Last Updated on June 3, 2023
Are you looking for a new way of cooking soba noodles? This Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste & Matcha is very unique creation that will elevate your palette. It’s subtle but sophisticated and somewhat luxurious. It’s vegan (always), gluten-free (make sure to choose 100% buckwheat soba noodles), with no added fat!
Umeboshi [梅干し] is pickled (brined) Japanese ume plum. It’s sour and salty although the level of sourness and saltiness varies. Umeboshi is one of the popular pickles to eat rice with. It’s super salty that a little bit goes a long way.
Typically, umeboshi is packed and sold as a whole with a seed in it. To make a paste, grab a couple and simply remove the seed then place them on a cutting board and chop them with a knife. Luckily, here in the U.S., we can find umeboshi paste from Eden Foods and that’s what we use.
Umeboshi Paste & Matcha
Matcha [抹茶] is so popular now a days so that everyone knows the flavor of it. It’s aromatic, plesantly bitter than regular green tea but has more umami that you can taste if you really savor it. We recommend using this matcha powder from Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s organic and the best of all, Japan origin. Here, matcha is often used for dessert but for the Japanese people, it’s also an ingredient for making savory dishes. Chasoba [茶そば] is one of them which is soba noodles made with matcha. Actually the idea of this dish comes from chasoba! We don’t have it so we reinterpreted it and added a unique touch with umeboshi.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with the taste of umeboshi, you will be surprised by how sour and salty it is. Because of that, it’s actually a great combination with the bitter matcha. As you eat the noodles, the umeboshi blends into the matcha and interestingly creates a sophisticated flavored broth that you’ve probably never tasted before!
Did you know soba noodles have different varieties? We’re particularly talking about the blending ratios. The most common ones are;
- Juwari-Soba [十割そば] 100 % buckwheat flour soba noodles
- Nihachi-Soba [二八そば] 20% wheat flour and 80% buckwheat soba noodles
So now you know! The soba noodles you’ve been eating may not be what you were thinking of. For us, we prefer using 100% buckwheat soba for the taste and it’s gluten-free!
Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste & Matcha
Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste
- 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles (we use 100 % buckwheat)
- 3 tbsp umeboshi paste (Japanese pickled plum)
- 1 tbsp soba cooking water
- 1/2 tsp matcha powder
- 4 oz hot water
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- Umeboshi paste
- Toasted sesame seeds
- In a large pot, start boiling water for cooking soba noodles. Once it is boiling, cook soba noodle for 6-7 minutes (or follow the directions on the package.) Do not overcook the soba! Reserve some soba cooking water (up to 1/4 cup.) Drain and rinse under running water to remove the starch. Shake off the excess water and set aside.
- In a large prep bowl, combine umeboshi paste and 1 tbsp soba cooking water. Mix well. Then add soba noodles. Toss gently to avoid breaking noodles. Add a little more soba cooking water if it is too dry. Set aside.
- In an 8 oz liquid measuring cup (or small bowl), combine matcha powder and hot water. Whisk quickly until matcha powder dissolved into the hot water.
- Serve the soba noodles in a bowl then pour the matcha (about 2 oz per person.) Top it with scallion, extra umeboshi paste, and toasted sesame seeds.