Translated by Hilary Keyes
Soba Noodles: Their Calorie Content, Ingredients And Where To Eat Them
Soba noodles are a food loved in Japan for centuries and one of the representative dishes of the country. Find out more about the many varieties of soba noodle dishes, how to eat them and the best soba restaurants in Japan!
Written by Mayu
Soba eaten with tempura shrimp and/or vegetables. There are both hot and cold varieties of this dish. The tender texture of the shrimp is one of the most appealing points of this dish.
This is a type of kakesoba with kamaboko, spinach and other ingredients in the soup.
Another type of kakesoba, this one comes with a slice of fried sweet tofu in the soup. In Japan kitsune, or foxes, are said to love these slices of fried tofu, which is how this dish got its name. The combination of the sweet tofu with the tsuyu has a very relaxing flavor to it.
Tanuki soba is a type of kakesoba with crumbs of fried tempura batter (tenkasu) in it. Of all the types of soba, this is perhaps one of the lowest price types around.
Oroshi soba is a cold soba with daikon oroshi, or grated daikon radish, in it. The cool, refreshing taste of this dish makes it ideal in the summer time.
This soba dish features grated Japanese or Chinese yam in it (yamaimo or nagaimo), and comes in both hot and cold varieties. The stickiness and flavors of the yams are an excellent match to soba.
Sansai means edible wild plants in Japanese, and that is exactly what is found in this soba dish: zenmai (royal fern or fiddlehead fern), takenoko (bamboo root) and other safe wild plants are gathered and served in the soup. This dish also comes in both hot and cold types. The simple flavors of the wild plants are delicious; this is a dish you should try when visiting a mountainous area as this is where the majority of the wild plants are found.
This type of soba features the unusual nameko mushrooms, which possess a gelatinous outer skin, and give this dish an overall unique mouth feel. The jelly-like texture of the mushrooms helps this dish to easily slide down your throat. This kind of soba comes in both hot and cold varieties.
This is a type of soba with either a raw egg or a soft-boiled egg in it. By adding an egg, the overall flavor of the dish becomes much richer. If you are not a fan of raw eggs or have never tried them before, then this dish might not be the best for you, and we don't really recommend trying cold tsukimi soba either.
This is another type of egg and soba dish, although quite different from tsukimi soba. In this dish, the eggs are soft-scrambled in the tsuyu soup and are quite delicious; this is also another hot soba dish.
This type of kakesoba features duck meat and green onions in the soup. This dish originally featured standard onions, but during the Edo era when people from Portugal and Holland (called nanban, or 'southern barbarians' in Japanese) came to Japan, they exchanged the onions for green onions, and thus inspired the name.
This is another type of kakesoba with a topping of dried sliced herring on it. This dish is very popular in Hokkaido, where the herring is caught, and in Kyoto, where preserved sweetened boiled fish like herring is popularly eaten.
This is a kakesoba featuring bite-sized pieces of dried nori seaweed on top. The flavor of the nori is said to really get your appetite going.
This is a hot soba dish where curry powder has been added to the tsuyu soup base; in Japan, curry udon is also quite popular.
This dish features softly kneaded buckwheat dough that has been shaped into round dumplings and boiled. Served with dashi stock or wasabi salt, they are an excellent match with sake. If paired with well-boiled adzuki beans, these dumplings can also be eaten as dessert. Before soba dough was made into noodles, sobagaki were the standard way of eating this dish. In contrast to sobagaki, the noodles are also referred to as sobakiri.
This is a different type of soba noodle; green tea is added to the dough, which gives these noodles a light, naturally green color.
This is another type of soba noodle; plums are added to the dough, giving them a natural pink color.
This is technically a type of ramen rather than a soba; it means Chinese soba, and, strictly speaking, is not actually made with buckwheat flour either.
This is a key part of Japanese New Year customs; this type of hot kakesoba is eaten on Omisoka, or December 31st. The long, thin soba noodles are said to represent long life and longevity, which is why they are eaten in the hopes of achieving both.
For more information on this particular dish, please take a look at this article: Japanese Encyclopedia: Toshikoshi Soba (New Year Soba).