I really love Japanese food, so I was pretty excited when Yutaka sent me a couple of boxes of their new soybean noodles to play with. Japanese food is vibrant, flavoursome, and usually very healthy, full of fresh vegetables and lean protein. These noodles have the added benefits of being gluten free and organic. As someone who doesn’t have to eat gluten free, I was interested to see how these noodles would compare to more standard offerings. Would I notice a difference?

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I was sent a box of the regular soybean noodles and a box of the edamame soybean noodles. I decided to make the recipes by Ching He Huang on the back of each box, rather than coming up with some wild creation of my own. This time, I wanted to be sure I was cooking with the noodles as intended, because I definitely don’t claim to be an expert in Asian cuisine.

The noodles themselves couldn’t be easier to cook – just pop them into boiling water and simmer for six minutes – and would be a great base for lots of dishes. I had a taste of them simply cooked, drained, and tossed with some sesame oil before continuing on with the recipes. They were flavoursome and substantial, and fairly robust. They would stand up well to bold ingredients and spices, and didn’t fall apart, overcook, or become clumpy.

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The recipes on the noodle boxes were fairly simple and easy to follow. They would be a good starting point for anyone unaccustomed to Asian cuisine. I found myself upping the quantities of the seasoning ingredients and spices to give the dishes more of a depth of flavour, but that’s down to personal taste.

Pictured are the edamame noodles, with which I made Chicken Edamame Noodle Soup. It was a lovely, light, and fairly mild dish, that involved poaching chicken thighs in a flavoured broth that formed the base of the soup. Chicken breasts tend to be more popular than chicken thighs, but I’ve always preferred the latter. They are far more succulent and flavoursome, and less prone to drying out, so I was glad to see them in this recipe. Finished with beansprouts and spinach, the soup was nutritious as well as tasty. The leftovers were also great the next day.

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In summary…

These noodles would be a great option for anyone who is following a gluten free diet, but are delicious in their own right and would be enjoyed by all, regardless of dietary restrictions. You could feed these to a group of mixed eaters – in a big platter of sharing noodle stir-fry or cold noodle salad, for instance – and satisfy everyone without having to make a separate gluten free option. I doubt anyone would notice these were gluten free without being told, so everyone would be happy.

I’m looking forward to buying this new offering from Yutaka and adding them to my ‘cupboard of carbs’ (which is stuffed with various types of rice and pasta), and using them as a base for simple and healthy dishes. Or maybe I’ll fry them, when I don’t feel like doing anything simple or healthy. One or the other.

*I was sent these products free of charge for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.
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