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Bento Recipes: Soba noodles


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Soba noodles are brownish-gray buckwheat noodles. Preparation is easy: boil for eight minutes or so, then rinse under cold water. They can be eaten cold (a summer dish) or stir-fried, put in soups, or served with other items on top. I'm currently experimenting with ways to use these noodles. Here's what I've tried and found worthwhile so far:

  • Mix in a little yakisoba sauce. Just a very little; enough so that, when well stirred in, it deepens the color of the noodles a touch, but not so much that it makes them wet. This adds a pleasant flavor without overpowering the noodles.
  • Top with a little bit of beef, cut into very thin strips and stir-fried in yakisoba sauce, and konbu, which is dried seaweed. Soak the seaweed to soften it, of course, and stir-fry it with the beef.
  • Make yakisoba.

It's considered polite to slurp noodles when you eat them. Well, in Japan, anyway. I've never developed much skill in that department, and people in my office look at me funny when I try.