Soba noodles are not as popular as wheat and rice noodles. However, a soba noodle recipe will give you a healthier dish than a wheat noodle recipe. If you are vegan and have either celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, a vegan soba noodle recipe is the ideal option. Soba noodle soup recipes boast higher protein content than wheat or rice noodle recipes.

Hakubaku Organic Soba

Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles (No Salt Added).

But before we look at some soba recipes you should try at home, what exactly is soba and why are soba noodles better than regular noodle soup recipes?

What are soba noodles?

Soba noodles are a Japanese delicacy. Unlike regular noodles which are made from wheat flour, soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour. Traditionally, soba noodles were served chilled with a dipping sauce. An alternative was in a hot noodle soup broth.

Why is soba better health wise than wheat flour and rice noodle recipes? Well, for starters, soba buckwheat contains thiamine which white rice does not have. The human body is not able to produce thiamine although it needs the vitamin to absorb food and convert it into energy.

The only way for your body to get thiamine is through what you eat and for those who enjoy noodles; soba noodles have the highest thiamine content of all other noodles. Without thiamine, you would suffer symptoms such as fatigue and loss of appetite, muscle weakness, irritability, blurry vision and even shortness of breath.

Also, soba features all eight essential amino acids your body needs to function properly. Among those, one of the most important is lysine which wheat flour lacks. Lysine boosts your overall health by promoting the production of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones. The amino acid also promotes collagen growth enabling wounds to heal faster. Lysine also helps your body absorb calcium, iron, and zinc.

These alone should be enough benefits to consider soba noodle soup as the healthiest alternative if you eat noodles regularly.

How do I choose the best soba noodles?

Today’s fast and busy lifestyle is affecting the way you eat. You no longer have enough time to prepare elaborate meals and wait hours on end for dinner to be ready. If you are anything like me, you are always on the lookout for something to whip up in minutes. Often, these fast foods lead to lifestyle diseases as most lack the essential nutrients your body needs.

However, with healthy choices in soba noodle soup recipes, you can whip up a vegan soba noodle recipe meal in minutes. Because of their base ingredient, buckwheat, the best soba noodles are packed with essential amino acids and higher protein content than wheat flour noodles.

When choosing the best soba noodles for your soba noodle soup, you need to consider the ingredient list. There is a range of different types of soba noodles and different brands have differences. The healthiest soba noodles are made with 100% buckwheat flour and water only although buckwheat is harder to work with.

But, many soba noodles are a blend of buckwheat flour and refined wheat flour. Soba noodles with a ratio of 80% buckwheat and 20% wheat flour are also known as “hachiwari” while pure soba noodles are known as “juwari” soba.

Blending buckwheat and wheat flour increases the robustness of the noodles and makes them less fragile. The gluten in wheat flour makes soba noodles more durable and affordable as buckwheat is expensive.

Whichever you soba noodles you choose to buy, the ingredient list should be the first thing you look at. Pure soba noodles will have buckwheat flour as the only ingredient while the rest will have wheat flour or synthetic flavors and additives. You should avoid the latter with synthetic flavors and additives at all means as they are extremely unhealthy.

Below are some recipes to kick start your soba noodle culinary journey.

Vegan soba recipe

Hakubaku Organic Soba

With this recipe you need:

·       ½ a pound or 8 ounces of soba noodles

·         1 large cucumber, a handful of fresh chopped cilantro and a pinch of red pepper flakes

·         1 bunch of green onions – chopped

·         1/3 cup of tahini

·         2 tablespoons each of rice vinegar and black sesame seeds

·         1 tablespoon each of white miso (optional) and fresh ginger – finely grated

·         A teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and sea salt to taste

·         Half a cup of water

To prepare the vegan soba noodle recipe, add the soba noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook according to instructions – do not overcook. When ready, drain the water and rinse under cold running water.

Hakubaku Organic Soba

Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles (No Salt Added).

For the sauce, whisk the red pepper flakes, sesame oil, cilantro, tamari/soy sauce, ginger, cilantro, rice vinegar, and miso. Add a little water until you reach the consistency you desire.

Add the noodles into the sauce and toss to mix. Add the cucumber, scallions, sesame seeds, and any other vegetables of your choice. Serve immediately and enjoy. You can add salt or your seasoning of choice to taste.

Winter soba noodle soup recipe

If you like some hard-boiled eggs, and mushrooms in your noodle soup, this recipe will warm you up and will take minutes to prepare.

You will need:

·         2 tablespoons of olive oil

·         Half a pound of sliced button mushrooms

·         3 cloves of garlic and a ½ tablespoon of fresh ginger – both minced

·         ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce and 6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth

·         6 ounces of soba noodles

·         A bunch of swiss chard or one head of Bok Choy

For the garnish:

·         2 small carrots–shredded

·         4 thinly sliced scallions

·         4 hard-boiled eggs cut in half

·         A tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

To prepare, start with the olive oil in a stock pot and heat over medium. Add your sliced mushrooms and cook for about four minutes. Add the ginger and garlic for another minute or until fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce and cook for another three minutes until mushrooms are tender.

Add the vegetable broth after which you will add the noodles and greens once the broth comes to a boil. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the carrots, scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and the hard-boiled eggs. Enjoy this hearty and yummy soba noodle recipe!

You can find most of the ingredients above on Amazon and the vegetables at your local fresh produce market. As with any Japanese noodle soup recipe, you can vary the ingredients depending on your taste and preference.

Hakubaku Organic Soba

Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles (No Salt Added).

John Hashimoto
Born in Chiba, Japan, but raised in Austin, Texas, John is a very active promoter of Asian culture in the United States, particularly the rich Japanese culture, which he is very passionate about. He is here to guide you about the best products in the market and provide honest-to-goodness reviews and information about commercially available products in the market today. John is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, but his passion for Japanese culture, particularly its food and unique culture that has taken over the international scene, is one of the things that excites him the most.

John will help you to assess Japanese products, especially when it comes to commercial Japanese food and how to find the authentic ones. His father once told him that he seems to have been born out of ramen, and as an adult, it really shows because John knows this dish like the back of his hand.