12 Days of Soup, New Year’s Eve: Lucky Toshikoshi Soba

Today is the last day of 2021! We’ve made is this far, and everyone can use a little bit of luck in their life. Today’s soup recipe is for Toshikoshi Soba, which translates to the “year-crossing noodle”. Its an easy to make traditional Japanese noodle soup. The buckwheat noodles help you to let go of the hardship of the past year because soba noodles are easily cut while eating.

The custom is different in different regions of Japan (like different states in the US) and it is also called misoka sobatsugomori sobakure sobajyumyo sobafuku soba, and unki soba. The tradition started around the Edo period, which was from 1603 to 1867. The buckwheat plant is a tough one, and can survive extreme weather, so soba represents strength and resilience in Japanese culture.

Ingredients like Dashi stock are becoming more readily available in mainstream stores in the USA, both as ready-made soup stocks, as well as the ingredients to make your own. Don’t be afraid to try new places, like an Asian shop, or ask the folks at a Japanese restaurant or sushi counter if they know where to find the things you need. Just like when you are asked about a food from your childhood, they are usually happy to share it and help you make it in a traditional way.

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