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The 11 Best Substitutes for Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are among the most famous Japanese foods in the world. Made from buckwheat, they are highly nutritious and add a delicious texture to your dish. But if you can’t find them at your local store, what are the best substitutes you can use?

Ramen noodles are one of the best substitutes for Soba noodles. Though ramen and soba are two different types of noodles, you can use ramen for their similar texture and thickness. Ramen is easy to find and cook and is suitable for cold and hot dishes.

In this article, I’ll tell you some of the best soba noodle substitutes. I will also explain the differences between the substitutes and soba. 

A bowl of soba noodles

1. Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are an excellent substitute for soba noodles, but they aren’t the same. Ramen is a favorite staple in Asian kitchens. It has almost the same thickness and texture. You can use them for cold and hot dishes without compromising the taste that you get with soba noodles. 

Despite being a good substitute, Ramen is quite different from Soba. As mentioned, soba noodles are buckwheat noodles. Ramen, on the other hand, is made with wheat flour. They also give you a yellower color after cooking. 

Ramen noodles come in dry form with different sauces, flavors, and dried vegetables. They are cheaper than soba noodles and more readily available. They are an excellent choice for making salads, broths, soups, and stir-fries.

Related How to Cook Ramen in the Microwave (So It Tastes Really Good).

2. Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are another popular substitute for soba noodles. Like soba, udon is also Japanese, but unlike soba, you make them with wheat flour. Their texture is also creamier than soba. They are slightly thicker and have a lighter color.

Udon noodles are also easy to find and affordable. You can add them to broths, cold dishes, soups, etc. You can also use them in a stir-fry.

These noodles don’t have a strong flavor, but they will take on the flavors of a nice broth, stir fry, or whatever dish you include them in. Their blandness can work well in dishes where noodles aren’t the star of the recipe.

3. Whole Wheat Spaghetti 

Whole wheat spaghetti is one of the best soba noodles alternatives on the market. You can find them at almost every grocery store at an affordable price. They are available in different shapes and thicknesses. They are excellent for stir-fry dishes, soups, and broths. 

Whole Wheat spaghetti is also one of the healthier alternatives to soba. They have more fiber and protein and fewer calories, so they might be a healthier option.

4. Somen Noodles

Somen noodles are thin Japanese noodles and the closest alternative to soba noodles. They are white and made from wheat flour, oil, and water. You can serve them cold or use them in hot soups.

A plate of somen noodles

Somen noodles aren’t as healthy as soba, but their taste makes them a good option. They don’t have a strong flavor, so you can dip them in soy sauce or eat them with grated ginger and spring onions. 

5. Mak-Gukso 

Mak-gukso are Korean buckwheat noodles that are gluten-free and rich in nutrients. These noodles are darker and thicker but aren’t too different in taste than soba. 

You can use Mak-Gukso noodles in hot and cold dishes. Their texture allows them to mix well with sauces and spices, adding to the overall flavor. They make an excellent addition to salads, broths, and soups.

The only problem is their availability. You may have to visit big Asian groceries to find Korean Buckwheat noodles.

Related 6 Best Substitutes for Buckwheat Flour.

6. Kelp Noodles

The main ingredient in kelp noodles is seaweed kelp. It makes the noodles crispy and salty and gives them that glassy look.

Kelp noodles are low-carb and gluten-free, making them a healthy option for diet-conscious foodies. 

These noodles don’t have a rich taste, making them an excellent choice for dishes where you don’t want the noodles to dominate the taste or flavor. However, you must use kelp noodles for dishes with rich flavors and sauces. Otherwise, your food may become too bland. 

7. Quinoa Pasta

Quinoa pasta is another healthy gluten-free substitute for soba noodles. You can cook these noodles like regular pasta and use them in hot and cold recipes. Quinoa is also richer in protein than other gluten-free soba noodles substitutes. 

Though slightly different in taste, quinoa pasta’s texture is like regular pasta. 

You can get pure quinoa pasta from your local grocery stores. However, it is best to check the label because many brands add rice, millet, corn flour, etc. 

8. Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are another gluten-free soba substitute. The main ingredients of rice noodles are water and rice, giving them a transparent, delicate look and a light texture. 

These noodles are excellent for cold and hot recipes, soups, broths, and dishes like pad thai. You can also use them in stir-fry recipes. They taste nuttier and saltier than regular wheat flour soba substitutes. 

You can even use rice noodles to make desserts. 

9. Cellophane Noodles

Cellophane noodles are more chewy than soba and make a good substitute, but you’ll have to alter your cooking time. Cellophane noodles can become mush if left in boiling water for too long. 

These noodles have a translucent look, giving them the nickname glass noodles. These noodles are made from mung bean and have none-to-low calories, making them a healthy alternative. They go well with dishes like salads, stir-fries, soups, etc. 

They are available at almost every Asian grocery store. 

10. Yakisoba Noodles

Yakisoba noodles are a regular staple in Japanese kitchens. They are an excellent alternative to soba noodles but may only be ideal for some dishes.

Yakisoba noodles pair best with stir-fry recipes, including vegetables, seafood, poultry, or red meat. Their flavor is saltier, with some undertones of sweetness. Since they have wheat, their taste is more like Ramen than soba. 

The only downside of yakisoba noodles is their availability. They may not be available at your local grocery store, but you should be able to get them at an Asian grocery store. 

11. Chinese Egg Noodles

Egg noodles are a famous Chinese kitchen staple. As the name suggests, they are made of eggs and wheat flour. Egg noodles may not be as nutritious as soba, but they pair well with Asian spices and sauces. They are excellent for stir-fry recipes and some hot soups.

They are rich in protein but have high cholesterol. Egg noodles also have lower calories than some other soba substitutes. Egg noodles may not be suitable for people with higher cholesterol and cardiac health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Are Soba Noodles?

Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat. Their texture is dense with a nutty, salty flavor. The buckwheat also adds an earthy flavor to Soba’s flavor profile. You can use these noodles to make cold dishes, hot soups, broths, and even salads. 

What Are Soba Noodles Made Of?

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, salt, and water. Authentic soba noodles are 100% buckwheat. You can also add flour to make the noodles a little lighter.

To ensure the noodles don’t lose their signature taste and texture, don’t add too much wheat flour. You should add only 20% regular wheat flour to make the dough. Soba noodles with an 80% to 20% ratio are called hachiwari. 

Can You Substitute Ramen Noodles for Soba?

You can substitute Ramen noodles for Soba. But their flavor profile isn’t the same. You can cook Ramen the same way as soba and use them for all soba noodle recipes. Ramen noodles, however, aren’t as healthy as soba. They may contain oil and fat, increasing the calorie count per serving. 

Can I Use Udon Noodles Instead of Soba?

You can use udon noodles instead of soba. Their taste is milder than soba, but you can substitute soba with udon in all Japanese dishes. Their main ingredient is wheat flour, giving them a milder taste.

Udon noodles are also whiter than soba. They are excellent at absorbing sauces and flavors in a dish.

Are Soba Noodles the Same as Wheat Noodles?

Soba noodles and wheat noodles aren’t the same. You can use them as substitutes for each other, but their flavor, nutritional value, and ingredients are different.

Wheat noodles may also lack the nuttier taste of soba. On the other hand, Wheat noodles mostly rely on the flavors or the dish you serve them with. 

Are Soba Noodles the Same as Egg Noodles?

Soba noodles and egg noodles aren’t the same. You can use them as each other’s substitutes, but they are different. A significant difference between the two is their nutritional value.

Egg noodles have a higher cholesterol concentration than soba, making soba a healthier option. Egg noodles are also yellower than soba and have a sweeter taste. 

Gluten-Free Substitute for Soba Noodles

Rice noodles are one of the best gluten-free substitutes for soba noodles. Even though it’s a good substitute, rice noodles are not as rich in protein as soba. They also have more carbs.

If you want gluten-free noodles, check the label before purchasing, as some brands may have gluten.

For more, don’t miss The 10 Best Substitutes for Quick Oats in a Recipe.