What Is Soup-less Ramen "Abura Soba"?
Simplified version of Ramen
So the normal ramen you see in restaurants is usually noodles, meat and a few vegetables in a broth right? (Although soup-less style is becoming more and more popular) The broth usually defines the kind of ramen it is; Shoyu, salt, tonkotsu, and miso.
However Abura Soba has no broth at all! Just a sauce. The best description for the dish is literally soup-less ramen.
There are different names for the dish in various parts of Japan and restaurants.
- Monja soba (もんじゃそば)
- Maze soba (まぜそば)
- Tenuki soba (手抜きそば)
- Abu ramen (あぶらーめん)
It started being popular in 90's among university students because it's cheaper and more filling.
Soba but not soba
Although the name "Abura Soba" has soba in it, it does not mean soba noodles are used for this dish.
In Japan, ramen used to be called "Chinese soba (Chuuka Soba 中華そば)" so that's the reason why in some areas and restaurants, ramen has "soba" in their name. The same rule goes for yakisoba too.
Egg noodles are the type to be used for ramen in general.
Why Is This a "Cheat" Recipe?
No need to buy Ramen egg noodles
Okay, one of the biggest problems I faced while I lived in England was "How do I get egg noodles for ramen?"
I did try to make the ramen noodles from scratch but it took a lot of time and left a big mess in the kitchen.
I almost gave up on making ramen in my kitchen (Sad and devastating time for a Japanese man)
But I found a cheat way to make ramen egg noodles from spaghetti! Of course it's not technically the same but it's surprisingly close in taste and texture.
Spaghetti and baking soda!?
Later, I got to know that this trick is very popular among Japanese people who live abroad who also cannot get premade Ramen noodles, so it's not only me who thinks the trick is good enough!
The trick is, cook normal spaghetti in water, salt and baking soda mix!
That's it! You can see the full instructions and measurements to make your own ramen noodles from spaghetti and baking soda here.
I know it doesn't sound promising but trust me and the other folks on that one.