Sesame Soba Noodles

Never cooked soba noodles? Follow the tips in this post to make a foolproof soba noodle salad that's loaded with veggies and great for weekday lunches!

Soba noodles

Happy Monday! If you’re like me and you had a weekend full french toast, cake, and pancakes, then you’ve come to the right place! Today I have a fresh, delicious bowl of soba noodles to help start the week off in a healthy direction. The best thing about this bowl is that it’s super simple to make, yet has great zippy flavor. There’s a light sesame-ginger dressing that perfectly coats the soba noodles. On top of that, I chose to mix in a group of vibrant spring veggies, but keep reading for a few other suggestions to customize your noodle bowl!

Soba noodle recipe ingredients

What are soba noodles?

Soba noodles come from Japan, which is where Jack and I fell in love with them. Made with buckwheat flour, they have a wonderful nutty flavor and slick, soft texture.

Traditional soba is made with only buckwheat flour and water, so it’s easy to make soba noodle recipes gluten-free: despite its name, buckwheat has no relation to wheat! However, because 100% buckwheat noodles can be fragile and difficult to work with, you’ll often see soba that contains a mix of buckwheat and wheat flours. These are the noodles I usually choose (I also like these) – they still have the buckwheat’s yummy flavor, but they’re easier for tossing in a soba noodle salad like this one.

If you’re gluten-free, be sure to seek out 100% buckwheat soba (these are awesome!). Both varieties are readily available in Asian markets or in the Asian section of regular grocery stores.

Soba noodle salad

How to cook soba noodles

If you’ve never cooked soba before, there are a few things you should know before starting this recipe. It’s easy for a package of soba to turn into a big gummy mess, but if you follow these tips, you’ll have sure soba success!

  • First, unlike regular pasta, it’s essential that you cook your soba in unsalted water.
  • Make sure not to overcook them! Don’t forget to set a kitchen timer for the time listed on the package.
  • When your noodles are ready, drain them in the sink and rinse them thoroughly with cold water to remove starches that cause clumping.
  • Finally, toss them with a glug of oil to keep them fresh until you’re ready to eat!

Sesame ginger soba noodles

Soba Noodle Recipe Variations

The star of this soba noodle salad is the zingy sesame dressing, and though I love it over blanched snap peas, edamame, avocado, and radishes here, you could easily change up the veggies in this dish. Here are some ideas:

Have fun making a bowl of soba noodles you really love. This recipe is great for weeknight dinners or packing for lunch, but if you do make it ahead, be sure to add the avocado at the last minute so it stays nice & green. Enjoy!

Sesame soba noodles in a bowl

If you love this soba noodle recipe…

Try this maki sushi recipe, these avocado cucumber sushi rolls, this miso soup, or this stir fry next!

For more vegan recipes, check out this post!

Sesame Soba Noodles

rate this recipe:
4.9 from 48 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 2 to 4
With a bright sesame dressing, fresh mint, avocado, snap peas & radishes, these soba noodles are so tangy and delicious!

Ingredients

Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey

For the Soba Noodles

  • 6 ounces soba noodles*, see note
  • Sesame oil, for drizzling
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Squeezes of lemon
  • 2 cups blanched snap peas
  • ¼ cup edamame
  • 1 watermelon radish or 2 red radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and honey. Set aside.
  • Bring an unsalted pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well in cold water. This helps to remove starches that cause clumping. Toss the noodles with the dressing and divide into 2 to 4 bowls. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the avocado slices and add to the bowls along with the snap peas, edamame, radish, mint, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with more tamari or sesame oil, if desired.

Notes

I used these soba noodles in this recipe. I also like this brand.
If you're gluten free use gluten free soba noodles, I like these.
Make this vegan by using maple syrup instead of the honey.

 

62 comments

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  1. lindsey from dollyandoatmeal.com
    02.25.2013

    i have been experimenting with a lot more asian-inspired recipes. this sounds amazing. can’t wait to try it!

  2. Kathryn from londonbakes.com
    02.25.2013

    I love this kind of dish for a quick weeknight meal (and I like the leftovers even more for lunch the next day!)

  3. Lauren from gourmetveggiemama.com
    02.26.2013

    Yum! I love cold soba, and with temps poised to start climbing any minute now, I’m about to be looking for more non-hot meal options. Pinning to try!

  4. Nicole from nicolemehl.com
    08.09.2013

    Tried this for lunch today and it was delicious! I will definitely make it again, thank you for sharing!

