Noodles All the Time: Cocoron

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With a recent boom in Ramen shops and trucks all over the city, it’s nice to take the time and explore a different kind of Japanese noodle–this time, in the form of soba. This Lower East Side eatery focuses solely on these protein-rich buckwheat noodles, and they’re ready to answer any questions you may have.

Their menu focuses on three kinds of soba–the strictly cold, the warm soups, and the dip soba. The first focuses on house-made tofu, fermented soy beans (the natto) and pork loin in different selections of sauces. Vegetarian options are available upon request, where the noodles are cooked in an all-vegetable broth.

The warm soba options are plentiful and satisfying. We got the Japanese Curry Soba with Pork, which was richly aromatic. This heavily spiced dish came in a steaming bowl with scallions, cabbage, and a solid portion of soba. Any dish can be upgraded to a ‘large’ for just one dollar.

Our favorite type of soba was the ‘dip,’ which felt uniquely authentic. An experience in itself, we ordered the Pork Kimchee Dip Soba. The dish came in three parts: the almost finished soba, sitting on a bamboo sheet, the abundantly spiced porky broth to dip the noodles in, and a small dish to rest any extra soba on. The concept is this, to finish the cooking process of the soba in the broth, and then slurp up the heavenly drenched noodles with your chopsticks. The waiter gave specific instructions to only soak the soba for ten seconds, so they still have some depth to them.

The pickled spice from the kimchee, the rich saltiness from the pork, the delicacy from a sprinkling of scallion all came together beautifully to provide one indulgent dish. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, when all of the soba noodles had been slurped up, the waiter brought a small kettle of soba water along with a sheet of paper explaining its health benefits. When the soba is cooked, much of the protein and Vitamin D leaks into the water. Cocoron gives all of those nutrients back to you to pour into the dip and make a delicious soup broth to finish.

Insanely reasonable–sobas were never more than $14–and beneficial to your health? We’re in. And then in again. And then maybe in again for a late-night snack.

 

Cocoron: 61 Delancey Street, New York, NY 10002 (between Eldridge and Allen)

 

Featured Image: Serious Eats

Gabrielle Campagnano (Opinion Editor)’s favorite word is communication. She is described by close friends (and enemies) as “diligent,” “an appreciator of words,” “jolly,” “hottest monogomist” and “moogle”. Although she concentrates in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence, you can talk to her about intelli-rap and Szechuan peppercorns. Post-grad, Gabrielle plans on readying the next generation of artists (ages 5-10) to take on the world with mindfulness and sensitivity.

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