Sunday, September 6, 2009

Soba has got to be one of the world's easiest dish to prepare. All you need to buy are the noodles and the sauce to dip the soba in. Hubby and I have been contemplating to cook soba at home for quite a while, but the chance never really came along as he was traveling a lot a couple of months back. Now that the project is over, we can explore a little :P

We did some research and cooking soba is just so easy. Buy the noodles and a bottle of the tsuyu (soup base)! We were walking pass Shojikiya in 1Utama, when we spotted them having a promotion on their tsuyu range. "Oh heck!" we thought. "Let's get a bottle and cook soba at home!"

Just our luck too, as one of their staff was preparing to cook some soba for shoppers to try! :D So we chatted with her and asked her about cooking soba. She told us that soba would take about 5-7 minutes to cook, but if we're not sure, always take a small bite. Soba should be cooked al' dente, she said, as cooking it too long would make it too soft. As for the tsuyu, she told us there are 2 types available in Shojikiya: the concentrated type and the ready-mix. She mentioned that some people may not like the ready-mix type, as it is a little too watery. Hence we got ourselves the concentrated type.

Concentrated tsuyu.
The ratio for tsuyu and water is simple: 1:2 (one portion tsuyu to 2 portions of water). Very simple, right? And if you like it to have a stronger flavour, just add more tsuyu (but that would mean a pretty salty soup base, ehehehehe!).

Soba (buckwheat).

Some soba packs have been nicely pre-packed for you in individual servings. Some packs are 90 grams per serving, while some are 100 grams per helping. You can easily buy soba from supermarkets and hypermarkets. For our first attempt, the soba we bought is a mixture of wheat & buckwheat (according to Wikipedia, that's the Ni-hachi soba).

Here's how you prepare the chilled soba:
1) Boil a pot of water.
2) Put the soba into the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes (or until the texture is al' dente).
3) While waiting for the soba to cook, prepare the dipping sauce in a small bowl (1:2 ratio).
4) Dish the soba out and place it into a bowl of ice water for a few seconds. Remove the soba from the ice water and place them onto a plate (or if you have the bamboo tray a.k.a zaru, that would be a bonus to let the excess water drain off).
5) Serve the dipping sauce with dried seaweed, grated radish and spring onions (a quail egg is optional).

Ta-da! Our soba is ready to be consumed! The texture of the soba was just nice, OM NOM NOM NOM NOM! Not only was the soba and dipping sauce tasty, it was also a refreshing change from our usual meal (not to mention healthy too). The next round, we're gonna get some cha soba (green tea soba) and give that a go!


Cha soba is great - it's better than regular soba!

Trust me you'll love it even more. After that I never turned back. :D

Raw quail egg leh... Hehehe. :P~~~