Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Toshikoshi Soba - The End Of Year Meal


This is the "Toshikoshi-Soba", the definitive New Year's Eve meal in our household. It's a tradition in Japan to slurp soba noodles for one's health & longevity in coming year. When we are not away from home, this is what we eat: I insist.

I always loved, and still love, soba the most among the noodles: for its nutty flavor and clean finish. My grandma lived in the area famous for its soba production. When we visited her during the summer pause, she always greeted us with plenty of freshly hand made soba noodles. The serving was very simple: cold soba, dipping sauce and mountain of thinly cut nori. We ate bowl after bowl, and I thought I could just eat this for the rest of my life. Unfortunately I no longer have an easy access to those wonderful fresh soba, and resort to using the dried packaged ones. But whenever I cook up a bowl (in hot broth, instead) the memories come back just the same.

Now the New Year arrived. I wish for another bountiful season.

Ku Cake