Cold soba noodles are the perfect match for sake!

24 Jan 2019

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Soba noodles are a great match to sake

Soba (そば) noodles are noodles made of buckwheat flour, roughly as thick as spaghetti, and prepared in various hot and cold dishes. Soba dishes are very popular and easily available nationwide.

When you visit to soba-ya restaurant you might notice many sake bottles lined up on the shelves. Soba goes well with nihon shu and there is a good reason for that. Let us explain why.

The components in soba and sake synchronize with each other creating the harmony of rich flavor. Sake is rich in amino acids which results in umami flavor. Soba is also very high in amino acids compared to udon or ramen noodles. Aspartic acid and glutamic acid are 2.1 and 1.3 times higher respectively, therefore sake and soba noodles complement each other.

Cold soba (zaru soba) is usually dipped into mentsuyu which is made from sake, mirin, soy sauce, kombu, and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). Kombu and katsuobushi are also known as ingredients very rich in umami components – glutamic acid and inosinic acid. This make zaru soba the perfect umami match for Japanese sake!

Drinking sake with soba noodles has been enjoyed since the old times. The roots of drinking at soba restaurants can be traced back to some 300 years. Originally, soba restaurants were similar to present day izakaya bars; a place where workers could have a drink after finishing work. In those days it was common to go drinking after finishing your work early, so many people went to soba restaurants early in the afternoon to have a drink. This is said to be the beginning of the “sobayanomi” style of drinking at soba restaurants early in the afternoon.

31st  day of every month is known as Soba Day in Japan, therefore we hope you also have this tradition to eat soba at you home!

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Sake recommendation

The recommended sake is Eikun Kotosennen Junmai Ginjo which is super clean and fruity. Sweet and sour fragrance reminiscent of grapefruit, mandarin orange, pineapple and yogurt slowly spreads in the mouth until the very end of the palate. It is made with highest quality ingredients from Kyoto prefecture. Water comes from Fushimi which is distinguished by having access to spring water of exceptional quality. This water produces elegant, not too overly sweet, and soft sake. It is made with Iwai rice which gives this sake fragrance and nice mouthfeel.

It is an award winning sake with high quality ingredients.

We invite you to celebrate Soba Day with cold soba noodles dipped in mentsuyu (which is also perfect for the hot Australian summer!) while sipping on a cup of chilled Eikun Kotosennen Junmai Ginjo!

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