A big bowl of warm, steaming broth with tender noodles is the ultimate comfort food. Take your soul-satisfying noodle soups to the next level by making your own soba noodles! These pale brown, square-cut Japanese noodles are made with a mix of buckwheat and all-purpose flour, so they have a wonderfully nutty, earthy taste and chewy texture. Read on for our step-by-step guide to fresh soba noodles, plus a favorite recipe to try them in.
Fresh Soba Noodles
1 1/4 cups (6 oz./185 g.) Japanese buckwheat flour
3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp. kosher salt dissolved in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) water
|Roll out the dough
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Slip 3 of the pieces back under the bowl. Set the rollers of a pasta machine at the wides setting and dust with flour. Crank the dough piece through the machine. Fold into thirds and repeat. Repeat, moving the dial 1 notch narrower after each pass. Stop at the second-to-last setting.
|Let the noodles dry
Spread the soba noodles out onto a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet and let dry for 10-20 minutes. Cook right away or coil into nests and let dry for up to 3 hours.
Soba Noodles & Seared Salmon in Ginger-Green Onion Broth
Firm-fleshed salmon fillets make a hearty topping for a bowl of tempting buckwheat noodles and broth. Accompany with an Asian-inspired salad, such as cucumbers dressed in sesame.
4 green onions
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) chicken broth
2-inch (5-cm.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 star anise
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. mirin
A few drops of Asian sesame oil
6 oz. (185 g.) fresh soba noodles
3/4 lb. (375 g.) center-cut salmon, cut into 4 equal pieces, skin and pinbones removed
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly slice the green onions, reserving the white and pale green parts in one bowl and the dark green parts in a separate bowl.
In a large, heavy pot, combine the broth, ginger, the white and pale green slices of the green onions, the star anise, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil over medium-high heat. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pan and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the soup, discard the solids, and return the broth to the pot. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook, stirring once or twice, for 2-3 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
Place a small frying pan over high heat until it is very hot. Brush the salmon with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon to medium-rare, 4-5 minutes per side.
To serve, use tongs to divide the soba noodles among 4 shallow bowls. Ladle the hot broth into each bowl and top with a piece of seared salmon. Garnish with the sliced dark green onions and serve. Serves 4.
Find more tutorials in Williams-Sonoma The Pasta Book, by Julia della Croce (Weldon Owen, 2010).