Soba and Udon

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Soba and Udon are Japan’s traditional noodles.  Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, and are thin and brown or gray in color.  Udon noodles are made from white flour, and are quite wide.  Although some establishments will specialize as Soba-ya or Udon-ya, especially in areas known for their soba or udon, most restaurants will have some of both, oftentimes offering the same set of dishes with your choice of either soba or udon.

There are two main ways of eating these noodles -- hot, and cold.  If eaten hot, the noodles are served in a bowl of steaming soup, with toppings or side dishes sometimes placed in the soup, and sometimes on a separate plate.  If eaten cold, the noodles will come on a plate of their own, cold and somewhat sticky.  Cold noodles are eaten by dipping them into a small bowl of broth, which in turn can be either hot or cold, depending on the establishment.

The soup served with soba and udon is usually quite thin, flavored with soy sauce and fish stock.  In some places, duck is also used.  The soup is often served with a small plate of chopped leek and a dab of wasabi, for you to add at your own discretion.

Some common soba/udon dishes are :

Zaru-soba/Zaru-udon - A plate of cold noodles with dipping sauce, and nothing else.
Mori-soba/Mori-udon - A bowl of hot noodles, with no extra toppings or condiments.
Tanuki-soba/Tanuki-udon - A bowl of hot noodles, with small bits of fried tempura         batter added in.
Kitsune-soba/Kitsune-udon - A bowl of hot noodles, with a large piece of sweet fried         tofu.
Curry-soba/Curry-udon - A bowl of hot noodles, strongly flavored with curry.
Ten-zaru-soba/ten-zaru-udon - A plate of cold noodles with dipping sauce, and an         order of tempura.
Tempura-soba/Tempura-udon - A bowl of hot noodles, with some tempura.  Usually,     this is served with two big shrimp tempura, soaking in the soup.


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October 07, 2006 new by lelanddavis (2 points)

type:Japanese
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