Sesame Soba Noodles with fresh vegetables is an easy Asian noodle salad that can be served hot or cold. Easy to make, packed with vegetables, and a perfect way to serve soba noodles. Jump to Recipe
A healthy and delicious veggie packed recipe that's ready in under 10 minutes. These easy Sesame Soba Noodles are paired with sugar snap peas, carrots, and edamame for a protein packed noodle dish that works great as a side dish or main course.
Can you believe that this meal comes together in about 10 minutes! Hearty soba noodles, edamame, carrots, sugar snap peas, and a simple soy sauce and sesame dressing truly make a delicious meal that is perfect for warm summer nights.
Lately, it has been getting hot during the day and without air conditioning, I need dinners that produce minimal extra heat so that we all don't melt during dinner. Since soba noodles only need about 5 minutes of cooking, they are a great option for nights like this. They also taste delicious cold, which is how I normally like to serve them.
Although you could keep the veggies raw for this dish, I like to boil them with the noodles for 2-3 minutes until they are just tender. This makes them super bright in color and also a little easier to eat. Then with a simple dressing that uses soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, honey, and some Asian chili garlic paste - dinner is ready. I always add fresh cilantro to the mix but you could also add mint, parsley, or Thai basil.
What are soba noodles?
Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. They have a nutty flavor from the buckwheat and a somewhat slippery texture. Traditionally soba noodles are made with only buckwheat flour and water. However since those noodles can be fragile, many modern versions include some regular wheat flour as well to give them a sturdier texture.
The name Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, which is where the noodles get their name. They are normally found in the Asian section of the grocery store alongside items like rice noodles or rmane noodles. If you can't find soba noodles, swap in brown rice noodles. They have a similar nutty taste from the brown rice.
For those looking for a gluten-free noodle, make sure to find a noodle that is 100% buckwheat.
How to make soba noodles?
Soba noodles are cooked in a similar manner to pasta, but there are a few very important steps that ensure that the soba noodles do not become gummy and stick together. Make sure to follow these tips:
- Rinse well: 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.
- Cook in unsalted water: It is also important to cook the soba noodles in unsalted water. Salted water can make the noodles gummy and break down the noodles as they cook.
- Do not overcook: Make sure not to over the soba noodles. They go from the perfect texture to soggy and overcooked quickly. For most recipes, cook the soba noodles al dente since they will continue to cook slightly as you rinse them.
- Add fat: After cooking, especially if using the soba noodles for meal prep, add some oil after cooking to keep them from sticking together.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
- Soba noodles are the star of this dish with their nutty flavor from the buckwheat. If you can't find soba noodles, swap in rice noodles, regular pasta, gluten-free pasta, or even a veggie noodle.
- For a nuttier flavor and a little extra protein, add a few tablespoons of peanut or almond butter to the soy sauce based dressing.
- This works with any fresh or cooked vegetables you like. Consider adding broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, bok choy, or red cabbage for some color.
- For added crunch, add some chopped peanuts or cashews on top.
- For a heartier meal, add tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, or any other protein you like.
- For a spicier option, double up the Asian garlic chili paste. Leave it out if you prefer an option without heat.
If you are making this salad for meal prep, pack the dressing on the side. Then layer in the noodles first in the container with the fresh vegetables on top. This helps the vegetables to stay crisp. Then toss everything together when it's time to eat.
This salad will last 3-4 days in the fridge. The dressing will last a week.
How to Make Sesame Dressing?
Here is a recipe for a simple sesame dressing for salads, soba noodles, rice noodles, fresh vegetables, and more. It will last up to one week in the fridge.
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup honey (or agave, maple syrup, or brown sugar for vegan)
- 2 limes, juice
- 1-2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic cloved, minced (optional)
- 1 tsp. Asian garlic chili paste (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
Ways to Add Protein to these Sesame Soba Noodles
This soba noodle salad works as both a main dish and a side dish. The edamame adds plenty of protein on its own, 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 is 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.
More Asian Noodle Recipes
Sesame Soba Noodles with Fresh Vegetables
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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 U 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. 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.
* 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.
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