The 7 Best Soba Noodles

by Gina Elizabeth
Japanese Foods - Soba Noodles

Looking for the best soba noodles brand?

Here are delicious soba noodles that you need to try!

New to soba? Here’s the gist: The Japanese noodle is made of buckwheat, and tastes delish.

Soba noodle meals come together in less than 10 minutes — and basically transport you to Tokyo.

#Soba

Types of Soba Noodles

There are different varieties of soba noodles in Japan, but the primary differences are the ratio of buckwheat flour.

  • Ju-wari Soba (十割そば) is made of 100% buckwheat flour. Ju-wari soba has a strong buckwheat aroma and flavor, and it can be hard to prepare because of the grainy texture.
  • Hachi-wari Soba (八割そば) is made from 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour. Hachi-wari means 80% in Japanese. The noodle is much smoother and it has an al dente texture. However, the buckwheat aroma is less pronounced than Ju-wari.
  • Instant ‘Soba’ – These noodles contain more wheat flour than buckwheat. Adding wheat flour, which contains gluten, makes the noodles more durable, as well as less expensive to produce.

It’s hard to say which type of soba is tastier. Try them all!

Best Soba Noodles

When it comes to noodles, the Japanese just do it better.

1. Eden Organic 100% Buckwheat Soba

The most authentic juwari soba — are noodles made with only buckwheat flour and water, the former being the only ingredient listed on the label. Eden’s organic buckwheat soba has an earthy and nutty taste. The texture is grainier than other soba on the market, due to the absence of wheat gluten and other binders. Despite the name, buckwheat is not wheat.

Pros

  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Highest quality 100% soba noodles available in the US. market
  • Organic

Cons

  • Noodles comes apart somewhat while cooking, due to missing wheat gluten binders
  • Pricey

Did you know?

One reason why wheat flour is often added is that buckwheat by itself can be challenging to work with and may result in fragile noodles.

2. Nissin Donbei Tempura Soba

This is the most beloved instant soba noodle in Japan. The delicate broth, crispy tempura, and chewy noodles are the real winners here. The konbu (seaweed) flavor is popular in Japan, partly due to the bonito stock with sansho pepper. Top with some bacon or and egg for extra protein.

Pros

  • Chewy, sturdy noodles
  • Quick, easy, and affordable

Cons

  • Not 100% buckwheat soba

[RELATED: 20 Traditional Japanese Foods]

3. Hakubaku Organic Soba Noodles

These organic soba noodles come together in no time, add sesame seeds for extra crunch.

You can jazz it up with anything from frozen gyoza to bok choy or snap peas.

Or add whatever vegetables you have on hand for cold soba noodles.

Toss them in a homemade dressing made with lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup for a refreshing meal on a warm summer day.

4. Maruchan – Midori No Tanuki Instant Soba Bowl

Maruchan is one of the most well known Japanese instant noodles.

Midori No Tanuki is buckwheat noodles in a hot broth topped with a large piece of deep-fried shrimp Tempura.

The broth is soy sauce-based, umami-packed, and slurp-ready! You can jazz it up with anything from shredded nori to sesame seeds.

5. Nissin Donbei Kamo Dashi Soba

Nothing beats a classic!

There’s plenty of variety when it comes Nissin’s instant noodles.

This donbei kamo dashi soba seasoned with duck fat is way better than eating out.

It has a green onion kick that you won’t be able to resist.

If you’ve ever wanted to try kamo dashi soba in Tokyo, this is the next best thing!

6. Boiling Point Wok Soba Noodles

These premium, instant soba noodles are legitimately perfect.

Choose your own soba adventure. Add Boiling Point’s soup base.

Then throw in veggies, a runny soft-boiled egg on top, meatballs, sprinkle on more sesame seeds.

Use whatever you have!

7. Maruchan Yakisoba Fire Noodles

If you’re tired of your usual instant soba routine, mix things up with.

Maruchan’s yakisoba fire noodles clock in at 8706 Scoville units, which makes them one of the spiciest instant noodles on the market.

