Noodles- Soba vs Udon
All our talk of Ramen last week got us thinking…noodles, why are they so loved and of course which type, if any, is best?
Here at Yuhoki we offer our customers a choice of noodles with their dishes, if you fancy a takeaway stir-fry, you can go for a thin Soba or thick Udon, even our Ramen is customisable (choose Udon for the Udon soup experience!) So, this week’s blog will be all about our two favourite noodles and the dishes we use them in!
Noodles can be found in one variation or another in all parts of the world but are best known in Asian cuisine as long strands of goodness that act a vehicle for whatever delicious sauce, soup or toppings bestowed upon them. In Japanese cooking, noodles are commonly wheat based but come in all shapes and sizes depending on the dish and region. When eating noodles, it is common practice to slurp them noisily, this is not only very satisfying but the act of drawing the noodles quickly into the mouth cools them down!
Like at Yuhoki in many dishes Soba and Udon can be interchangeable depending on the diner’s tastes, they can traditionally be used in hot or cold dishes, soups and stir-fries.
Soba are perhaps one of most recognisable noodles, thin and made from buckwheat flour they form the basis of many hot and cold dishes. Soba noodles rose to popularity in the Tokugawa period in wealthy Tokyo as the thiamine in Soba helped to combat deficiencies caused by an over-consumption of white rice! Throughout the Tokugawa period, Soba cafes were prominent in every neighbourhood often serving sake alongside their soba. Soba noodles can have real health benefits, containing many essential amino acids that are missing from white flour. At Yuhoki we love matching Soba with our seafood stir-fry, it gives great texture and flavour as well as packing a real health punch! If seafood not your thing, why not try our delicate chicken stir-fry light and fresh in the summer heat.
In contrast to the skinny Soba, Udon are a thick wheat based noodle perfect for soups or cold noodle salads. Unlike Soba the shape and texture of Udon vary regionally (a bit like Italian pasta), they can be round, square, flat, even ear-shaped (Mimi Udon). The texture itself can also range from the chewier Gosetsu Udon to the soft Hakata Udon. Like Soba Udon noodles were popularised in the Tokugawa or Endo period, their origins are however subject to quite some debate with stories ranging from Buddhist priests to Japanese envoys to China. We love Udon with our Beef Stir Fry; the thick noodles add to the rich deliciousness of the beef and the rich sauce. Udon are perfect in soups, a particular favourite at Yuhoki is our Seafood Udon Soup, perfect for slurping!
So, it’s decision time, what’s your favourite noodle? Still unsure? No problem, try them for yourself! Indulge in a takeaway stir-fry or pop in and see us for some nourishing Udon soup.