Have you tried soba noodles before? Today I made an easy and refreshing Soba Salad that you can make in less than 20 minutes!
What is Soba Noodles?
In case you haven’t heard of soba noodles before, they are a type of Japanese noodles made of buckwheat. In Japan, we have different kinds of soba noodles depends the percentage of buckwheat used in making the noodles.
Ju-wari Soba (十割そば) is made of 100% buckwheat flour (hence it’s gluten free). It has dry and rough texture so the noodles are easily broken compared to Hachi-wari Soba. Ju-wari soba has strong buckwheat aroma and flavor, and it is hard to make because of its dry and crumbly texture.
Hachi-wari Soba (八割そば) is made from 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour. Hachi-wari means 80% in Japanese. The noodle is much smoother and it has al dente texture. Unlike Ju-wari Soba, it’s easy to swallow and chew. However, the buckwheat aroma is less than Ju-wari.
It’s hard to say which soba is tastier and more delicious, it really up to personal preferences.
Popular Soba Salad
This recipe was originally published in May 2013 and it’s been one of the most popular recipes on Just One Cookbook. This dish was inspired by my friend Tuyen’s Asian style spaghetti salad. Whenever she serves her spaghetti salad at parties, and it’s always a huge hit among our friends. I adapted her recipe by using less oil and substituted spaghetti noodles with soba noodles.
Feel free to customize this recipe based on your preference. Add more crushed chili pepper if you like it really spicy. You can also add thin strips of cucumbers and carrots to make it into a main dish instead of a side dish.
Few Tips for Soba Salad
Soba cooks much faster than spaghetti noodles so this salad can be completed in a very short time. You can prepare the dressing ahead of time but I don’t recommend to toss everything together until you are ready to serve, or else soba noodles will absorb the dressing and become soggy.
By the way, if you or your children don’t eat spicy food at all, you can omit the crushed red peppers. My husband who loves spicy food says he doesn’t taste the spice (what!?), so please adjust the spice level to your liking.
I hope you will enjoy making this Soba Salad recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to share your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #JustOneCookbook. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!
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- 7 oz (200 g, about 2-3 bundles) soba (buckwheat noodles)
- 1-2 green onions/scallions
- Small bunch (.7 oz, 20 g) cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- To make the dressing, combine 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 3 Tbsp. sesame oil, and ½ tsp. crushed red peppers in a small saucepan.
- Whisk all together and infuse the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Alternatively, you can put these ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3 minutes. Set aside to let it cool a bit; be careful while handling as it'll get very hot.
- Add 3 Tbsp. honey and 3 Tbsp. soy sauce to the oil mixture.
- Whisk all together until honey is completely dissolved.
- Bring water to a boil (You do not need to salt the water for cooking soba.). Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions, but make sure they are al dente. Drain into a colander and rinse the soba noodles under cold running water. This step is important to remove the start from the soba noodles. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
- Thinly slice the green onions and chop cilantro into small pieces.
- Combine the soba noodles, dressing, green onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds in the bowl.
- Toss everything together. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Editor’s Note: Originally published on May 13, 2013. The post is updated with new content, new video and new step-by-step pictures.