When it comes to comfort food, soba noodles are a go-to for many.
But finding the right sauce for soba noodles can be tricky.
These Japanese buckwheat noodles can be cooked in a variety of ways and paired with delicious sauces.
Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, there’s bound to be a sauce that will suit your taste buds.
In this article, I’ll explore the 10 best sauces for soba noodles and how they can take your meal from good to great!
What Are Soba Noodles?
Soba noodles are a type of Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour.
They have a nutty flavor and chewy texture, and can be served hot or cold in soups, salads, stir-fries, and more.
Soba noodles are traditionally made with 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour; however, some brands offer 100% buckwheat soba noodles for those who prefer gluten-free options.
Soba is an excellent source of protein and fiber as well as essential minerals.
It also contains all eight essential amino acids that the body needs to build proteins.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, soba has been linked to improved digestion due to its high fiber content.
When cooking with soba noodles it’s important not to overcook them as they can become mushy if cooked too long.
To prevent this from happening it’s best to cook them al dente (just until tender) in boiling water for about 4 minutes before draining them thoroughly and rinsing with cold water.
The 10 Best Sauces for Soba Noodles
Soba noodles are a delicious and healthy option for a meal. But they can be bland on their own.
The key is to find the right sauce to add flavor to your soba noodles.
Here are 10 of the best sauces that will make your soba noodles even more amazing:
1. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a dark, salty liquid condiment made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water.
It is an essential ingredient in many Asian cuisines and has become popular around the world.
- Taste: Soy sauce has a salty flavor with hints of sweetness and umami. The taste can vary depending on the brand or type of soy sauce used.
- Texture: Soy sauce is a thin liquid that can be poured easily over food.
- Common Uses: Soy sauce is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for sushi or other Japanese dishes such as tempura or soba noodles. It can also be used to season stir-fries, marinades, sauces, soups, and stews.
2. Mentsuyu Recipe (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce)
Mentsuyu is a Japanese condiment made from a mixture of dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
It is used as a dipping sauce for soba noodles and tempura, or as an ingredient in many other dishes.
- Taste: Mentsuyu has a sweet-salty flavor with subtle umami notes. The sweetness comes from the mirin while the saltiness comes from the soy sauce. The combination of these two ingredients gives mentsuyu its unique flavor profile.
- Texture: Mentsuyu has a thin consistency that makes it easy to pour over food or use as a dipping sauce. It also has enough body to cling to noodles and other foods without being too thick or heavy.
- Common Uses: In addition to being served as a dipping sauce for soba noodles and tempura, mentsuyu can be used in many different dishes such as soups, stews, stir-fries, marinades, dressings, sauces and more.
3. Chinese Garlic Sauce
Chinese garlic sauce is a savory, garlicky condiment made from garlic, oil, and various seasonings.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a dipping sauce or stir-fry ingredient.
- Taste: The flavor of Chinese garlic sauce is bold and pungent with a hint of sweetness. It has an intense garlicky aroma that lingers on the palate.
- Texture: The texture of Chinese garlic sauce is thick and creamy with bits of minced garlic throughout.
- Common Uses: This flavorful condiment can be used to enhance the flavor of many dishes such as noodles, dumplings, fried rice, vegetables, meats, seafoods and more. It can also be used as a marinade for grilled meats or fish or added to soups for extra flavor.
4. Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai peanut sauce is a creamy, nutty condiment made from ground peanuts, coconut milk, and other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.
It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine to add flavor to dishes like noodles and salads.
- Taste: The combination of the sweet and salty flavors creates a unique taste that is both savory and slightly spicy. The sweetness comes from the addition of sugar or honey while the saltiness comes from fish sauce or soy sauce.
- Texture: Thai peanut sauce has a thick texture due to its high fat content from the peanuts and coconut milk. It can be thinned out with water if desired for use as a dipping sauce or salad dressing.
- Common Uses: Thai peanut sauce is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or egg rolls but it can also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries or noodle dishes like soba noodles. It can also be served over grilled meats such as chicken satay or pork skewers for added flavor.
5. General Tso Sauce
General Tso Sauce is a sweet and spicy sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, rice vinegar, and chili peppers.
It is named after the famous Chinese general Tso Tsung-t’ang who lived in the 19th century.
The sauce was created by a chef in Taiwan in the 1950s as an homage to General Tso’s legacy.
- Taste: General Tso Sauce has a complex flavor profile that combines sweetness with heat. The combination of soy sauce and rice vinegar gives it a salty umami flavor while the sugar adds sweetness. The garlic and ginger provide depth of flavor while the chili peppers give it its signature kick of heat.
- Texture: This sauce has a thick consistency that coats noodles or other dishes nicely without being overly heavy or greasy.
- Common Uses: General Tso Sauce is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for fried foods such as chicken wings or egg rolls but can also be used to coat noodles like soba noodles for an extra flavorful dish. It can also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries or marinades, or as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches.
