Take it to work: Soba Noodles with Leeks & Crab Sticks

This is the second of three noodle soup recipes (the first one was a Thai sour noodle soup) I am posting in relation to a giveaway I am currently doing on my blog – If you haven’t entered yet, click here for all the details.

Soba noodles are my favorite type of noodles for many reasons; I love their grainy and chewy texture (I’ve also had a love affair with buckwheat pancakes since I was a little girl) and their distinct nutty flavor. I also love the fact that they are extremely healthy and can taste so different from one noodle to the other.

You see, not all soba noodles are equal – The grainier the texture, the higher the amount of buckwheat is being used. Some soba noodles are made with 100% buckwheat flour while others can contain as little as 20%. If you ask a Japanese person which one they prefer, the majority will say about 40% buckwheat flour and 60% wheat flour.

The reason why is simply a textural preference. Japanese people eat for pleasure, so with that in mind it’s easy to understand why very few of them will pick soba noodles that are 100% buckwheat flour (pure sand!). That’s more of a Western thing since we tend to obsess about healthy foods.


When I thought of making an instant cup noodle recipe using soba noodles, the first thing that came to mind was kamo soba (duck soba noodles with soup). Kamo soba is so tasty and delicious that I was set on the idea right from the get go.

However since duck isn’t an ingredient that’s sold in every grocery store, I decided to nix it and use crab sticks instead.

That seemed like a natural choice for a substitute. Plus the fact that crab sticks come pre-cooked means there’s less work involved, yay!


What really stands out about these soba noodles are the pan fried leeks. They are the star of the dish so if you can’t find leeks to make this dish, wait until you can. They bring a delicate sweetness and a slight pungent flavor to the tsuyu broth (a mix of sake, mirin, soy sauce and dashi powder) that cannot be replaced!


I must admit that out of the three cup noodle recipes I have created, this one wins my heart. It’s comforting, packed with flavor and feels so good to eat! I could easily have this every day for lunch.

Other dishes you can pair and take to work with these soba noodles: oshitashi (boiled spinach with soy sauce and sesame), kabocha squash simmered in dashi broth, onigiri (rice balls) and tsukemono (Japanese pickles).



soba-cup-with-sauce scallions-in-cup soba-chopsticks

Soba Noodles with Leeks and Crab Sticks


Soba Noodles with Leeks and Crab Sticks

Take these easy and delicious soba noodles with leeks and crabs sticks to work and impress your colleagues!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 1 person 1x
  • Category: Noodles
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • soba noodles
  • 1 leek (white part only, sliced bite size)
  • 1 imitation crab stick (sliced bite size, or fish cake)
  • 2 tablespoons scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • nori (optional)
  • ichimi (optional)

For the tsuyu broth:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated dashi powder
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin


  1. Put all the ingredients for the tare sauce in a bowl and stir. Transfer to a small tupperware container and close with a lid.
  2. Cook soba noodles until they are al dente (soft but still yielding a crunch). If the package says to cook them for 6 minutes, cook them for 4.
  3. Wrap sprouts, leeks and crab sticks in cling wrap.
  4. Put soba noodles in thermal cup. Top with scallions.
  5. Put wrapped ingredients on top of scallions and add a few pieces of shredded nori.
  6. Close the lid tightly.
  7. Put thermal container and tare sauce container in a bag and take to work.
  8. Before serving, add about a cup of hot water to the thermal container.
  9. Unwrap the ingredients and add them to the container. Stir well and eat.

Keywords: recipe, buckwheat noodles, lunch, snack

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