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This Soba Noodle Salad is perfect when you're craving a light meal that's cooling and refreshing. It's loaded with fresh veggies and chewy noodles that are coated in a delicious umami-filled dressing. Plus, it's done in just 20 minutes!
If you love noodles and lots of veggies, then you're going to want to make this refreshingly delicious Soba Noodle Salad. It's a great addition to your summertime lineup!
Many of you have been enjoying my Peanut Noodle Salad that I shared a few weeks ago, so I wanted to share a similar recipe that is even lighter. It can be served as a light meal or a side dish to almost any meal.
It's also perfect to serve at a picnic or backyard barbeque if you want to change things up a bit. Everyone will love the flavors. It's zesty, savory, spicy, and subtly sweet. It's addictive!
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
This Soba Noodle Salad is so easy to customize. Before you head to the full recipe below, here are some ingredient notes and substitution ideas:
- Soba Noodles - if you can't find them, you can use any noodles such as ramen, rice, or udon noodles.
- Vegetables - this recipe includes edamame, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, bell pepper, and green onions. Feel free to switch it up here and add your favorites.
- Soy Sauce - sub with tamari for a gluten-free option.
- Sweetener - I used agave nectar, but this will also work with maple syrup or brown sugar.
- Rice Vinegar - apple-cider vinegar will work well as a substitute, but I would use less at first and add more to taste.
- Lime Juice - fresh-squeezed is recommended here. For a zestier dressing, add a bit of the zest.
- Sriracha - alternatives are sambal oelek, tabasco sauce, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Garlic - fresh is best, but ¾ teaspoon of granulated garlic will work nicely too.
- Ginger - If you don't have fresh, you can use a ½ teaspoon of ground ginger.
How to make Soba Noodle Salad
This soba salad is super simple to put together in just a few steps. Here's how to do it :
- Cook noodles according to package instructions then rinse under cold water. Now make the dressing by whisking the ingredients until combined.
- Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Pour in the dressing and toss to combine. Top with sesame seeds, extra cilantro, and green onions before serving.
This Soba Noodle Salad will come out beautifully every time. Here are some tips to ensure success:
- Cut the vegetables into thin strips so the dressing coats everything evenly and so it's easier to eat.
- Keep the vegetables crisp and fresh by adding the dressing only when ready to serve.
- Don't overcook the noodles or they will fall apart. Soba noodles should be tender but somewhat dense in texture with a slight chew when cooked properly.
- Make sure to cool the noodles right away to avoid them overcooking. You can use a colander or stick them in a cold pot of water.
- To prevent sticking, lightly coat the noodles in sesame oil or neutral oil after they are drained and cooled.
Storing + Leftovers
This soba salad is best served fresh, but it can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Toss with a splash of oil and lime or vinegar to refresh.
Traditionally, soba noodles are made with 100% buckwheat flour which makes them naturally gluten-free. However, many brands use a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour so check the label beforehand if you have a gluten intolerance.
Soba noodles are thin noodles that are light to dark brown in color and they have somewhat of a grainy texture with a nutty flavor and an earthy undertone. The flavor and texture will vary slightly depending on if they contain 100% buckwheat flour or a combination with wheat flour.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes to Try
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Soba Noodle Salad
- 8 ounces dry soba noodles
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame , thawed
- 1 cup finely shredded purple cabbage or green
- 1 large red bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- ⅓ cup sliced green onion (about 3 stalks)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce , low sodium
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (olive oil, avocado, sunflower, grapeseed)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil + 1 teaspoon for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2-3 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- Black or white sesame seeds
- Cilantro , chopped
- Green onions , sliced
- Large bowl
- Make the dressing: whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime, oil, agave, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and sesame oil to combine well. Taste and adjust flavors if needed. Place in the fridge until ready for use.
- Cook the noodles: cook according to package directions then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until completely cooled. To prevent sticking, drizzle about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil or neutral-flavored oil over the noodles and gently toss to combine.
- Put it together: In a large bowl, toss all of the salad ingredients together with the noodles. Pour the dressing on top and gently toss again. Taste and adjust flavors if needed.
- Serve: Top with sesame seeds, extra cilantro, and green onions before serving. Enjoy!