After arriving in Japan, I was so excited about having access to so many fresh, authentic ingredients, and the first thing I decided to make with them was this Kitsune Soba.
What better way to warm up on a chilly winter’s day than with a hot bowl of noodles? Plus this Kitsune Soba is quick and easy to make, super healthy, and naturally vegan and gluten-free!
Kitsune soba is a popular Japanese dish that consists of soba (buckwheat) noodles in a hot broth made stock, soy sauce and mirin (sweetened rice wine) topped with aburaage (thin pieces of fried tofu) cooked with soy sauce and sugar – just swap tamari for soy sauce to make it gluten-free!
And don’t worry if you’re not in Japan, as most of the ingredients used here are readily available in the UK too! You can also buy these Clearspring soba noodles (which are made from buckwheat and are gluten-free) in most supermarkets.
You can buy aburaage in Asian supermarkets, where it’s usually sold frozen. If you live in the UK, you can also order it online from the Japan Centre. If you can’t get hold of it, you could substitute with hard, firm tofu cut into thin strips, and season with the soy sauce and mirin to taste.
I added shiitake mushrooms to the broth, as they lend a delicious savoury flavour. I also added some pea shoots and mizuna (a Japanese green with a fresh, crisp taste that’s similar to rocket although not as peppery). But you can add whatever green leaves you fancy – cress, baby spinach, watercress, or even normal lettuce would all work really well!
If you don’t need the dish to be gluten-free, you can also substitute the soba noodles with udon noodles. You can buy fresh udon noodles in most supermarkets, but you can also use dried ones. I use these Clearspring ones that you can buy in most supermarkets.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 portions soba noodles (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 700ml water
- 2 aburaage, thawed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- 1 cube vegetable stock (or equivalent amount dashi if not vegan)
- 1 tablespoon mirin (or sugar)
- Handful shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- Handful of green leaves - I used pea shoots and mizuna but watercress, baby spinach, lettuce or cress would all work well
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- Optional: 1 teaspoon crispy fried onions (omit if gluten-free)
- Cut the aburaage into thin strips and cook in a saucepan with a little bit of water and the soy sauce and mirin (or sugar) for about 3 minutes and leave to the side
- Cook the noodles separately according to the instructions on the packet, then drain, rinse and set aside
- Meanwhile, make the soup - bring 700ml water to the boil with the vegetable stock (or dashi), the shiitake mushrooms, and a splash of soy sauce
- Add the cooked noodles and turn off the heat
- To serve, pour the noodle soup into bowls and top with the aburaage and salad greens. Scatter over sliced spring onions and crispy fried onions if desired