16 BITES
MORE

homemade soba noodles

October 24, 2011

It all started with an email.

“I miss your posts! Its been since what, June? I know you’re probably crazy busy. But post something. Even if its a hello, chocolate is tasty, the weather is hot.”

A gentle poke to remind me of where I left off. And an enquiry about soba noodles.

It’s not often I write dedicate posts, but this one’s for you. For the silent readers that have tolerated my periodic disappearances. For the kindly worded emails. For coming back after my short (or long) hiatuses. For asking questions about dumplings. And soba. And cake. Always cake.

It is hot in Sydney.

The air is thick and still.

There is little incentive to move. To think.

I spend my evenings with a chilled drink in hand by the water drinking in the cool breeze.

Lying tummy up on cool hardwood floors absorbing sentiments in black and white print under a fan.

Flying headfirst into a backyard pool then bobbing just below the surface.

“We should go for a run” he says, when asked about plans for a Friday night. “The weather is beautiful after dark. You’ll really enjoy it.”

“I’ll what? You’re mad.” I think. The words that come out of my mouth are slightly more tempered.

“Perhaps we could have dinner instead?”

But he is resolute and I am gently reminded of having had my pick of activities in the weekends preceding this one.

“And then after the run” he starts, pausing to gauge my reaction “maybe you could cook me some soba?”

We sat at the kitchen counter, six-and-a-bit kilometres and one minor hill-related tantrum later.

Eggs with runny yolks. Chilled, nutty noodles in a salty broth. A bowl of shredded baby cabbage. Mineral water spiked with elderflower cordial.

“Are we friends again?” he asked, a furrowed brow in place.

“I made you soba didn’t I?” A pause. “Promise you won’t add a surprise hill to my run ever again.”

“Promise you’ll make me soba again.”

A deal is struck. A friendship renewed. And a new favourite meal is added to the growing list of things-in-common.

handmade soba noodles

There’s one small problem with making your own soba, it’s so beautifully flavoured that you’ll never want to eat instant soba again. I find fresh soba tastes nuttier and has a far more interesting texture. If you’ve made pasta before, it’s not too much trickier. The only difficulty is that as buckwheat flour is gluten free, you won’t get the same elasticity as with pasta so will have to treat the noodles more delicately when rolling, cutting and cooking.

you will need:

160g (~1Cup) buckwheat flour
40g (~1/3C) plain flour
100ml water

how to do it:

1. (Optional) Pass the buckwheat flour through a sieve. Place the large bits that won’t go through into a spice grinder and whiz to break it down into a fine powder. This isn’t strictly necessary, but will save you from angst later on when you try to cut your noodles and they tear because of the bigger bits of buckwheat. True story.

2. Combine the two flours in a bowl, mixing well. Pour all of the water in. Keeping your fingers stiff, push them down into the mixture and then away from you. After a while, you will see the flour absorbing the water and it will become moist and a little fluffy.

3. Form the dough into a ball and then knead until the dough is soft and shiny. Dust the counter top with a little more buckwheat flour and flatten into a circle.

4. You can either roll the dough out into a 1mm thickness with a rolling pin before cutting finely or use a pasta maker with the spaghetti attachment to roll and cut the dough. I tried both and realised I was terrible at hand cutting soba. Oh well.

5. You can freeze the soba at this point by dusting with a generous coat of buckwheat flour and storing in an airtight bag.



homemade soba noodles in broth
Cuisine: Japanese
 
the broth is fairly salty as it is served cold. If you are planning on serving it warm, cut down on the soy sauce. I'd recommend tasting the mixture after every tablespoon of soy in any case, to make sure the broth has the right balance of flavours for your tastebuds
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe soba noodles
  • 500ml dashi (or fish stock)
  • 3tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2tbsp mirin
  • 2tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 knuckle sized knob of ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • a handful of chopped spring onions
How to make it
  1. Peel and grate the ginger. Add it to the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar and set aside in the refrigerator until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
  2. Boil the eggs for about 6 minutes so they are golden and squidgy in the centre.
  3. Set a pot of water to boil. When the water comes to boil, add the soba and cook until the outside is shiny - it shouldn't take more than one minute.
  4. As soon as the soba is done, tip it into a colander in the sink and run cold water over it. Run your fingers through the noodles, washing the starch off the outside and chilling the soba until it is cool to touch.
  5. Place the soba into two bowls and pour over the chilled stock. Serve with two halves of a gooey egg and a handful of shallots.

 


  • #1
    October 24th, 2011

    OMG, this is so cool. Homemade soba noodles! Will definitely give this a go! Love your gooey egg shots too!

  • #2
    October 24th, 2011

    Oh nice!

    So, looking to hold a soba party at your place anytime soon…? hehe 🙂

  • #3
    October 24th, 2011

    EGG EYES

  • #4
    October 24th, 2011

    This is great! Soba noodles are sooo expensive here, so I’m always holding back. But now I can make them myself.

  • #5
    October 25th, 2011

    I loooove soba! Yours looks great, the picture of the dough ball is so pretty. Unfortunately I don;t have a pasta machine, so would have to cut them by hand into tagliatelle style I think. Might give it a go! Thanks for sharing. And I’m with you, running and heat don’t mix 😉

  • #6
    October 25th, 2011

    I can see myself having a minor hill-related tantrum as well…i might be tempted into running for that soba though, looks beautiful.

  • #7
    October 25th, 2011

    i dont know why but every time i see fresh pasta hanging i just want to reach out and stroke it… and woot googly eyes!

  • #8
    October 25th, 2011

    Oh love to taste homemade soba 😉 do you deliver? The gooey egg completes the meal.

  • #9
    October 27th, 2011

    I think I can see Cookie Monster…except he’s grey and his eyes look like eggs!

  • #10
    October 28th, 2011

    These look amazing! Probably not something I would attempt, but they look so delicious. And so so pretty, really lovely photos.

  • #11
    October 28th, 2011

    homemade soba looks so healthy and fresh! i want to get a pasta maker now…

  • #12
    October 28th, 2011

    Love soba, your homemade looks fantastic.

  • #13
    November 1st, 2011

    I really love this post. And you make your own soba noodles – insane! I feel somewhat inspired to try it for myself too.

  • #14
    May 7th, 2014

    Great idea in using soba for soup easy to make and great for the cold. I have never seen those noodles preearpd for a warm dish before. Usually I see them preearpd cold (great summer dish) and served with a variety of spicy sauces on a basket (zarusoba). This is definitely a nice alternative given the upcoming season!

  • #15
    Jeff
    July 9th, 2014

    This brings back! Who doesn’t love eating flowers? I used make grey noodles as well, until I found out the following:

    In the west, for some reason they add hulls back into buckwheat flour, essentially keeping some shells in the peanut butter. It darkens the flour, and makes the noodles gray. If you want to make noodles like those in Japan, it takes flour that has no hulls added. This can be purchased or made out of the berries, in America they call them groats.

    Happy soba making! Try galettes they are divine

  • #16
    February 11th, 2015

    […] you have a pasta machine you may also find that it is easier to use this such as this recipe […]

Shez