Asian-Inspired Soba Noodle Salad

Asian-Inspired Soba Noodle Salad

It’s hot. Who wants to cook? Not me.

I’m craving fresh, cool, crunchy vegetables, instead. Minced green herbs that pack a punch. And a dressing that has a fiery afterglow.

This Asian-Inspired Soba Noodle Salad is one of my go-to salads in the summer. I make a batch of it, and leave it in the fridge, and then pull some out for lunches. You could also serve this alongside BBQ-grilled (look, Ma, no oven!) chicken or skewers of prawns.

I made this with Japanese Soba Noodles, which are a buckwheat-based noodle (sadly, they also have regular wheat, so they are not gluten-free), but if you could also easily substitute ramen or rice vermicelli.

The dressing is inspired by a Satay Sauce. If you’ve ever had delicious grilled skewers of meat at the Richmond Night Market, or a Thai restaurant, you’ll get the direction I’m headed in. It’s a peanut-based sauce with the sharpness of vinegar, the saltiness of soy, the heat of chilies and fresh ginger, and the sweetness of a little brown sugar.

You can put whatever vegetables you like with this–I like sweet red bell peppers, scallions, shredded carrots and snow peas. They all add sweetness and crunch.

Asian-Inspired Soba Noodle Salad

For the salad:

  • 1/2 package soba noodles, cooked in gently boiling water for about 5-6 minutes, then drained and held under cold, running water
  • 1/2-1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 scallions, green parts only, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 package of sugar snap peas, sliced into 1/2″ sections on the diagonal
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup finely diced cilantro (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (or shredded on the smallest setting of your grater)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili flakes (optional)

In a small saucepan, place all the ingredients, and heat gently until everything comes together. If the dressing is too thick, add some water to thin it. Toss dressing with the noodles and all the salad ingredients. Refrigerate until cold. Garnish with sesame seeds or chopped peanuts, and freshly-chopped scallions or cilantro. 

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