Eating a bowl of buckwheat noodles before midnight on New Year's Eve is an old Japanese tradition that is supposed to bring long life and prosperity in the year ahead. Look for soba noodles in the Asian section of your supermarket; they have a nutty, hearty flavor and they're full of nutrients — plus, they often come in neat little bundles tied up with pretty paper ribbons!
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- Large pot with lid
- Medium-sized pot
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- 4 soup bowls
- 1⁄2 pound soba noodles
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1⁄2 package soft or firm tofu, diced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup scallions, whites and greens, sliced
- Fill the large pot half full of water and put it on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes (or follow the directions on the package). To test a noodle to see if it's done, carefully fish it out with a fork, run it under cold water, and taste it.
- Carefully pour the pot of noodles and water out into the colander in the sink, drain the noodles well, and run cold water over them until they're cool. Divide the noodles among the bowls.
- Meanwhile, put the medium-sized pot on the stove and pour the chicken broth into it. Turn the heat to high and, when the broth come to a boil, turn the hear down to low and add the tofu and soy sauce. Simmer gently until the tofu is warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Use the ladle to divide the broth and tofu among the 4 bowls. Top with scallions and serve right away.