These easy Asian Noodle Bowls with sesame noodles and tons of fresh vegetables are easy to make, full of flavor, and great for meal prep. Satisfy your Asian takeout cravings with this nutritious Asian-style noodle bowl.
As much as we love a classic Asian Rice Bowl or this Korean Beef Bowl, sometimes it's nice to switch things up! Meet your new favorite Asian bowl recipe. Hearty soba or rice noodles, edamame, carrots, sugar snap peas, and the most delicious soy sesame dressing.
These noodle bowls are filling, versatile, and can actually be enjoyed warm or cold. That makes this dish ideal for meal prep.
Why We Love these Asian Noodle Bowls
- Extremely versatile: Think of this recipe as a blueprint to build your own Asian Noodle Bowls. Use soba noodles, rice vermicelli, glass noodles, or veggie noodles. Try this out with different vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, or green beans. Add chicken or shrimp. Make the sauce spicy or sweet! The options are endless.
- Quick and easy: Since most Asian noodles, cook in less than 10 minutes, this recipe is truly fast. Using pre-chopped vegetables and different sauces speeds up the process even more.
- Healthy: This recipe is packed with protein, tons of fresh vegetables, and whole grains.
What is an Asian Noodle Bowl?
Asian noodle bowls can be so many things from a big bowl of ramen to Asian street noodles to almost any type of stir-fried noodle dish.
Basically to qualify as an Asian noodle bowl, the recipe needs to feature Asian noodles and Asian flavors.
For this recipe, we start with soba noodles and then add lots of fresh vegetables and an Asian-inspired sesame sauce. However, you can customize this recipe to feature any combination of Asian noodles, vegetables, protein, and sauce you like.
Build Your Own Asian Bowl Ingredients
These bowls are easy to customize and there are lots of ways to build them.
- Asian noodles: The nutty buckwheat flavor of soba noodles is delicious in this dish but you can also use rice vermicelli noodles, brown rice noodles, ramen noodles, udon noodles, egg noodles, or glass noodles. You could also use a veggie noodle or shirataki noodle for a low-carb option.
- Vegetables: Both raw and cooked vegetables work in Asian noodle bowls. Typically, we like to add carrots, edamame, and sugar snap peas. Other tasty options include broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, bok choy, cucumbers, red peppers, red onions green onions. Depending on what vegetables you are using, you can sure them with the noodles for a hot preparation, like in this Lo Mein and Chow Mein recipe.
- Protein: Believe it or not, this bowl has 20 grams of plant-based protein, mostly from edamame. Add more protein with chicken, shrimp, beef, salmon, tofu, tempeh, or eggs. We love making these Salmon Sushi Bowls with noodles.
- Sauce: This noodle bowl is delicious with an easy sesame sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, ginger, and Asian chili paste. It would also work with teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, or your favorite stir-fry sauce.
- Toppings and fresh herbs: Get creative with the toppings adding cilantro, mint, basil, avocado, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, cashews, or almonds.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
Follow these tips for the most delicious Asian noodle bowls.
- Always rinse your noodles: Most Asian noodles can be sticky, especially soba noodles. The most important step in making soba noodles is to rinse them well after cooking. The starch sticks to the soba noodles after cooking and needs to be rinsed off. If this step is skipped, the noodles will stick together and become gummy.
- Do not overcook: Make sure not to over the noodles, especially if using these for meal prep. Asian noodles tend to go from the perfect texture to soggy and overcooked quickly. Cook the noodles al dente since they will continue to cook slightly as you rinse them.
- Add oil to the noodles: After cooking the noodles, especially if using the noodles for meal prep, add some oil after cooking to keep them from sticking together. A splash of sesame oil, coconut oil, or olive oil is all you need.
- Add peanut butter: For a nuttier flavor and a little extra protein, add a few tablespoons of peanut or almond butter to the sesame dressing.
- Swap out the vegetables: This works with any fresh or cooked vegetables you like. Consider adding broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, bok choy, or red cabbage for some color.
- Add crunch: For added crunch, add some chopped peanuts or cashews on top.
- Add protein: For a heartier meal, add tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, or any other protein you like.
- Make it spicy: For a spicier option, double up the Asian garlic chili paste. Leave it out if you prefer an option without heat.
Meal Prep and Reheating
These bowls are great fro meal prep! Make them to enjoy for lunch or a quick dinner all week long.
- Meal prep: If you are making this noodle bowl for meal prep, pack the dressing on the side. Then layer the noodles first in the container with the fresh vegetables, herbs, and garnishes on top. This helps the vegetables to stay crisp. Then toss everything together when it's time to eat.
- Fridge: This salad will last 3-4 days in the fridge. The dressing will last a week.
Add More Protein
This Asian Noodle Bowl has 20 grams of protein from the noodles, vegetables, and sauce. But if you want to add more, consider adding:
- Tofu: This Sesame Tofu is a great option and pairs well with the sesame flavors in this dish. For a quick option, look for store-bought baked tofu that has already been pressed and marinated.
- Chicken: Any leftover cooked chicken will taste delicious in this recipe and many times I add rotisserie chicken for a quick option. These Broiled Asian Chicken Thighs are another quick and easy option.
- Shrimp: Another quick option is shrimp. Cook it at home in less than 10 minutes or grab some precooked shrimp from the fish counter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these bowls.
If you prefer serving these Asian Noodle Bowls hot, the easiest option is to quickly stir-fry the cooked soba noodles and vegetables in a skillet or work over high heat. Cook everything for 2-3 minutes and then add the sauce. Stir-fry the whole dish for 1-2 minutes and then serve. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the sauce before adding it to the skillet.
Almost any noodles can be used to make these noodle bowls. Our favorite options include soba noodles, rice vermicelli noodles, and chewy ramen noodles.
Asian Noodle Bowls
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- 4 oz. soba noodles
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 2 cups shelled edamame
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. honey (or agave, maple syrup, or brown sugar for vegan)
- 1 lime, juice
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp. Asian garlic chili paste
- 1/4 cup cilantro
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Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the soba noodles. Cook according to package directions, adding the sugar snap peas, carrots, edamame during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Adjust this based on the type of noodles you are preparing. Run under cold water until cool, drain, and set aside. The soba noodles should be tender and the vegetables should be bright in color and tender-crisp. If you are serving this warm, run the noodles under hot water or toss them in a hot skillet with the vegetables. Add the sauce to the hot skillet.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
This makes a delicious side dish as well, just use half a serving.
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