directly above image of ramen bowl wabi sabi style, containing soba, shiitake mushroom, eggs tofu and edamame, with chopsticks on grey background, Studio shot, Nikon equipment
Food - Drink
Tokyo's Eki Soba Noodles Are A Train Station Delicacy
What is Eki Soba?
While Ramen may steal the show when it comes to Japanese cuisine, eki soba deserves some attention. This unfussy, fast food brings together a simple broth, a few toppings, and tasty buckwheat-based soba noodles, and it is typically eaten in standing-only restaurants called Tachigui, commonly found in train stations.
As the name hints, eki soba begins with soba noodles, which are served in a dark-colored broth made of soy sauce, fish stock, and cooking sake. The dish is then topped with shrimp or vegetable tempura, raw egg, deep-fried tofu, or vegetables, and finished with sliced green onion and shichimi, a popular chili spice mix.
While the ingredient list may be short, eki soba stands out thanks to the chef’s combinations and efficient preparation. To quickly turn around dishes, the noodles and broth are prepared simultaneously in separate pots before being combined with toppings that are often pre-cooked and simply warmed in the broth.
Varying renditions of the dish are classified based on the topping since most eki soba restaurants only prepare one type of broth. The most popular version of the dish, ebiten soba, comes with a large cooked shrimp, or diners might opt for tsukimi soba, meaning "moon viewing," which is served with a raw egg.
Eki soba is typically eaten in the morning at stand-only Tachigui restaurants, and it is commonly ordered via a machine on which customers can choose and pay for their meal. The machine spits out a ticket, which customers then give to a waiter before squeezing in at the counter and waiting for their hot bowl of noodles.