I love soba. It’s packed full of vitamins and protein – great for reducing high blood pressure and keep a healthy liver. In fact, following recent research, eating soba can actually reduce the occurence of liver, bladder and lung cancer. In addition it’s got twice the fiber of rice… and tastes delicious! If you’re a vegetarian, soba is very good for you since it contains a certain amino acid called Tryptophan, which is usually mainly found in meat
Usually in Japan, soba is a very simple dish – just the noodles plus some kind of dipping sauce. However, I prefer to add some kind of vegetables and meat to a dipping soup to make this a more complete meal. In Tokyo we normally eat soba, whereas in Osaka, udon is more commonplace. When boiling the soba, a lot of the nutrients bleed out into the water, which is why we always reserve some of the cooking water to add to the soup to drink at the end of the meal.
3 bundles of Soba
50cc soy sauce
Small handful of dried shiitake mushrooms
1tsp fish (stock) powder or 30g dried fish flakes (katsuobushi)
2 cups of water
200g chicken breast
1 carrot (diced)
1 leek or half a bunch of shallots (diced)
Add the mirin to a small sauce pan and bring to the boil. Then add the soy sauce, mushrooms, fish powder and water. Simmer gently.
If you are using katsuobushi, simmer gently for a few minutes then remove using a sieve.
Put some salad oil in a fry pan and fry the chopped chicken until well cooked. Then add the veggies and fry together for a couple of minutes. Pour the soup over the top and bring to the boil. Remember to remove any scum that rises to the surface. Cook the soba as per packet instructions, then drain (keeping a cup of the cooking water) and run under a cold tap to stop the cooking process and place in a sieve with a few ice cubes. If you want to wait before eating, drizzle a little sesame oil over the soba to prevent it from sticking. If you prefer to eat the soba warm, keep some of the cooking water and add to the soup along with the soba noodles. Eat all together in a large raamen bowl. The photos below are the cold noodle method of dipping the noodles into the soup. When you have run out of noodles, pour some of the soba cooking water into the soup to dilute it and reheat it slightly, and drink as a super healthy end to the meal