Soba is a type of thin Japanese noodle made from a combination of buckwheat and other type of flours (e.g. wheat flour). The buckwheat gives the noodles a slightly nutty taste. In Japan, it is served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
Soba noodles only have about half the calories and carbohydrates as compared to typical white flour pasta.
Soba contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in wheat flour. It is also a good source of nutrients like manganese, lean protein, carbohydrates and thiamine. Since buckwheat does not contain gluten, buckwheat noodles are a good choice for people following a gluten-free diet.
Commonly Asked Question: Why is my soba dough so crumbly and doesn’t come together?
The crumbly texture is quite common when working with an all buckwheat dough since it is gluten-free. That is one of the reasons why many homemade soba noodle recipes uses a combination of wheat flour to make the dough easier to work with. It needs a binder, and using wheat flour for example helps it stay together a bit better. In traditional wheat breads, the binder is gluten, which is formed as the dough is being worked – it is that formation which makes the mixture a dough, rather than a wet paste or grit.
A dough made from just buckwheat flour and water will crumble easily. The binder produced this way is very weak and the noodles becomes very fragile, dries out and prone to coming apart easily. Making authentic soba noodles is an art form requiring years of experience to perfect.
Soba Boro is a traditional Japanese cookie that is made with buckwheat flour. It is a traditional Japanese confection. The texture is said to be similar to biscotti. I have not tried it myself as i have not been to Japan. But there is a recipe shared by www.cookiecompanion.com for this. The above images show one with with ginger and gomasio and the other plain. Gomashio is made from sesame seeds and salt . It is often used in Japanese cuisine, sometimes sprinkled over plain rice or onigiri.
For more info , here are two blog reviews about this cookie from Japan:
I didn’t know there was such a thing as buckwheat ice cream until today. I wonder what it taste like! Unfortunately it is only available in Japan. But you can try making it from scratch, i’ve included the link to the recipe below.
From Japan – The one in the middle is the buckwheat flavored ice cream. The green one is green tea flavor. (Photo by Timothy Takemoto on flickr)
Soba-cha (Buckwheat Tea) Soft Ice Cream Cone from Shibuya Tokyo Department Store Food Show
(Photo by yusheng on flickr)
Here’s another one from Japan. According to the blogger, Felicia who posted this, you can get this at one of 27 road stations in Aomori. Go to “Road Station Shichinohe” located in Shichinohe Town where Shinkansen (bullet train) stops at Shichinohe-Towada Station (you can walk to the road station).
Buckwheat Soft Serve Ice Cream (Aomori, Japan)
Why not try making it yourself! Here’s a recipe using buckwheat kernels and buckwheat honey
(A recipe from the L.A. Times)
Buckwheat ice cream cubes (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
And another recipe from the website Love & Lentil
If you have your own recipe, do share!
This is an amazing shot i found on flickr! Just to share it with you 🙂
A field of buckwheat flowers taken in Nagano-ken(Prefecture), Japan
flickr photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)