Nutty buckwheat noodles. A bright, fresh, and spicy dressing. The BEST and EASIEST 15-minute Cold Soba Noodle Salad recipe!
Once the warmer weather hits, it’s time for Cold Soba Noodle Salad!
I love Spicy Soba Noodles for so many reasons! Nutty buckwheat noodles. A fresh, vibrant dressing. Crunchy veggies. Aromatic cilantro. Plus that slick coating of sesame oil!
Easy on the budget. Simple enough to put together. 15-minutes from start to finish!
Plus, Cold Soba Noodles are so versatile and multi-functional. No mayo means they can safely stay outside at picnics and BBQs. And they taste good cold or at room temperature.
Make and bring to a potluck or party. Or pack in the fridge for easy, work-from-home lunches all week long! My go-to summer noodle recipe!
What are soba noodles?
Soba noodles are Japanese, gluten-free noodles made from buckwheat. They taste deliciously nutty with a savory heft. Their twisty, chewy texture is so satisfying!
Traditionally, soba noodles can be enjoyed hot or cold. Hot soba is commonly enjoyed with dashi soup stock, tofu, veggies, and thinly sliced meat. Cold soba is commonly enjoyed as Zaru Soba and dipped in Tsuyu sauce — which is how I grew up eating them.
As a Korean American who now lives in Canada, I’ve also come to embrace Japanese soba noodles as as an easy base for cold noodle salads. Non-traditional, yes. But so ideal!
The hearty texture and earthy flavor of Japanese soba pairs exceptionally well with assertive, umami-rich, Asian-inspired dressings. Smooth and slightly chewy, these noodles are infinitely addictive and pleasurable to eat.
What to serve alongside Cold Soba Noodle Salad:
As a side, Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad complements any grilled meat or vegetables. I’ve served this simple recipe at parties, alongside an assortment of grilled proteins. Vegetarian Cold Soba Noodle Salad pairs especially well with:
- Soba Noodles. Deliciously nutty and gluten-free.
- Sambal Oelek. A fresh chili paste that’s garlicky, smoky, and spicy!
- Dressing: Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Mirin, Maple Syrup, Sesame Oil.
- Cilantro. A healthy dose keeps things fresh and fragrant.
- Sugar Snap Peas. Add so much crunch and lightness!
- Ginger. Optional but adds subtle zing and fragrance.
Feel free to add more toppings and customize to your liking! The recipe is vegan but you can make it vegetarian or very meaty with lots of shredded leftover chicken. For an easy lunch, add 2 or 3 of the following:
- Shredded leftover or rotisserie chicken
- Thinly sliced Cucumbers
- Shredded Carrots
- Shredded Cabbage
- Thinly sliced Bell Peppers
- Hard or Soft Boiled Egg
- Spring Salad Mix
Cooking + Serving Tips:
- Don’t overcook the noodles! They texture is everything!
- Rinse noodles with cold water. A quick drain and rinse stops the cooking process. Also prevents gumminess and the noodles from sticking together.
- Adjust spice level to your liking. Spicy Soba Noodle Salad is spicy! If you prefer, add only half the Sambal Oelek. Or leave it out altogether, if needed.
- Toss together right before serving. Keeps everything fresh, crunchy, and fragrant this way!
- Make it a meal! Add leftover chicken, cucumber, hard boiled egg, carrot, and/or shredded cabbage for a complete meal.
How to Make Spicy Soba Noodles:
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Pour over the soba noodles. Toss with tongs.
Add herbs and sliced sugar snap peas. Toss again. Serve and enjoy!
Easy 15-minute meals you may enjoy:
- Bibim Guksu [Korean Spicy Mixed Noodles]
- Tuna Kimchi Fried Rice
- Korean Street Toast
- Gochujang Pork Bowls
- Pork Chops with Kimchi Pan Sauce
Spicy Soba Noodles
- soba noodles (4 bundles)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion chopped
- 2 Tbsp sambal olek (try 1 Tbsp for a less spicy version)
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or apple vinegar or white distilled vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds toasted
- 1 inch ginger minced, optional
- Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together.
- Pour dressing over the soba noodles. Mix well with tongs.
- Add veggies and herbs. Mix well with tongs. Serve and enjoy!