  5. Leslie
    02.04.2015

    5 stars
    My new favorite recipe! Makes a great packed lunch

  6. Bill
    05.13.2019

    What happened to that thingie with the red center? What’s that?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.14.2019

      it’s a watermelon radish

  7. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    05.13.2019

    great dish, have eaten but never cooked soba noodles,, interesting to know about the non wheat in buckwheat and version that actually has a little wheat, nice choice of ingredients too, thank you!

  8. Jessica
    07.01.2019

    5 stars
    This is delicious! The perfect meal on a hot day.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2019

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Jessica
    09.14.2019

    5 stars
    I used udon noodles because I coudln’t find soba noodles. Also I did stir-fried it

  10. Alex
    06.23.2020

    I love how this recipe came into apple’s WWDC 2020 today. Gorgeous Webpage, amazing recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Soba noodles come from Japanes, whole grain noodles with an upscale , warming flavor. Buckwheat protein is superior to other cereal grain because it has all essential amino acids, & is that the best.

  12. Melanie
    01.06.2021

    5 stars
    Made this today for lunch. It was yummy! I love the sesame dressing! Thank you!

  13. Sarah Blue
    01.10.2021

    My husband and I made a giant batch of these sesame soba noodles to share with friends! It was so easy and a lot of fun- we sat this big bowl in the middle of the table so everyone could help themselves. On the side, we HF sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili garlic so everyone could flavor to their desired taste. It was a huge hit!

  14. Kate
    01.10.2021

    5 stars
    Really love how easy and delicious this recipe is. Unfortunately, my store didn’t have soba noodles, but subbed in a pad thai noodle instead.

    Will definitely put this on the list for weeknight meals! So good!

  15. Jessica Hooper
    01.10.2021

    5 stars
    I made these with my sisters over video call. They tasted great and were a fun thing to try together!

  16. Cassie Brandt
    01.10.2021

    Made this recipe with my sisters over a video call So much fun. I think this would be a cold lunch the next day.

  17. Shannon H.
    01.12.2021

    I made this for the January Cooking Club and wow what an easy recipe that felt light! I love Japanese food but have never made it before as it seemed too daunting but really loved it. I added your baked tofu recipe with sambal instead of sriracha!

  18. Katherine
    01.14.2021

    4 stars
    This was wonderful! So easy and quick to prepare – and a hit with everyone!

  19. Shivany Powani
    01.15.2021

    5 stars
    So simple, so yum. Subbed a few ingredients, turned out perfect ❤️

  20. Hannah from hannahsbakingchronicles.com
    01.15.2021

    5 stars
    I made this for the cooking club tonight and I’m in love! I added scallions which went really well with the fresh flavor. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow. -Hannah Augsbach Lamma

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.16.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  21. Cara Sandlass
    01.16.2021

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing. Simple and delicious, my two favorite things in a recipe! Excited to make it again.

  22. Brooke
    01.16.2021

    5 stars
    So yummy. I did the baked tempeh instead of edamame (which is amazing itself) and added sauteed bok choy. I ended up with a big bowl of deliciousness that will last me a couple of days 😊

  23. Holly ponton coleman
    01.18.2021

    5 stars
    This is Holly Ponton Coleman. Recipe was amazing and so is the cooking club!!!!!

  24. Claudia Bergen
    01.18.2021

    Such an easy and tasty recipe. I honestly expected this to be more time so aiming than it was and it was o full of flavor. I will for sure be making this one again.

  25. Cecilia Caughman
    01.18.2021

    Delicious and bright! This recipe was simple but packed with a ton of flavor.

  26. Carrie McCormack
    01.19.2021

    4 stars
    Delicious flavor!! I made this gluten free by using the GF soba noodles recommended on the recipe card. It’s such a light, fresh, tasty dish! We had it as a side dish for soy-glazed salmon. So easy to put together while the salmon roasted. Wonderful!

  27. Miranda Wodarski
    01.19.2021

    This recipes is delicious! We loved it so much we had it two evenings in a row! We added cooked carrots each night which added great flavor and color to the already perfect recipe. The sauce was light and simple and tasted aweome tossed with the soba noodles!

    I highly recommend this recipe 🙂

  28. Connor Belson
    01.19.2021

    5 stars
    This recipe was so wonderful! It is light and fresh but also has a really bold flavor. It was also really easy to make and does well as a weekday meal.

    Thanks so much!

  29. Alice from alicescookbook.com
    01.19.2021

    5 stars
    Lovely and bright recipe! Dressing was the right amount of flavor for the soba noodles and all the different elements paired really well together. Preparation took a little longer than expected but still turned out delicious!