6. Gochujang Sauce
Gochujang sauce is a spicy, savory, and slightly sweet condiment made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice powder, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes sugar.
It is a staple of Korean cuisine and has become increasingly popular in the United States.
- Taste: Gochujang sauce has a complex flavor profile that combines sweetness with spiciness and umami. The sweetness comes from the addition of sugar or honey to the recipe while the spiciness comes from the red chili peppers used to make it. The umami flavor comes from the fermented soybeans which give it an earthy depth of flavor.
- Texture: Gochujang sauce has a thick consistency similar to ketchup but with more texture due to its ingredients such as red chili peppers and glutinous rice powder.
- Common Uses: Gochujang sauce can be used as a marinade for meats or vegetables before grilling or roasting them; as a dipping sauce for fried foods like tempura; as an ingredient in soups and stews; or simply stirred into cooked noodles. It is also commonly served as a condiment on the side of dishes like bibimbap.
7. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-colored condiment made from fermented soybeans, garlic, chilies, and various spices.
It has a sweet and savory flavor with hints of smokiness.
The name hoisin comes from the Chinese words for ‘seafood‘ (hoi) and ‘sauce’ (sin).
- Taste: Hoisin sauce has a sweet and salty taste with notes of garlic, chili peppers, vinegar, and five-spice powder. It is slightly spicy but not overly so.
- Texture: Hoisin sauce is thick in texture due to its high sugar content. It can be used as both a dipping sauce or as an ingredient in marinades or stir-fries.
- Common Uses: Hoisin sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a glaze for meats such as pork or duck; it’s also used to make Peking duck pancakes. In addition to being served with noodles like soba noodles, it can also be added to soups or stews for extra flavor.
8. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese condiment made from soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), sake (rice wine), and sugar.
It is used as a marinade for meats and vegetables, or as a dipping sauce.
- Taste: Teriyaki sauce has a sweet-salty flavor with hints of ginger and garlic. The sweetness comes from the addition of sugar to the mixture, which helps balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce.
- Texture: Teriyaki sauce has a thick consistency that coats food easily when brushed on or poured over it.
- Common Uses: Teriyaki sauce can be used in many different ways, such as marinating meat or fish before grilling or baking; brushing onto cooked foods like grilled chicken or salmon; adding to stir-fries; using as an ingredient in sauces for noodles; and serving as a dipping sauce for sushi rolls.
9. Tonkatsu Sauce
Tonkatsu sauce is a thick, sweet-savory condiment made from fruit and vegetable extracts, spices, and seasonings.
It is commonly used in Japanese cuisine as a dipping sauce for tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlets) and other deep-fried dishes.
- Taste: Tonkatsu sauce has a sweet-sour flavor with hints of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup. The sweetness comes from the addition of fruits such as apples or plums while the sourness comes from vinegar or citrus juice.
- Texture: Tonkatsu sauce has a thick consistency that coats food easily without dripping off.
- Common Uses: In addition to being served as a dipping sauce for tonkatsu and other fried foods like tempura, it can also be used as an ingredient in marinades or sauces for grilled meats or vegetables. It can also be used to top noodles such as soba noodles or udon noodles.
10. Japanese Yakitori Sauce
Japanese Yakitori Sauce is a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), sake (rice wine), sugar, and ginger.
It is commonly used as a marinade for grilled chicken skewers known as yakitori.
- Taste: The flavor of the sauce is sweet and salty with a hint of umami from the soy sauce. The sweetness comes from the mirin and sugar, while the saltiness comes from the soy sauce. The ginger adds an earthy spiciness to balance out the flavors.
- Texture: The texture of this sauce is thick and sticky due to its high sugar content.
- Common Uses: In addition to being used as a marinade for yakitori, Japanese Yakitori Sauce can also be used as a glaze for other types of meat or vegetables such as pork belly or eggplant. It can also be used in stir-fries or noodle dishes like soba noodles or udon noodles.
In conclusion, soba noodles are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces.
The best sauces for soba noodles are soy sauce, mentsuyu recipe, Chinese garlic sauce, Thai peanut sauce, General Tso sauce, Gochujang sauce, Hoisin sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Tonkatsu sauce, and Japanese Yakitori sauce.
Each of these sauces adds a unique flavor and texture to the dish, so you can pick and choose the ones that best suit your taste.
Whether you’re looking for a simple and classic flavor, or something more complex and exotic, there’s sure to be a sauce that’s perfect for your soba noodles.
10 Best Sauce for Soba Noodles Collection
- Soy Sauce
- Mentsuyu (Cold Soba Noodle Sauce)
- Chinese Garlic Sauce
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- General Tso Sauce
- Gochujang Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Tonkatsu Sauce
- Japanese Yakitori Sauce
- Pick your favorite sauce from this collection to serve with your soba noodles.
- Prepare all of the required ingredients.
- Enjoy your meal in 15 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.