The Soba Special

Franklin, slurping it up

Maybe it was my fault that my kids can’t get enough soba noodles?

When I was pregnant with my first, I still lived in New York City, where a noodle lunch was never far away. Whether a steaming bowl of ramen on a cold day or a chilled bowl of soba with wasabi and tsuyu broth for dipping on a hot one, Japanese noodles probably made up 50% of my diet through those 9 months.

So it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise when my first-born, who was as an 8-month-old uninterested in any kind of solid foods, opened his mouth wide for a taste of my lunchtime soba. Maybe he got a kick out of having something deposited in his mouth via chopsticks, or maybe it was the satisfaction of slurping the ends up with abandon, but now, 4 years later, they remain his, and have become my daughter’s, favorite thing to eat (never mind that pasta with tomato sauce is practically on our family crest—these kids want soba).

But I’m certainly not complaining, because a faster lunch I have yet to dream up. I just boil a bunch, then rinse them with cold water, and dress them with oil and rice vinegar. At the table, we drizzle a little soy sauce on top. And to round things out, I also boil some frozen shelled edamame. For whatever reason, it’s such a kid-pleaser that it has become contagious among our peer group. I was delighted to receive a text message this summer from our babysitter who also has a young son, with a photo of soba noodles and edamame, and a message that they were enjoying the “Franklin Special” for dinner.

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