  30. Joyce Wang
    01.19.2021

    5 stars
    From this recipe, I learned that I really like radishes! I’ve only had radishes with tacos where they were just in the background, so I appreciate how the radishes, along with the snap peas, really came through.

  31. Catherine
    01.20.2021

    5 stars
    I adore this recipe! So good for a leftover lunch. Also, this dressing is so good I could drink it!

  32. 5 stars
    This was another winner! Added sauted zucchini and mushrooms because I had them. Second time this month for this one.

  33. Shira
    01.20.2021

    5 stars
    Simple and delicious recipe! We will definitely keep this in our back pocket for a quick weekday dinner.

  34. 5 stars
    loved the flavors of this recipe! it made a great quick lunch that was filling without being heavy.

  35. Anna
    01.21.2021

    Enjoyed the freshness of this recipe, especially after holiday indulgence! I’d be interested in subbing some different veggies (like carrots or bell pepper).

  36. Jen
    01.21.2021

    4 stars
    This was a great dinner. I added broccoli and bok choy because they are some of my favourite veggies. I also substituted chopped peanuts for the sesame seeds. It was delicious and easy!

  37. Katie Lebow
    01.22.2021

    4 stars
    I made this recipe for the cooking club. I had a purple daikon radish that worked great with it. I also included some marinated tofu and some cabbage to replace the snap peas I didn’t have. I really enjoyed it!

  38. Jenny Garcia
    01.22.2021

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Surprisingly very quick and easy to put together. I added air fried tofu, cilantro and chili oil to mine.

  39. Elizabeth Shelly
    01.23.2021

    5 stars
    After finally finding a good buckwheat-heavy soba, I’ve made a variation of this recipe at least two nights a week! It’s a refreshing change from the hearty and savory dishes during the week.

  40. Carrie Hoey
    01.23.2021

    The perfect pop of brightness in the middle of winter. Great recipe warm and cold. Will definitely make again!

  41. Brenda van Stigt
    01.24.2021

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Such a nice combination of different delicious flavours and textures

  42. shawn brightwell
    01.24.2021

    5 stars
    I love the idea of a healthy noodle bowl for lunch! This was delicious!

  43. Megan Dunn Davison
    01.25.2021

    This came together super fast. A nice quick work week meal.

  44. Robyn Icks
    01.26.2021

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe! So light and fresh and filling – it was a hit and we’ll definitely will be making it again in the future.

  45. Emily Salinas
    01.26.2021

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe!

  46. Jennifer Standley
    01.28.2021

    5 stars
    This was yummy! I struggled a bit with cooking the buckwheat noodles as they clumped together initially in the hot water but I quickly separated them before it became a disaster. The ingredients were so simple but the dish was packed with fresh flavor. I will make this again.

  47. Celine Daridan
    01.29.2021

    5 stars
    As suggested in the blog post, I put baked tofu instead of edamame, and sauteed mushrooms and bok choy instead of snap peas. It was really good! The dressing is terrific!

  48. Ann Shively
    01.29.2021

    4 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! A perfect mid-week meal that everyone enjoyed. Will double the recipe next time to make sure I have leftovers!

  49. Stevie Smith
    01.29.2021

    5 stars
    So delicious and refreshing! Great way to add a variety of veggies!

  50. Vivien
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    I didn’t expect to like this so much, but the dressing is a real winner! This is an awesome lighter alternative to the warm soba noodle dishes I tend to make with mushrooms, miso broth, egg, etc.

  51. Bridget Cassun
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    Quick, easy, fresh and delicious! Made for a quick, light lunch; had to switch around the vegetables a bit for what I had; damn winter and pandemic! Dressing would be really versatile on greens; et al.

  52. Karina Lyubenkova
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this fresh, easy recipe! My family loved it – I made it last minute as my January Cooking Club submission and followed it exactly 😄

  53. Dennis
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Will be making again for sure! Thanks

  54. I LOVE Asian-inspired recipes and this one did not disappoint! So simple and fresh. A new favorite for sure!

  55. Brenda Leis
    01.31.2021

    We loved this one. We had to use regular peas instead of snow peas. We are hiding from the pandemic at our lake home in Ontario’s cottage country. We are grateful for whatever ingredients we can get in our rural community so don’t complain about having to substitute.

  56. Barbra
    02.20.2021

    What can I use if I don’t have soba noodles? Will angel hair be a good substitute?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.21.2021

      yep, spaghetti would work too.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.