How to Eat Soba (Hint: Slurp)

You might think noodles are easy to eat, but to really slurp them loudly, it takes skill

How to Eat Soba

Keywords: sobajapanese foodetiquette


While many of us may have perfected the art of the pasta twirl, making eating spaghetti on a date a cinch, eating soba and other Japanese noodles is a whole other ball game.

Hazuki Homma of New York soba shop Cocoron demonstrates how to properly eat soba, a Japanese dish of buckwheat noodles and broth. The noodles and soup are sometimes served separately and sometimes together in one bowl. In this case, the buckwheat noodles came with a side of hot soup, so diners dip the noodles into the soup for flavor, slurp it up, and then drink the soup with some soba-yu, or the water used to cook the soba.

"Buckwheat is very, very sensitive," Homma told The Daily Meal, "So we encourage people to eat soba noodles as quickly as possible, otherwise it will stick together or the noodles will get soggy."

Soba can be served hot or cold (the latter being the perfect dish for summer days), and soba noodles are traditionally served on New Year's Eve. "Soba is a very long noodle, so it’s for longevity, and also it’s very nutritious," Homma explained. As for the slurping? It's polite, Homma said, and lets the chef know that you're enjoying their dish. So make your inner 5-year-old proud.


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