What are Buckwheat Noodles?
Buckwheat noodles, or otherwise known as soba noodles, are a type of noodle that became popular in Japan during the late 1800’s. Made from buckwheat flour, these noodles are typically cooked, rinsed and served cold with a variety of dipping sauces or in a hot, clear broth.
Buckwheat noodles are fat and cholesterol-free and are a good source of nutrients like manganese, protein, carbohydrates and thiamine. To taste, they have a strong, nutty flavour.
Although buckwheat flour is gluten free, many buckwheat noodles are made with some wheat flour in them, which means they’re not gluten-free so it’s important to read the label to ensure you are purchasing what you need. Pure buckwheat soba noodles can be found though which are stronger in flavour. I generally find dried soba noodles in packets from our local Asian store or from a health food store. Dried soba noodles look like flat spaghetti and are usually light beige to dark brown-grey in colour.
How do you cook them?
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add a bunch of soba noodles and cover. Bring back to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under hot water or cold water, depending on what you’re using them for. They are perfect if you’re in a hurry due to their quick cooking time.
How do you use them?
Wherever I’d use traditional pasta, I will interchange with buckwheat noodles. They are great to serve with a Stir Fry, Beef Stroganoff, in a Hot Chicken Soup or a dish with a sauce. They also make a fantastic addition to a salad as a substitute for rice or pasta.
To get you started, try this Tofu Soba Noodle Salad, which can be created within 30 minutes.