Hey guys, Yuto here (@sudachi.recipes)
Today, I’m sharing one of my favourite dishes of all time, Tempura Soba!
What are soba noodles?
One of the most popular Japanese noodles
When you think of Japanese noodles, what comes up first?
You might think of something else too.
Soba is a type of noodle made from buckwheat flour and has a distinctive greyish brown colour.
It has a great history of roughly 1400 years and considered one of the most iconic Japanese dishes along with Sushi or Tempura…etc.
From cold to hot
Soba can be served cold or hot.
As you can expect, people prefer cold soba dishes in summer and soba with hot soup in winter.
Most popular examples:
- Zaru Soba (ざるそば): Cold soba with dipping sauce
- Kake Soba (かけそば): Soba with simple hot soup
- Tempura Soba: Soba (Hot or cold) served with tempura
The list goes on and on! The possibility of soba is limitless! And today’s recipe is Kake Soba style!
Making Tempura is always tricky
Making tempura is always always tricky, you’d have to make the batter, temperature and cooking time right. It’s so easy to fail. I’ve failed many times, but I’ve made a good batter recipe over time so I’m sharing this today.
My tempura batter recipe
After trying many different kinds of tempura batter, I recently started using this batter recipe only.
- Weak flour (like cake flour)
- Cold Sparkling water
Mayonnaise adds good amount of egg, vinegar and saltiness and sparkling water makes the batter light. I got inspired by good fish and chips using beer in their batter.
It actually works and makes a good light tempura batter.
Whether you use sparkling water or regular water, it’s important that your water is as cold as possible. This is so that when the batter hits the hot oil, it becomes light, airy and crispy.
I’d recommend keeping your sparkling water in the refrigerator (this keeps it fizzy too) and then put it in the freezer for 10 mins before you plan to use it.
Many people add ice cubes to their water and then let them melt before mixing them into the batter. Whatever your method, make sure your water is COLD!
Temperature and cooking time
Temperature of oil is quite important for tempura as tempura batter is very sensitive. Ideally, temperature should be different from each type of ingredient such as:
- Low (150-160°C, 300-320°F): Potatoes, Anything that you’d like to keep the colour.
- Medium (170-180°C, 340-360°F): Most vegetables
- High (180-190°C, 360-375°F): Seafood and meats
Frequently Asked Questions
What are soba noodles made of?
Soba noodles are made from mainly buckwheat flour along with normal flour and water.
What is the difference between soba and udon noodles?
Soba is grey-ish brown in colour and thinner than udon, whereas udon is white and tends to be very thick.
Can vegans eat soba noodles?
The noodles themselves are vegan.
Why isn’t my tempura crispy?
Either your batter wasn’t cold enough or your oil wasn’t hot enough. Those are usually the two main reasons for soggy batter. Comment below if you have any other problems!
What’s the difference between tempura and panko?
Tempura is made from a light batter, the result is crispy and airy whilst being pale in colour. Panko breadcrumbs are thicker and crunchier and the color is golden. Both are delicious though!
What oil should I use to deep fry my tempura?
Any oil that can handle high temperatures is good for deep frying. Vegetable oil, canola oil and peanut oil are common. Professionals in Japan sometimes use 100% light sesame oil, but this is a bit too expensive for home-frying!