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Jun 17, 2008 06:58 PM

We need tips for cooking Fresh Soba Noodles.

Dommy! went to a Korean grocer near her Mother's house when she came across a gold mine. She found a package marked "for restaurant use only" filled with 4 large servings of fresh Buckwheat Soba Noodles for $3. When we got home, we cooked some Bok Choy and made a beef broth and added tofu and we boiled the noodles separately. I wasn't paying attention to her cooking but after a short time the noodles came out Slimy and Clumpy. We were disappointed. Most of the sliminess went away when we rinsed then dunked the noodles in the soup. but the clumps of noodles didn't work themselves out.

Our previous experiences with Buckwheat soba has been frozen or dried and we haven't had those issues. We have 2 servings Left to work with. Any tips?

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  1. Sounds like you overcooked.

    Depending on the thickness of the noodles, I generally do the "3 boil" method.

    1. Bring water to a boil
    2. Drop in noodles
    3. Let the water come to a boil (do not cover)
    4. When the water is at a hard boil, add a cup of cold water
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 two more times (hence the name "3 boil")
    6. Remove from stovetop and drain.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I'm going to try this next time since normally when I cook noodles Im standing over the pot, stirring and tasting until they are cooked right

      Thanks ipse

      1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

        Adding the cups of cold water prevents boil over. I don't see why this is better than just reducing the heat a bit, as I do with pasta. Well, it cuts the boil faster, something which I should have remembered on a recent camping trip (instead of fumbling around for the pot grip).

        Another distinctive in Japanese cooking directions is to rinse the noodles thoroughly afterwards. This washes off starch, and reduces sticking that develops as the pasta cools. Italian pasta usually gets oil or sauce, which prevents sticking. Soba, instead, are usually served well drained, and dipped in soup or broth by the mouthful.


        1. re: paulj

          Adding the cold water prevents the pasta from sticking during cooking.

          It's the same method I use for boiling dumplings.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            adding cold water prevents it from getting soggy. At least with dumpling skins...

    2. Were the noodles stuck together before you put them in the water? It's been some time since I bought fridgerated noodles, but I recall something about separating them by hand before putting them in the water.


      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        Dommy! Sez: she wasn't careful about untangling the mound of noodles. so there is part of the problem.

      2. The packet must have had instructions on them, and probably would've followed something like this:

        1. Boil water (100g/serving)
        2. When boiled, slowly slide in noodles. Stir occasionally.
        3. Timing is tricky. It should be about 3 minutes for fresh noodles, but depending on the manufacturer, sometimes it takes up to about 10 minutes. Did the packet have any suggestions? If not, try a string every 3 minutes (until it dances in the water), taste for al dente or a bit harder.
        4. As soon as it is done, pour noodles into strainer with ice in it, run cold water over it.
        5. When noodles are not cooking on its own anymore, take out the ice and pour it into your soup/broth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RHplus

          When all else fails, read the Directions.

          First thing the package suggests is rinse the noodles first to remove excess flour. Boil 3-4 Minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water and serve.

          When I initially looked at the package It looked like the instructions were in Korean but further inspection debunks that

        2. In fresh soba restaurants I've seen the cook standing over a pot of boiling water with the soba in a small hand-held colander type thing and just dipping it in and out fast to boil the soba without overcooking