shichimi togarashi chilli powder as you like.