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From 200 Yen! How To Eat Convenience Store Udon And Soba Noodles

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Soba and udon noodles are available at specialty restaurants, but did you know that you can find delicious and reasonably priced soba and udon at your local convenience store too?

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Cheap and Delicious Convenience Store Soba: What Is It?

Soba is one of Japan’s most representative dishes. The thinly kneaded noodles, made from buckwheat flour, can be dipped in soba tsuyu dipping sauce, flavored with kombu seaweed, bonito flakes, soy sauce and other condiments, as well as eaten with a soba tsuyu broth, like ramen. Soba is beloved by many, and while it is of course available at specialty restaurants, it can also be found at convenience stores for a reasonable price. However, different varieties are eaten in different ways, so here is a simple guide for eating convenience store soba. You can also use this information when buying udon at these convenience stores.

*Prices are a rough estimate and vary by store. The instructions listed are for standard products, and may be different for other varieties.

1. Just Add Hot Water and Wait! Cup Soba (Around 200 Yen)

You can buy udon and soba sold in cups, which come with various toppings like tempura or aburage (fried bean curd). These cups are 200 to 300 yen, so we recommend them if you’re on a budget.

Step 1: Open the Lid Halfway and Remove the Soup Powder and Spice Packet

Most cup noodle products have a line or mark to indicate how far you should open the lid.

The soup and other seasonings come in the same packet. This cup also came with a spice packet of shichimi togarashi pepper. The fuller packet contains the soup, while the other one contains the spices. Be aware that some cup noodles only come with a soup packet.

Step 2. Pour the Powder on Top of the Noodles

Sprinkle the powdered soup on top, evenly distributing it. Take care not to open the spice packet first. Some cups have liquid instead of powder, in which case you should add the liquid immediately before eating (Step 4), not before adding water.

Step 3. Pour in the Hot Water and Wait Three Minutes

Pour the hot water into the container until it reaches the mark indicated inside, then wait for three minutes. Waiting times for instant soba and udon cups are roughly three minutes, but larger containers may take up to five minutes. The waiting time is usually printed quite clearly on the packaging, so even those who cannot read Japanese can easily make these cups.

If you want to enjoy the crisp texture of the tempura in your soba, then it's a good idea to take it out and set it aside before pouring the hot water into the container, then placing it back in once the noodles are ready.

A common trick to keep the heat from escaping when making your noodles is to fold the lid back down, and use your disposable chopsticks to hold it down or pinch it in place. Why not give this Japanese trick a try?

Step 4. Mix the Noodles and Add the Spice

After three minutes, open it up and mix it gently, taking care not to break up the tempura. Pour the spice packet over the noodles and they are ready to eat.

2. Cold Zaru Soba, Perfect for Summer (Roughly 300 to 400 Yen)

Zaru soba is soba eaten with a dipping sauce. You might be wondering what you should do with the nori seaweed and the green onions.

Step 1. Take the Soba Out of the Package

The soba dipping sauce container is called a “choko.” First, take the soba out of the package and remove the packet of water, chopped seaweed, wasabi and dipping sauce from the choko.

Step 2. Pour the Water on the Soba to Loosen the Noodles

The noodles will be clumped together, so pour the water over them and use the chopsticks to loosen them up.

Step 3. Pour the Sauce into the Choko

ざるsoba 5

Be careful not to tear the sauce packet completely in half, because you’ll send the sauce everywhere. If you want to use the wasabi, dissolve it in the sauce.

Step 4. Top the Noodles with Seaweed and Put the Onions in the Sauce

Spread the seaweed strips out evenly.

Step 5. Add as Much Wasabi as You Like

Pick up about a bite-size portion of noodles, dip them in the sauce, and enjoy. If there isn’t enough punch, keep adding wasabi.

3. Enjoy the Coolness of Bukkake Soba (About 400 to 500 Yen)

Bukkake soba is eaten cold, with cold noodles dipped in a cold broth. In most cases, the noodles come with various toppings on top. The bukkake soba we will look at here is topped with tororo, made from grated yam. Its sticky texture and yam flavor goes perfectly with soba.

Step 1. Remove the Film and Take Out the Dish

The package contains a tray with the tororo, okra and mushrooms. Remove it carefully so as not to spill it.

Step 2. Pour the Sauce on the Noodles to Loosen Them

The noodles will be clumped together, so pour the sauce on top to loosen them.

Step 3. Add the Toppings and Mix Them Together with the Noodles

Top the noodles with the other ingredients and mix them all together.

Enjoy Your Soba or Udon

Convenience store soba is cheap, convenient and easy to eat. You’ll want to eat it warm in the winter and cold in the summer. There are many other varieties that we didn’t get the chance to introduce here, so the next time you stop by a convenience store, how about looking for something that could become your new favorite noodle?

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