Abura Soba (Mazesoba): Oil-Flavored Soupless Ramen
In Japan, there are many varieties of noodle dishes available, among which, especially the 4 Japanese noodles, Ramen, Udon, Soba, and Yakisoba, are most popular and widely enjoyed.
In addition to these, we Japanese have another some common noodles to eat at home or restaurants in daily life.
Left: Tsukemen (つけ麺) Right: Somen (そうめん)
Examples of such Japanese noodle dishes include “Tsukemen (つけ麺)“, a type of Ramen consisting of noodles and a soup broth (in which noodles are dipped) served in separate bowls, and “Somen (そうめん)” consisting of fine wheat noodles and a Mentsuyu sauce also served separately.
Tsukemen and Somen are typically consumed during the hot summer months, so if I give one more example that can be eaten throughout the year, what comes to my mind is “Abura Soba (油そば)”.
Abura Soba (油そば) or Maze Soba (まぜそば)
Abura Soba is also a type of Ramen. However, while ordinary Ramen noodles are served in a hot bowl of soup made with various ingredients such as pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, Abura Soba has no broth.
Actually, Abura Soba is flavored directly with seasonings such as sesame oil, soy-sauce-based sauce, chili oil, and vinegar. The soupless ramen is called Abura Soba because its main seasoning is oil.
By the way, in its name, “Abura (油)” literally means oil in Japanese, and Abura Soba is also called “Maze Soba (まぜそば: literally meaning Mixing Noodles)”.
How to Eat Abura Soba
As for the eating manner in the restaurant, when a bowl of Abura Soba is served, its flavor base, such as seasoning oil and sauce, is placed on the bottom of the bowl. And you can add chili oil and vinegar to the noodles to your taste before eating.
After that, you need to mix all the ingredients well in order to coat the noodles with the seasonings, which is why Abura Soba is also called Mazesoba (Mixing Noodles).
Abura Soba is pretty popular in Japan and is also available in some instant noodles varieties. Among those, Myojo’s “Bubuka Abura Soba (ぶぶか油そば)” is the No.1 instant Abura Soba with the largest market share. The soupless Ramen is very delicious and recommended.
Actually, “Bubuka (ぶぶか)” is one of the most popular Abura Soba specialty shops in Tokyo whose main restaurant is located in Kichijoji (MAP), and the collaboration product with Myojo, the Bubuka Abura Soba Instant Noodle has been around since 2002.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 油そば )