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Soba (そば or 蕎麦) (, Japanese pronunciation: [soba]) is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour , or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours (Nagano soba). They contrast to thick wheat noodles, called udon. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup . In Japan , soba noodles are served in a variety of settings throughout Japan , but are also served by expensive specialty restaurants. Markets sell dried noodles and men-tsuyu, or instant noodle broth , to make home preparation easy. There are a wide variety of dishes, both hot for winter and cold for summer , using these noodles. Soba can nutritionally complement other grains like white rice and wheat flour . Thiamine, missing from white rice, is present in soba. Soba contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in wheat flour .