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What is so special about Buckwheat Noodles?

When you love Asian food, one of the hardest decisions to make tends to concern your choice of noodles. After all, there is a huge range of noodles to pick from, each offering something different and appealing.

One of the most popular categories of noodles is those made of buckwheat. Also known as soba noodles, these buckwheat noodles are being discovered by customers who are keen to avoid wheat or discover a fresh flavor. They're not new, however; these noodles have been around since the 1800s! Let's take a closer look.

What is buckwheat?

Although it may sound like a relative of wheat, buckwheat isn’t actually wheat. In fact, it is a completely separate plant that is grown as a cover crop and for its seeds, which resemble grains. It's not a grass; it is more closely related to other plants such as rhubarb, knotweed and sorrel. Its seeds are used in the same way as cereals as they are rich in nutritious, complex carbohydrates. This makes buckwheat a fantastic ingredient for baking, cooking and making foods such as noodles!

Why do people choose buckwheat ramen noodles?

Buckwheat noodles are delicious, with a gentle and mellow taste that never overpowers the overall dish. They are also wheat-free, which makes them ideal for anyone who is following a gluten free diet or looking to diversify what they eat. Buckwheat is rich in complex carbohydrates that are packed with energy, and it also contains fiber and an array of essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium (which many people are said to be deficient in), manganese, selenium, iron, niacin, folate, phosphorus and zinc. It is also high in beneficial phytochemicals. These protective micronutrients help our bodies to regenerate and repair and are found in a wide range of plant-based foods.

Interestingly, buckwheat is also rich in protein because it contains the full spectrum of amino acids, making it a "complete" form of plant-based protein. This makes buckwheat ramen noodles a great choice for vegetarians or those looking to follow a more plant-based diet. As a natural form of protein, it is popular with people looking to maintain their protein intake without overly relying on soy or more processed forms of high-protein supplement food.

The ease of preparing buckwheat ramen noodles

Buckwheat noodles also have a delicious, slightly nutty taste, and they are robust enough to be used in all types of Asian cooking. Buckwheat noodles are quick and simple to prepare and add fantastic depth, flavor and texture to any Asian dish. They are also quick to cook, which is ideal when you're making a speedy midweek meal. Even better, buckwheat ramen noodles tend to be popular with children, too, so you can cook them easily for all the family. Simply cook according to your packet instructions and stir them into your meal.

Do you think buckwheat noodles can only be used in hot dishes? Think again! These noodles also work really well served cold in a salad. Whether you are serving them with miso soup, your favorite stir fry, delicious dipping dishes and sauces, or as part of a favorite dish, these mellow-flavored, nutritious noodles are a great choice - and a great alternative to wheat-based noodles or rice. How will you enjoy yours?