This is one of the few salads in the Big Ass Salad series that doesn’t have a leafy green in it. The greens just don’t go well with the noodles and end up a soggy mess, but this Cold Soba Noodle salad was essential to include in this series.
It’s so flexible that you can eat it for lunch during the week or pile it high for an easy dinner. It’s at its best right out of the fridge so it’s nice and cold.
You can top it with almost any protein under the sun or just enjoy it as-is. You can keep it savory with the peanut dressing below or spice it up with any spice you like.
It’s an essential summer salad so just go ahead and bookmark it or pin it for later!
How to make great soba noodles
Soba noodles aren’t hard to cook and yet I feel like I normally get served not great ones. If you overcook soba noodles by even 30 seconds or let them sit while they are warm, they get very gummy and stick together. This is why soba noodles tend to be served cold or in a soup.
I dive into all this more in my soba noodle tutorial, but it’s not hard to cook really great soba noodles.
Essentially, add your noodles to a large pot of boiling water and use tongs to move them around as they cook. The noodles will only need a few minutes to cook.
Then drain them immediately and toss them with cold water to stop the cooking. Drizzle them with a little sesame oil to prevent them from sticking!
These are ready for a soba noodle salad!
Making the creamy peanut dressing
I thought of a few different dressing ideas for this soba noodle salad but kept coming back to a peanut butter dressing.
This dressing should be slightly thinner than a peanut sauce you would use for spring rolls. It should be easily pourable and a nice balance of sweet and savory.
You could add some chili garlic sauce to it if you wanted to spice it up.
If it is too thick, thin it out with warm water until it pours easily.
Cooking the crispy tofu
You could serve this soba noodle salad with almost any protein, but I went with tofu to keep this salad vegan.
I’ve been using the salt bath method for crispy tofu lately and love it so much. The tofu is seasoned nicely and gets very crispy.
I seared my tofu in planks and then chopped them up once they were cooked and crispy.
Other ingredients that work in this soba noodle salad
I kept the rest of the ingredients pretty standard for this salad.
I added some thawed edamame which are great in salads.
I also sauteed some cremini mushrooms until softened and browned in spots and then tossed them with a little soy sauce.
I would encourage you to get creative with this salad since it’s so flexible.
You could add almost any vegetable to it from shredded carrots and cabbage to cucumbers and peppers. You could top it with grilled chicken or pork or leave off the protein entirely.
Experiment with it!
Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
- 10 ounces soba noodles, cooked and cooled
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 12-14 ounces firm tofu, crispy
- 1 cup thawed edamame
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sauteed
- 4 Scallions, chopped
- Sesame seeds, garnish
Peanut Butter dressing:
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- For dressing, whisk together ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- For soba noodles, add noodles to a pot with rapidly boiling water. Cook soba noodles for 3-4 minutes until they are tender. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water. Then toss with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
- For crispy tofu, follow <a href="https://www.crunchtimekitchen.com/how-to-make-the-perfect-crispy-tofu/">my tutorial</a>for best results. For this recipe I kept the tofu in large planks, seared them, and then chopped them up.
- For mushrooms, clean them well and chop into quarters. Sautee in a little olive oil over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until they lose their water and turn brown in spots. Season with a splash of soy sauce and set aside.
- To finish salad, add cold soba noodles to a large bowl and top with chopped tofu, mushrooms, edamame, scallions, and sesame seeds. Drizzle on the dressing. Toss and serve immediately or store salad in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Storing the salad for later
This salad keeps better than many of the Big Ass Salads I’ve been posting over the last two weeks. It has no greens in it which is usually the weak point for salads.
This means you can dress it right away and it actually gets better in the fridge.
It also travels well and is fine even not refrigerated for a few hours.
Here are a few other great noodle salad recipes!
Here are some other great noodle salad ideas!