Homemade Soba Noodles with Lava Egg

Smooth, chewy, soba noodles with oozy egg. 

I feel so unproductive today. I know there's a whole lot of math mugging to do for my one lasttt exam, but you know when you're so near yet so far so never feel like doing anything. Especially when it's math. So here's the warm bowl of goodness you'll need. 

Doesn't the egg look like lava? (Sorry, I must I have studied too much geography after I flunked that exam.) 

This special egg is called 温泉卵 (Onsen tamago). If you've been to Japan before, especially during winter, you would have gone to the Onsen, where they have lovely spring baths with hot spring water that's supposed to make smooth and beautiful. 

Not that eating this egg will make your skin smooth and beautiful but.

It clears my mind from anything else there is in this world. 

Anyway, if you've eaten ramen with this egg that is not quite hard boiled but is not quite soft boiled, this is it. The egg white is firm all the way though, and the egg should still be quite runny. They usually cut it open for you to tempt you to eat it. 

And I usually savour it with every bite. Because it is that good. 

The trick is to put the egg into boiling water (with a drop of vinegar) for exactly 6 minutes. Then take it out and dunk it in icy cold water to stop the cooking process. Just like giving the eggs a good Onsen bath. 

Meanwhile, make the broth to go with the noodles and the eggs. Just use whatever you have. A traditional Japanese noodle soup stock uses dashi or kombu, shoyu and mirin, but I skipped the mirin and used sesame oil instead. Tastes just as good! You can also add in some minced meat, meat balls or any other sides to go with your noodles. I just dropped in some minced pork into the soup. 

Now the soba noodles are the most finnicky noodles I've made. I've you've made pasta before, it's nothing compared to these. The dough is incredibly easy to put together, with buckwheat flour, plain flour and water, and is just as smooth as pasta dough, but with that little speckles of black and grey. Beautiful. It looks like a nice fine grained pebble. Only bigger, better, and edible. 

Then you roll it out using a rolling pin or through your pasta maker. Warning: this dough is very delicate! Buckwheat flour is gluten free, so it doesn't have that stretchiness as homemade pasta dough which uses plain flour. Soba noodle dough tears easily so be really really gentle with it. I mean really really really gentle with it. I don't have to tell you how many times I tore the dough and rerolled the whole thing. 

When you've rolled it out to the second thinnest setting on your pasta machine or about 0.1mm by hand, cut the noodles! You can pass it through the spaghetti setting on your pasta machine or by hand. I failed at cutting it by hand but it works pretty well too! 

Looks like a grand grey carpet. Well...

Let the noodles dry a little. Warning 2: coat the noodles lightly with flour! I didn't, and they ended up sticking together, so I had to carefully remove them. Oh well at least they were still edible. Letting the noodles dry for about 10-30 minutes ensures they get nice and chewy. Just like making pasta noodles. 

Lower these delicate noodles into boiling water for a few minutes and you've good beautiful soba noodles!

Now back to math... :( 

Homemade Soba Noodles with Lava Egg 

For the Soba Noodles
1 cup buckwheat flour 
1/3 cup plain flour 
100ml water
Store bought soba noodles, cooked according to package directions 

For the eggs
2 eggs 
1 1/2 tsp of white vinegar 
Water, just enough to cover an egg

For the broth 
3 cups of water, or more or less depending on your preference 
About 1 tsp of dashi, adjust according to taste
A splash of shoyu (soy sauce) 
A drip of sesame oil, optional 
Grated ginger, optional 
Spring onions for garnish, optional
Minced meat or other toppings 

Make the soba noodles by sifting the flours together and adding the water. Knead until a smooth dough forms. 
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin or a pasta machine, until about 0.1mm thickness or about the second thinnest setting on a pasta machine. 
Feed the dough through a spaghetti setting or cut by hand. Lightly coat the noodles with flour to prevent them from sticking and let dry for 10-30 minutes.
To cool the noodles, put them in boiling water for a few minutes. They should cook within about 5 minutes. Dunk them in icy cold water to prevent them from sticking. These noodles are great served cold as well. 

Meanwhile, cook the eggs. Heat the water and vinegar until boiling, then lower the egg into the boiling mixture and cook for exactly 6 minutes. Dunk into icy cold water immediately. When they have cooled, peel off the shell and slice in half lengthwise to reveal their sunny yellow yolks. 

Make the soup by bringing all the ingredients together and bringing them to a rolling boil. Serve warm or cold. 

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