Delicious and refreshing Soba Noodle Salad! This easy cold soba noodle salad is made with buckwheat noodles, lots of crunchy and fresh veggies, and tossed with a homemade dressing.
Just looking at pictures of this bowl of Soba Noodle Salad makes me so happy. I love soba noodles, so coming up with this soba noodle salad recipe was a no-brainer…and it turned out SO delicious!
Soba noodles, also known as buckwheat noodles, are thin noodles made of buckwheat flour. They cook really fast (4-5 mins), and have a slightly grainy texture and are a tiny bit chewy.
I love adding crunchy and fresh vegetables to my soba noodle salad, my favorites being carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, and scallions. Also, the homemade dressing is seriously AMAZING!
What Are Soba Noodles?
As mentioned briefly above, soba noodles are Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour. Soba means buckwheat in Japanese.
- They cook fast! About 4-5 minutes in simmering water are enough. Be sure to rinse them with cold water immediately.
- They are quite thin.
- It is commonly served cold with dipping sauce, or hot with broth.
The thing to keep in mind when cooking soba or buckwheat noodles is to not overcook them. When overcooked, they become mushy and chewy.
The best way to cook soba noodles is this: boil water, and then simmer the noodles for 4-5 minutes until they are al dente. You can always try one to test if it’s ready or not. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.
Per usual, all the ingredient quantities for the soba noodle salad are listed in the recipe card below. To give you an idea:
- Soba noodles: Also known as buckwheat noodles.
- Cilantro: Fresh, roughly chopped. You can also use parsley if you want.
- Carrots: I use pre-cut matchstick carrots.
- Scallions: Thinly sliced.
- Red cabbage: Thinly sliced.
- Sesame seeds: For garnish.
- Seasoned Nori Seaweed: These are also known as “seasoned seaweed snack.” They look like very thin sheets of seaweed. Find it in the Asian section of grocery stores or online.
- For the dressing: Rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger.
The Homemade Dressing
Let’s take a moment to talk about the homemade dressing for the soba noodle salad: IT IS SO GOOD!
It’s delicate and full of amazing flavors. For acidity, I use rice vinegar. For body and flavor, I use sesame oil plus vegetable oil (too much sesame oil would definitely overpower it). Then, for more flavor, color, and body, there’s light soy sauce. Finally, my favorite ingredients: honey and freshly grated ginger, which add so much balancing flavors.
It can be made up to 2 days in advance, if you’re looking to prep ahead.
This dressing will make your soba noodle salad spectacular!
So Easy to Make!
Making this delicious soba noodle salad is super easy. All instruction details are included in the recipe card below, but to give you an idea:
- Make the dressing: Simple mix all the dressing ingredients in mason jar and shake until combine until emulsified.
- Cook the soba noodles and rinse them with cold water immediately to stop the cooking process and prevent them from getting mushy.
- Chop all the veggies: This step can be prepped ahead too.
- Toss everything to combine: Noodles, veggies, and dressing.
- Garnish: roasted seaweed, sesame seeds, and more scallions.
Serving: I’d recommend serving it immediately since the noodles will start absorbing the dressing. If you want to serve it later in the day, just add the dressing whenever you’re ready to serve.
If you want to prep this ahead, here are a few tips:
- Chop or slice the carrots (if not using pre-cut matchstick carrots), cabbage, scallions, and cilantro.
- Make the dressing up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge.
- What NOT to prep ahead: the noodles. Cook the noodles right before serving. They can get too chewy or mushy when left for too long.
I love this soba noodle salad so much…so much! It is refreshing, colorful, vibrant, and so good for you. The flavors from the homemade dressing really make this salad ultra delicious.
I like to serve it year-round, but especially during summer. I know summer is coming to an end here, but it hasn’t stopped me from making lots of it. Serve it with my baked miso salmon. Yummy!
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do. Happy cooking!
Check out my favorite Asian-inspired recipes here:
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Asian Chicken Slaw Salad
- Chinese Corn Chicken Soup
- Easy Coconut Jasmine Rice
- Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
Tips for Success
- Soba noodles: These cook really fast, about 4-5 minutes. Test them after 3-4 minutes to check for doneness (al dente). When ready, drain and rinse them with cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.
- Use freshly grated ginger in the dressing for best results.
- For the dressing, use light soy sauce, if possible.
Soba Noodle Salad
- 9 oz soba noodles - (3 standard bundles)
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced - (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds - (garnish)
- Sliced seasoned nori seaweed - (garnish)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil - (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce - (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey - (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, or to taste
- Make the dressing: In a mason jar, combine all the Dressing ingredients. Cover with lid and shake vigorously until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Cook soba noodles according to package directions, until al dente, about 4-5 minutes. To be sure, test it after 3-4 minutes to check for doneness (al dente). When ready, immediately drain and rinse them with very cold water to stop the cooking process and to prevent mushy noodles.
- In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the cilantro, cabbage, carrots, scallions, and the prepared dressing. Garnish with sesame seeds, more sliced scallions, and sliced seasoned seaweed. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Cooking the noodles: Soba noodles cook really fast, in about 4-5 minutes. I’d say closer to 3.5 to 4 if you want it al dente. After they are cooked, be sure to rinse them in cold water immediately.
- Make ahead: chop or slice all the veggies and prep the dressing up to 1 day in advance. Store in the fridge. Do not cook the noodles ahead of time since they will get soft and mushy if stored for too long.
- For the dressing, I’d highly recommend using freshly grated ginger. Also, I’d recommend light soy sauce for best results.