I love, LOVE, soba noodles. They are quick to cook up for a last minute meal, are really versatile, and not to mention filling and nutritious.
Soba noodles are traditional Japanese noodles made using buckwheat flour. They are slightly thicker than a spaghetti noodle, and considerably heartier. One reason is the buckwheat flour, which is hearty and nutty. Buckwheat is a slow-releasing carbohydrate with a low glycemic index. It is also a decent source of protein, iron and manganese.
My favourite brand of soba noodles is Sobaya, a local company based out of Cowansville in the Eastern Townships. In addition to traditional soba noodles, they have soba made with kamut or spelt.
(My favourite is the spelt and buckwheat soba), as well as other kinds of Japaense noodles like the thicker udon noodle and the thinner somen noodle. Many of their noodles are organic and made from stone-milled flour.
Some of my favourite ways to cook up the noodles are to simply toss them with a peanut or tahini dressing in the winter, or fresh pesto in the summer; cooked up with vegetables in broth for a warming bowl of noodle soup; or served beneath a stir fry.
Feeling inspired? Here are some recipe ideas.
All of them take under 20 minutes to prepare:
Soba Noodles, Fast, Versatile and Tasty
Cold Soba, Sesame and Carrot Salad from The Kitchn
Soba Noodles with Kale from Gastronomy
Soba Noodle Stir Fry from Irene Fong at Canadian Living
Miso-glazed Scallops with Soba Noodles from Eating Well
Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu from the Savvy Vegetarian
Notes: Use these recipes as a guide to create your own concoctions using in-season ingredients. I almost never use a recipe when cooking soba (well, except this time when I made hiyashi soba).
If you try the miso-glazed salmon recipe, look for sustainably harvested or farmed scallops. A few grocery store chains carry MSC-certified scallops. You can also ask your local fishmonger.