Foodie Friday: Abura Soba

Abura soba: ramen without broth

While growing up, ramen was a quick meal in our household. It was easy to make and full of flavor. As I moved beyond packaged noodles, my ramen taste preferences changed.

Broth choices

I found that common and more authentic broth choices delighted my palate. These include shio, shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu. Shio is a light salt-based broth. Miso has a fermented soybean paste taste. Shoyu works with a soy sauce base. And tonkotsu uses an umami and creamy broth.

My favorite of these is tonkotsu because it’s got such an intense (read: meaty) flavor.

Tsukemen ramen

However, the noodles and broth don’t always need to be mixed in together. Tsukemen is known as dipping ramen. You get a bowl of ramen along with a separate serving of broth. Usually, the noodles are served cold.

I like the idea of tsukemen because, honestly, sometimes the broth is too hot for me and scalds my tongue.

Abura soba

But wait, there’s another ramen contender! Enter abura soba. This is the best of both worlds. Abura soba is basically brothless ramen. The noodles aren’t cold (like with tsukemen ramen) but are served warm. Known as “oil noodles,” abura soba comes with a soy sauce and spiced oil base, typically found at the bottom of the bowl.

Bowl of abura soba

I’m so happy to have found this new type of ramen, and I’ll definitely be eating more soon!

Fun fact: Abura soba originated in Tokyo in the 1950s.

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