This is one of my son’s favorite noodle dishes, and I find myself turning to it whenever I get stuck on what to make for dinner. It is so versatile – you can integrate any kind of protein, vegetables and sea vegetables and you will always end up with a beautiful bowl of noodles.
Known in Japan as Soba Noodles, buckwheat noodles stem from a very long tradition of noodle making and is most often served in a broth during winter, and served cold as a zarusoba which is served on ice with a soy dip and an array of herbs like grated ginger and shiso leaves. They have an interesting nutty flavor, and are always cut thin.
Buckwheat noodles are great for a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based noodles, as they are fruit seeds, and not a wheat-cereal.
This recipe has wakame seaweed, tofu, eggs and chopped scallions – which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, folate, protein, magnesium and calcium. I love runny eggs, and I make them practically raw for my own bowl, but for Magnus, I cook them through, even though quite tender. Either way, the mixture of egg yolk with the dashi broth is rich and satisfying.
Traditionally, the dashi soup stock for buckwheat noodles call for kombu sweaweed and dried kastuo fish flakes which are soaked and cooked. While kombu seaweed is now quite easy to buy in a Whole Foods store or a local Asian grocer, good dried katsuo flakes are much more difficult to purchase. Today more and more people use instant dashi (hondashi) stock grains which dissolves in water. But for kids, I don’t like using the hondashi since it usually contains MSG. So doing a no-no for Japanese standards, I make the dashi stock from dried shitake mushrooms (usually used only for udon noodle soup stock). It produces a rich broth, and it adds potassium, folate, iron and fiber.
Buckwheat Noodle Soup
400g buckwheat noodles
2 large dried kombu seaweed
5 large shitake mushrooms
5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried wakame seaweed
1 tablespoon mirin
5 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. In another medium sized pot, combine 5 cups of water, kombu seaweed and shitake mushrooms and bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, mirin, wakame seaweed and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. In the large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook about 5-6 minutes. Take one noodle out with a fork to check if it is cooked through. If it is, drain, run cold water through the noodles and set aside.
5. Crack one egg at a time into the medium sized pot with the soup stock and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
6. Divide the noodles into 4 serving bowls. Pour the soup stock over the noodles and add one egg on top of each noodle bowl. Sprinkle with scallions and serve immediately.