Soba Fact: Although it contains the word soba, yakisoba is actually stir-fried wheat flour noodles, not buckwheat. 

Need more spicy noodles? Prepare to fall in love with the 7 Spiciest Instant Noodles Ever.

Instant Soba Noodle FAQs

What are soba noodles?

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat. The noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or hot in a noodle soup. In Japan, soba noodles can be found in “fast food” places to expensive specialty restaurants.

What do soba noodles taste like?

Japanese soba noodle have a distinctively nutty and earthy flavor.

When were soba noodles invented

Soba noodles are part of Japan’s washoku (traditional) cuisine and have been eaten in their current incarnation (as noodles) since the Edo era from 1603 to 1868.

What are the benefits of eating buckwheat?

Buckwheat is a highly nutritious whole grain that many people consider to be a superfood. Among its health benefits, buckwheat may improve heart health, promote weight loss, and help manage diabetes. Buckwheat is a good source of protein, fiber, and energy.

Is buckwheat a type of wheat?

Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat — in fact it’s not technically a grain at all! Buckwheat is one of the six pseudo grains that are not part of the Poaceae cereal family but are considered grains due to their similar uses from a culinary and nutritional perspective.

What are some authentic soba noodle flavors?

You might have seen packages of green or pink soba noodles in Japanese grocery stores.

  • Green Tea Soba (Cha Soba, 茶そば) – The noodles are flavored with a small amount of green tea powder to give a subtle green tea taste and green color.
  • Ume Plum Soba (Ume Soba, 梅そば) – The noodles are flavored with Japanese ume plum and have a slight pink color.

What is zaru soba?

Zaru Soba is a chilled soba noodle served with soy sauce-based dipping sauce called Tsuyu (つゆ). The word zaru means “a strainer” in Japanese and the name of the dish was derived from the way the noodles are served over a bamboo strainer during the Edo Period.

What is yakisoba?

Yakisoba noodles are the same noodles used in ramen, a popular Japanese noodle soup. In some areas of Japan (mainly the Fukuoka Prefecture), yakisoba features thick, chewy udon noodles instead of wheat noodles (in a dish called yaki udon).

Is buckwheat gluten free?

Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free food that is related to the rhubarb plant. It’s a versatile grain that can be steamed and eaten in place of rice, or the whole seeds can be ground into a fine flour.

When were instant noodles invented?

Instant noodles rose to fame about 60 years ago in Japan after the 2nd World War to feed the starving Japanese population. Instant noodles were launched by Momofuku Ando under the label name ‘Chickin Ramen.’ Over the years, instant noodles became a worldwide favorite comfort meal.

What are the types of Japanese noodles?

  • Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour, roughly as thick as spaghetti, and prepared in various hot and cold dishes.
  • Ramen noodles are made from wheat, are much thinner and longer than udon.
  • Udon are thick Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. They are thicker than soba noodles, white and chewier.
  • Somen noodles are long, thin Japanese noodles. These slim white noodles are made from wheat flour, and stretched, rather than cut.
  • Hiyamugi are very thin dried Japanese noodles made of wheat. They are slightly thicker than somen.
  • Shirataki noodles are long, white noodles. They are often called miracle noodles or konjac noodles.
  • Harusame noodles are round or flat, thin rods that are generally 5 to 7 inches in length. They are also found as long, thin delicate noodles gathered in tight bundles. 

Is soba healthier than pasta?

Soba noodles have less calories more fiber and more protein than traditional pasta.

What are chuka soba noodles?

In Japanese, “chuka” is the word for Chinese. Chuka soba noodles are the Japanese version of Chinese egg noodles. These slightly yellow-color curly noodles are made simply with wheat flour, water, salt and yellow food coloring. These are the noodles commonly used in Yakisoba noodles.

Why are Japanese instant soba noodles so popular?

Japanese instant noodles are very popular generally because it’s easy to eat and can be eaten anywhere. Just add hot water or microwave. All the seasoning coms in packets in the cup/box. Japanese instant ramen are also popular due to the number of options to choose from.

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