PRODUCT NAME: Buckwheat Soba Noodles
COMPANY NAME: Kajino
SIZE: 8 oz
COST PER OZ: $0.87
CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE: Unknown
CERTIFICATION AGENCY: N/A
CERTIFICATION AGENCY: N/A
GLUTEN FREE FACILITY: Unknown
LOCATION OF FACILITY: JAPAN
SHELF LIFE: 1 year +
*These statements are based on the information printed on the product packaging. We cannot verify the accuracy of this information. For verification of the statements above, please contact the manufacturer.
When I first discovered my gluten intolerance I was admittedly disappointed, but I thought to myself:
“Oh well, at least I still have buckwheat soba.”
99% of Buckwheat soba is indeed chock full of regular wheat. The noodles tend to have a blend of buckwheat (no gluten) and wheat (a whole lot of gluten) - thus making them un-digestible to me and, ostensibly, all of you.
There are a few gluten free noodles out there but they are very expensive and mostly, you must order from abroad to get the real goods. Today’s noodles indeed come from the soba wonderworld that is Japan and while this fact incurred its own difficulties (no English anywhere on the package, to start!) the experience was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
So, because there were no cooking instructions in the language that I speak on the package I had to do a bit of research on how exactly to cook these. Apparently there is a ton of specificity around the “right’ way to make soba. Here is what I found:
The Japanese do not stir fry these noodles a la chow mein, in fact they tend to eat all their noodles wet. Soba is often in hot soup, or covered in a wet sauce and quickly slurped up. Traditional Cooking Instructions for Japanese Noodles involves a bold combination of boiling and cold water, vacillating the noodles between the two up to three times. There is no exact set right amount of times to go from boiling to cold to boiling again and one must periodically check the noodles for done-ness. You check them by cutting the noodle in half. If the center of the noodle strand is white and the outside is darker, the noodles are not done. When the center of the noodle is the same color as the outside, and the noodles are firm yet tender to the bite they are done. Rinse Japanese noodles under cold water to prevent clumping.
The noodles do tend to stick together, but adding a little peanut oil helps. I personally ate my noodles clumped together, because I sort of like that kind of thing. (It reminds me of my super all - American macaroni and cheese love affair as a kid perhaps?)
On to the taste. Like any pasta, there isn’t exactly supposed to be a super stand out flavor to buckwheat soba noodles. The texture is really the major factor of enjoyability for most noodles and these puppies turned out just lovely in terms of texture. I followed the cooking rules above and added a bit of stir fried cabbage and miso broth to the mix and I was delighted at how authentically delicious this simple dish turned out to be. The slight flavor of the buckwheat is nutty and toothsome. It soaked up the miso and left the real flavor up to the seasonings.
Unfortunately, the only English I did see was that my single sized serving (which actually was fairly small) packed in 350 calories. While that is not a huge amount for the whole meal, it is a bit more carbohydrate calories then I tend to put into one meal. Every once in awhile I don’t mind the indulgence but I was surprised that it seemed to have a lot more calories than any other gluten free pasta I’ve tried.
Labeling of this soba was in Japanese , so I could not read it. It is my preference to have the label be in English but I guess I can’t exactly say that the labeling was “bad” just because I couldn’t understand it.
This product was wrapped in a sealed plastic wrapping. It was quite sufficient for the freshness of the product.
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Reviewed by Lacy D.