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!
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!
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.
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!
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:
- Swap in cilantro or Thai basil for the mint.
- Sub baked tofu, sesame tofu, or baked tempeh for the edamame.
- Add sliced cucumber.
- Use blanched broccolini in place of the snap peas.
- Or stir in some sautéed mushrooms or bok choy!
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!
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
- 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
- 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.
Yum! Asks easy enough for a beginner.
This was excellent! I made it with the Crispy Sesame Tofu. It was an easy and delicious weeknight meal!
Just made this and it is SO GOOD! Definitely recommend also doing the mushrooms she notes as an optional add on!
Hi Katie, I’m so glad you loved it!
What can I use if I don’t have soba noodles? Will angel hair be a good substitute?
yep, spaghetti would work too.
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.
I LOVE Asian-inspired recipes and this one did not disappoint! So simple and fresh. A new favorite for sure!
This was delicious! Will be making again for sure! Thanks
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 😄
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.
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.
So delicious and refreshing! Great way to add a variety of veggies!
This was absolutely delicious! A perfect mid-week meal that everyone enjoyed. Will double the recipe next time to make sure I have leftovers!
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!
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.
Loved this recipe!
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.
This came together super fast. A nice quick work week meal.
I love the idea of a healthy noodle bowl for lunch! This was delicious!
Loved this recipe! Such a nice combination of different delicious flavours and textures
The perfect pop of brightness in the middle of winter. Great recipe warm and cold. Will definitely make again!