Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I love noodles.

Peter likes ramen noodles, but is less keen on soba (buckwheat noodles), so on days when he's not around, I like to indulge.

I had everything on hand for a soba fix thanks to my lovely co-worker Akiko. The other week, when I was dealing with my giant daikon, I made some Korean banchan with part of it. I made so much that I brought some in for one of my students, whose family loves spicy things. She had brought me a whole cabbage a week before, and I wanted to return the favour. Since I was bringing in something for her, I couldn't not bring in some for Akiko, who is quite the chef herself. This week, she brought it some soba and tsuyu she had made herself to say thank-you. (How do you say "gift spiral" in Japanese?)

The soba gets boiled up - well, I couldn't quite read the package instructions, so I just tested every few minutes, and it seemed done after around seven or so minutes. I drained it, and ran it under cold water to cool it off. I didn't need it too cool, since it's been so cold and rainy here lately. You serve the noodles separately, coiled for easy chopstick handling, and dip the noodles briefly into the cold tsuyu, before slurping them up quickly, trying not to get it all over your top, if possible. I garnished mine with some grated daikon and green onion, as per Akiko's suggestion. You can buy bottles of tsuyu in the shop, if you like, but here's Akiko's recipe:

Soba Tsuyu (450cc for 4 people)

100 cc of soy sauce (The good stuff-don't skimp here!)
500 cc of water
30 cc of sugar
30 cc of mirin
5 g of konbu
10 g of katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes)

Boil for 8 minutes on a low heat without a lid. Oishiiii-so!

I had to run out to the shop briefly to get some toothpaste, and couldn't resist picking up these inari sushi as well - something else Peter doesn't particularly care for, but I love. They're made from tofu skin that has been simmered in soy sauce and mirin, then stuffed with sushi rice. I hear they're pretty delicious home-made, but it's the sort of thing that you have to make a lot of in one go, I think, and then I'd be stuck eating them all myself!


Hiroyuki said...

So you like soba, but I have to ask, what are your favorite types of soba?
Nihachi (20% buckwheat and 80% wheat flour), juuwari (100% buckwheat), inaka (whole-grain), etc.
Like I mentioned on eGullet, I like hegi soba the best, which contains a type of seaweed called funori and is a specialty of the Uonuma district of Niigata. For meals at home, I like inaka soba. In the summer, cha (green tea) soba is a treat!
I usually put wasabi in my men tsuyu and sprinkle shreds on nori. And, I usually have tempura with soba!

nakji said...

I think I have Nihachi. It was really nice! I want to try green tea soba - is it available in shops now, or do I have to wait for summer?

Hiroyuki said...

Dry cha soba is available all year round, and I'm not sure but I think you can get fresh cha soba all year round, too (not in my rual area, though).
Cha soba can be served hot, too, but, personally, I like to have it really cold.