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Jun 24, 2009 12:57 PM

Where is the most buckwheaty soba?

Hi...i'm looking for soba with as high a buckwheat-to-wheat flour ratio as possible, either in a restaurant or dried/store-bought...

I had soba a couple times recently at Soba Koh: while i love the tempura and jazz and overall cuteness of the place, i found the soba to be a little too mushy and not to have as much buckwheat as i normally like...

i don't care for Soba-ya...

i haven't had the soba yet at Soba Totto or 15 East, but i am open to trying either...

i actually like the dried soba that you can buy in stores (Pearl River, and elsewhere) okay, but judging by the ingredient list and low-amount of fiber per serving, it seems to have less buckwheat than i'd like...

Any thoughts on this?...Silverjay?...EEto?...Anyone?...*smiles*

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    1. re: xigua

      Exactly what I thought. Matsugen.

      1. re: kobetobiko

        i just checked their menu...that inaka soba looks like exactly what i want...thanks...i shall try it very soon...

      2. re: xigua

        Just went to Matsugen last night for the first time. Had the cold inaka soba with sesame sauce, in addition to some other items (did the prix fixe menu for $35). It was pretty tasty, and for the price of the meal, the quality and quantity of the food was very generous.

        1. re: LeahBaila

          thanks for the report!...i'll go there soon

      3. I defer to other's restaurant recs. We usually eat the dried stuff at home and make our own tsuyu and toppings (I'm big on okra these days).....Hoping you can increase the buckwheatedness of your daily life, SJ

        3 Replies
        1. re: Silverjay

          i just cooked some dried soba for breakfast, and topped it with some monkfish liver i bought at the Union Square greenmarket, some carrots, bamboo shoots, and a fried egg...untraditional i guess, but it did the trick...though i suspect i will become hooked on the Matsugen inaka soba and have to search for a place that sells it dried...

          1. re: Simon

            tororo and natto - champion of all toppings!

            1. re: kobetobiko

              traditional and true, but sadly i've never been able to develop a taste for either...uni and anago, however, i could eat all day...but thinking of it now, i bet hamo would be awesome with cold soba topping...maybe they'll have it when i go to Matsugen

        2. Most soba have some wheat flour in it. But some health food stores should carry the 100% buckwheat version. My first choice would be Integral Yoga.

          And if you can wrangle an invitation to HLing's home, she makes her own soba noodles grinding her own buckwheat. How awesome is that!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            cool, i'll look for that brand of soba -- that looks like exactly what i wanted...(but i won't shop at Integral, as i refuse to support them for non-food related reasons)...

            1. re: Simon

              Be careful when you cook 100% buckwheat soba as they can break apart as it lacks gluten (which binds things together). In addition to Mitoku, I believe Eden brand also has a line of 100% buckwheat soba.

              1. re: Simon

                Actually I'd first recommend looking for brands that are not primarily marketed for the health/gluten-free angle. (Just my bias, but I find that most products marketed as such do not have high on their target authenticity and flavor in mind...)

                At any well-stocked Japanese food market one should be able to find at least one, if not two or more brands that carry a "To-wari" or sometimes "Ju-wari" [pronounced with a long 'o' or long 'u'] soba. It's only been relatively recently that I've noticed these 100% buckwheat soba noodles being available.

                They both mean the same thing, which is 100% (buckwheat flour) soba.

                Look for the Kanji shown in this image, though this image is taken from a Shochu bottle (but made from 100% buckwheat flour...).

                1. re: cgfan

                  All things considered, I'd prefer the contents of the shochu bottle to the soba package. But that's just me. Little ole' silvery oni,...

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Actually I've always wondered what the Towari Shochu tasted like... Never wanted to spend the bucks to take the chance. Any good, and can you really taste the Soba-mi or is it just marketing?

                    1. re: cgfan

                      The nastiest hangover I've ever had from shochu was from a soba-chochu. So I'll just stick to slurping it, not drinking it....I personally think that once you reach a certain basic level of quality, the margin of return you get from supposedly better types of soba noodles is mimimal- particularly compared to the differences in quality between broths. Having eaten at so many soba places in Japan, many of them highly acclaimed, I wish I could say different.