Today was my Noodle Day — I set a specific day (Monday) for noodles. I’ve done this since I came to Asia. Who wants to eat noodles for many days in a row?
So, I decided to try my hand at a new Japanese soup noodle after my recent ramen and udon soup escapades. The next contender on my list? Soba noodle soup.
Hot Soba Noodle recipe with mushrooms
Soba noodles are thin, brown-gray noodles made from buckwheat flour or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flour. They have a distinct nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture.
Soba noodle soup is served in a savory broth made from soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. This is a classic and widely enjoyed style (Kake Soba). From this basic recipe, you can create any type of soba soup you like by adding different toppings, from eggs to tempura to mushrooms, etc.
I tried a few types of them, but the Tsukimi Soba impressed me the most. a raw egg sits atop the hot noodles, resembling a moonlit night sky. The magic happens as the egg blends with the soba broth, creating a creamy symphony of flavors.
However, back to my kitchen, I felt like doing something vegan – Kinoko Soba – a soba noodle soup with mushrooms. Thanks to my previous experiences with udon and ramen, making a flavorful broth for buckwheat noodle soup was as hard as before. The once intimidating world of Japanese noodle soups now felt like my kitchen playground.
I only had to grab mushrooms and soba noodles; the rest of the broth ingredients were still on hand from the last time I made udon soup. Here is how to make Soba Noodle Soup with Mushroom – Kinoko Soba:
Kinoko Soba Noodle Soup – Soba Soup with Mushrooms with Spinach
- 200 g soba noodles
- 2 cups fresh spinach washed and chopped
- 1 cup assorted mushrooms shiitake, shimeji, enoki, sliced (or any type of mushrooms)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin sweet rice wine
- 1 tbsp sake optional
- 4 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
- 1 green onion finely chopped (for garnish)
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
- Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, sauté until mushrooms are tender.
- Pour in the vegetable or mushroom broth. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sake (if using). Stir well and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Toss in the chopped spinach and cook until wilted.
- Divide the cooked soba noodles among serving bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Best types of Soba Noodle Soup
Like ramen and udon soup, soba noodle soup has many types with different toppings, each offering a different culinary experience.
- Tsukimi Soba: This soba soup is topped with a raw egg on top, symbolizing the moon (“tsuki” in Japanese).
- Tempura Soba: As the name suggests, the soup is topped with tempura, which adds a crispy and flavorful element to the soup.
- Tanuki Soba: If you like the crunchiness of tempura, you can try this soba noodle soup. It features crispy bits of tenkasu (tempura batter) on top of the noodles.
- Nameko Soba features soba noodles served in a broth that includes nameko mushrooms. The sliminess of nameko mushrooms adds a distinctive mouthfeel to the dish.
- Korokke Soba combines the goodness of soba noodles with korokke, Japanese croquettes. The crispy exterior of the korokke contrasts with the soft soba noodles, and the savory filling adds a satisfying depth of flavor to the dish.
- Kitsune Soba is topped with deep-fried tofu pockets (aburaage).
- Nabeyaki Soba has a variety of ingredients such as chicken, vegetables, and sometimes a raw egg. It’s a hearty and filling version of soba noodle soup.
- Kaisen Soba or seafood soba is served with a variety of fresh seafood, such as shrimp, squid, and fish, in a flavorful seafood broth.
- Hōtō Soba: Originating from the Yamanashi Prefecture, hōtō is a thick, flat wheat noodle that resembles udon. It’s often served in a miso-based soup with vegetables like pumpkin and mushrooms, creating a heartier and more substantial dish.
- Kinoko Soba is topped with sautéed mushrooms (kinoko). The earthy flavors of the mushrooms complement the nuttiness of the soba noodles.
- Yuba Soba is served with yuba (tofu skin) in a hot broth.
- Sansai Soba is another vegan option. “Sansai” literally translates to “mountain vegetables,” and these are typically foraged from the forest during the spring season. The selection of sansai for this soup often includes fern shoots, fried tofu, bracken ferns, wild mushrooms, young bamboo shoots, and other edible plants.
Cold soba noodle
On the flip side, if you don’t like hot soup, you can try cold soba. It offers a rejuvenating experience, especially on balmy days. Cooked noodles are rinsed in cold water, drained, and served with a dipping sauce.
You can enjoy some types of cold soba witha vibrant array of toppings.
- Zaru Soba is a traditional cold soba served on a bamboo mat (zaru). It’s garnished with toppings like green onions and grated daikon.
- Soba Maki takes the concept of Maki Sushi rolls and gives it a delightful twist by incorporating soba noodles.
- Mori Soba is often served on a plate and is typically accompanied by toppings like nori (seaweed) and wasabi.
- Soba Salad is a refreshing and nutritious dish that combines cold soba noodles with a vibrant assortment of vegetables and a flavorful dressing.