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Dinner Tonight: Hot Soba

Ever since I learned that dashi could be prepared quickly, I've been on a huge Japanese noodle kick. I tackled udon early on, and even put together a pretty ridiculous batch of ramen. Now with high spirits I've decided to face my fear of soba.

While I have a deep abiding love for noodles of all kinds, soba has never exactly worked for me at home. Part of the issue is that most recipes call for the soba to be cooked and then cooled. Obviously I'm doing something wrong, because they come out slinky and watery, and seem to repel flavor. Considering I suck at cold soba, I figured I should give hot soba a try.

For help, I looked to Takashi's Noodles. Like the udon, this recipe is remarkably easy to put together once you have the dashi done. The pea pods are cooked in the same pot as the noodles, and the scallions and watercress are just tossed in at the last minute. Yet, the dish is still filling and comforting—you'd think a lot more labor went into it. And, the soba is the best part. It has a great texture with just a little bit of nuttiness.

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