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Happy New Year! It’s been a while, my apologies, I was vacationing for a month and then the holiday season hit so it’s been busy. I’ve been doing a lot of gluttonous gorging, partying, eating some more and almost ZERO exercise. As a result, I feel sluggish and foggy causing me to crave something light on my stomach, healthy for the body and easy to make (because I’m also feeling quite lazy). The probability of other people also feeling the same after the holidays is 5 in every 3 couch potatoes, so I’ll share with you what I’ve been eating lately to put the zing back in my step. I present to you, Zaru Soba, also known as Chilled Buckwheat Noodles.
Soba, the Japanese term for buckwheat noodles, is gluten free (if you purchase soba with 100% buckwheat) and full of bio-compounds that the body needs, such as all eight essential amino acids, choline, thiamine and riboflavin (source). It also contains antioxidants which helps the body fight free radicals and prevent/delay some types of cell damage such as cancer. Soba regulates blood pressure and liver function which plays an important part in metabolism. By acting as a neutralizing agent it also supports the liver, which is great after a night of drinking, not to mention, the high fibre content promotes bowel movement and helps eliminate cholesterol (source). In conclusion, thumbs up for Soba for being good to your body.
Real talk though—all of this health info I found for the sake of writing this blog article; the main reason I eat Zaru Soba is because it tastes good and it’s so easy to make. If I cook enough soba for 2 or 3 meals I can store it in an airtight container in the fridge and eat it for lunch over the next two days.
There are many variations of Zaru Soba and the great thing is, you can go as simple as you want (chilled soba + dipping sauce) or as fancy as you want. Soba can also be eaten hot! For this recipe, I mix the grated daikon, wasabi, green onion together before dipping the noodles in. Part of the fun is that you can create a ratio of this mixture to your own desire, there is no right or wrong. I hope you enjoy chilled Zaru Soba as much as I do!
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to share by taking a photo and posting on instagram with the hashtag #francesmenu!
Zaru Soba (Chilled Buckwheat Noodles)
YIELD: 2 portions
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME (active + inactive time): 10 minutes
CREDITS: Frances Lam
- 1 – 2 bunches of Soba/Gluten free soba (Regular Japanese Buckwheat noodles available at your local Korean/Japanese/Chinese grocery store)
- 3-4 tbsp Soba Tsuyu dipping sauce (available at your local Korean/Japanese/Chinese grocery store)
- 1 Green Onion/Scallion, diced
- 1/2 tspn Wasabi Paste
- 1.5 tbsp Daikon Radish, grated (optional)
- 1 Boiled egg, chilled (optional)
- Dried seaweed/Nori (in shreds) (optional)
- Mixing Bowl of cold water
Prepare the soba by following the cooking instructions at the back of the noodle package. After it is done cooking, add the soba to the bowl of cold water and swirl around to wash off the extra starch and stop any further cooking. Transfer the soba to a colander and allow it to drain in the fridge for 5 minutes (with a drip pan of some sort underneath). Noodles can also be made the night before, drained and stored in an airtight container.
In the meanwhile, grate the daikon radish, dice the green onion and pour the soba tsyuyu into a dipping bowl. To mix the dipping sauce, add some scallion, grated daikon radish, tiny bit of wasabi to the soba sauce. Stir and taste, add more of what you want.
Serve the soba with dried seaweed sprinkled on top and the chilled egg sliced in half on the side. To eat, dip the soba into the sauce as you eat. Alternatively, you can mix your sauce into the soba noodles.
- I’ve been kindly informed by a reader (Thanks Olivia!) that different soba types have different ratios of buckwheat and wheat flour, usually an 80% buckwheat and 20% wheat flour ratio. If you are on a gluten free diet, here is the link to purchase gluten free soba.
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