Point to order
The unadulterated form of soba noodles, zaru and seiro soba are simply cold noodles served with a dipping broth (tsuyu). Zaru refers to soba that’s topped with seaweed whereas seiro is just plain naked noodles.
You’ll sometimes find the terms ‘seiro’ and ‘mori’ used interchangeably. Don’t worry, the difference is usually just dependant on the shape of the wicker basket the noodles are served on – ie round or square.
Kake soba are basic hot and soupy noodles usually served in a clear broth. It’s said to be short for the verb bukkake, which means ‘to pour’ or ‘to splash’.
A fried tofu pocket, known as aburaage, is placed in hot broth along with the noodles. The tofu is slightly sweet and adds a bit of protein to this otherwise simple dish.
Hot kake soba topped with deep-fried bits of tempura batter, which help soak up the broth and add some nice crunch.
Served with either hot or cold noodles, this comes with tempura pieces. You’ll usually find a basic assortment of tempura (prawns and mixed vegetables) or just a simple kakiage (deep-fried fritter usually made with chopped vegetables).
With noodles submerged in a duck-infused dashi broth and topped with more slices of duck as well as leek or green onions.
Topped with tororo or grated mountain yam, resulting in a gooey, slime-like mixture that’s a lot tastier than it looks. Served hot or cold, tororo is high in vitamins and minerals.
With grated daikon on either hot or cold soba. A refreshing option in the warmer months, the spiciness of the raw radish helps awaken your appetite.
Topped with a raw egg. When hot, the broth will slowly poach the egg; on cold noodles, the runny yolk acts as a rich sauce.
This refreshingly zesty soba features perfectly round slices of sudachi lime, the Japanese citrus that’s a cross between yuzu, lime and orange. Typically served cold on a hot summer’s day, it can also be eaten warm.