How to Cook Your Best Soba Noodles
Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Your soba noodle package has been holding out on you.
If you’ve ever eagerly anticipated sneaking a bite from a bowl of perfectly-dressed soba noodles, and instead were left staring at a glob of tangled noodles at the end of your chopsticks, we feel your pain. And we’re here to make sure that never happens again.
The secret? You need to wash your noodles. Really. For some reason, most packages of soba noodles don’t tell you this — but now you’re in on the secret, and no longer need to battle soba that’s stuck together and gluey. While you run to your pantry to incredulously look at what’s not there on the package, make sure your noodles are made from all (or mostly) buckwheat flour; if they aren’t, buy different ones the next time you’re at the store.
Here’s how to cook them — properly.
Get a big pot of water boiling — and despite our prior yammering, don’t salt the water. Once it’s boiling, add the soba noodles, and give them a quick stir to make sure they all go under water.
Let the water return to a boil, then reduce the heat a little, to keep the water at a simmer. Let the noodles cook for the time prescribed on your noodle package, probably between 5 and 8 minutes — set that kitchen timer! Meanwhile, ready your colander in the sink, and prepare a big bowl of cold water. (Not an ice bath, though: You want it cold, but not so cold you can’t comfortably stick your hands in.)