Soba noodles are a Japanese healthy eating staple. Made from buckwheat they can be used in soups, stir fries, or as is common in Japan in summer, eaten cold. Which means they work perfectly instead of rice in sushi – a little dish I’m referring to as Noo-shi. Look, check this out…..
These rolls were made by Japanese food company Clearspring using their new Skinny Soba Somen noodles and they make an even healthier version of rice based sushi. Why? Because buckwheat has a lower GI than rice meaning that Noo-shi won’t send your blood sugar levels spiking then crashing triggering sudden munchies about two hours later as normal sushi can. Plus,it’s a great word. Go, say it again….Noo-shi. Noo-shi. Noo – shi
So how easy is Noo-shi to make if you’re not a professional Japanese chef? Well here’s some I made earlier.
Okay, so they aren’t as perfect as the Clearspring ones, but hey, they still tasted good. Here’s what I learned while making them.
The instructions given to me by Clearspring went as follows (I may be paraphrasing) – cook the noodles, place noodles into ridiculously complicated bundles, do some other stuff – create skinny little rolls that look funny. So instead, here’s what I did for my second and third rolls that turned out a bit better.
1) Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes (NB: do not fill the pan with too much water, it will boil over). About half a pack makes enough for 3 sheets of seaweed (about 18 cut pieces). Once cooked drain and rinse in cold water.
2) Place the noodles to dry on a tea towel. Try and keep them in fairly straight lines if you can and spread them thinly. As they get cooler they become a little easier to work. If they get too sticky, wet your fingers.
3) Prepare whatever you are going to fill the Noo-shi with other than the noodles. We had fairly empty cupboards so I just had to go with tuna mayo and avocado and tuna mayo and cucumber – you could use anything you’d normally use for sushi, but I do think it needs either a line of wasabi or a sticky filling at the top to make them hold together. The noodles do get tacky but they aren’t as good as sushi rice at holding everything tight.
4) Put your seaweed sheet on the rolling mat. Start placing the noodles along the mat. Keep the layer thin but make sure they are packed tightly together or the rolls will be small and spindly. Finish just past halfway
5) Place your other filings in the roll. I found it worked best to have two lines of the veggie bit of the filling towards the bottom of the nori sheet on top of the noodles, and then the sticky filling went in a stand alone thick line that ends about 1-2cm from the top. Working from what I’ve learned with rice sushi, I then put one noodle along the top as a sealer.
This was a little bit too near the top – there was some squidging
6) Roll the mat as per normal sushi. As I say, the noodles aren’t as easy to work with as rice so do it slowly.
7) Cut the roll into six. Start at the middle and use a VERY sharp knife. This is much harder to cut than rice sushi as if you don’t get a clean cut the noodles move and dangle out of the top. It helps if the knife is wet – and the most I found I could cut without having to wipe and dampen it again to prevent roll-mageddon was two slices.
8) Serve as normal with soy, wasabi and miso.
If you want to give it a try, Clearspring’s Skinny Soba Somen are available now in supermarkets or clearspring.co.uk priced £2.49 for 200g