This Month's Ingredient
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Buckwheat noodles, Soba そば

Soba noodles are highly recommended for people who have trouble satisfying their appetite which often leads to overeating. It is low in calories and high in fiber. Helps to hold down in your stomach, allowing you eat more but weigh less.

Unless it is stated, most soba noodles are made from a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flour. Only 100% buckwheat soba noodles 十割そば (juu-wari soba) are solely from pure buckwheat flour. Since it does not contain any gluten, the noodles tend to be soft and break apart easily. Hence, wheat flour is added to improve its elasticity and texture. That explains descriptions like 九割そば (kyuu-wari soba), 二八蕎麦 (nihachi-soba) stated on the packaging wrappers.
Here’s a brief example on the proportion of flour being used:-
  • Juu-wari soba 十割そば= 100% buckwheat flour
  • Kyuu-wari soba 九割そば = 90% buckwheat flour + 10% wheat flour
  • Ni-hachi soba 二八蕎麦 =80% buckwheat flour + 20% wheat flour
In Japan, you can find soba noodles easily in supermarkets and typically come in three forms –  1) Dry soba 乾麺そば, 2) Fresh Nama soba 生そば and 3) pre-cooked soba noodles ゆでそば.  cha-soba
To find out how to cook delicious authentic soba noodles at home, click here.
Ever come across cha-soba 茶そば and wonder what is the difference? Apart from the adding of matcha – green tea powder, cha-soba (right) are basically the same as the regular ones. They are made and cooked the same way. Subtle taste of matcha gives a sense of luxury, Japanese only eat cha-soba during festive occasions or anytime when they want to commemorate a special day.

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