Soba Noodle Salad

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord who prepared this fabulous salad for us the other day. Big, big hit. ~Elise

“Very tangy and sweet! With just enough crunch from the peanuts.”

“It’s so colorful and aromatic, you can just smell the mint and garlic!”

The compliments Elise and I praised this salad with are plentiful. Really, this is a wonderful spring and summer salad, with Asian inspiration. Soba noodles, if you are not familiar with them, are thin Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour, and are often served cold. Soba noodles can be found in the Asian aisle of many markets; they have a nice body to them and an earthy, old world taste. In this noodle salad, the mango, mint, and various other flavors contrast and match well with each other, giving the whole salad a good balance.

Soba Noodle Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6.

You can make this dish a few hours in advanced, or even the night before and let the soba chill and marinate, just be sure not to add the peanuts, mint and basil until just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 12 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Method

1 Place the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, and allow to cool. Add the lime juice, lime zest, and sesame oil and mix well.

2 Cook the noodles in salted water, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and then rinse well under cool water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

3 Add the mango, bell pepper, basil and mint. Toss and plate. Serve with chopped peanuts sprinkled over the top and lime wedges.

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Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

soba-noodle-salad-2.jpg

Links:
Garlic soba noodles from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks
Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce, a traditional Japanese way to eat soba noodles, from Maki of Just Hungry
Zaru soba from Tea and Cookies
More soba recipes at Food Blog Search

19 Comments

  1. Heather

    This is gorgeous…maybe this is the time to ask something I’ve been wondering about mangoes. Took a couple home from the supermarket recently and when I ate them, it was a HUGE mess. They fruit didn’t come away from the pit, although they certainly tasted ripe. What am I missing here? Do I need to be more careful about picking them out? What about refrigeration? Yes/no? Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    Here’s some great advice on how to pick a ripe mango from our friends at Cookthink. ~Elise

  2. Nikki

    So, we would love to make this, but someone is allergic to mango (and watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew – any melon really). What would you sub in to make up for the taste? Or just leave it out altogether?

    This is a matter of taste, in my opinion. Maybe something outside of your regular fruit substitute would work? Freshly cut coconut might make for a perfect stand-in and would compliment the existing flavors. ~Garrett

    Fresh pineapple chunks might work nicely here as well. ~Elise

  3. typome

    So can I eat this right after I cook it or do I need to put it in the fridge for X number of hours first? Thanks!

    Either way works fine. I ate some right away, then put the rest in a container until lunch the next day. ~Garrett

  4. Tartelette

    Made it tonight and it was a hit! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  5. CJ

    Didn’t have mint so I subbed cilantro for it. It was fantastic. Next time I’ll track down fresh mint so I can make it again!

  6. typome

    Hey this was preetty yummy, especially cold! It’s sort of similar to the vermicelli on this website.

  7. Sylvia

    This looks really colorful and fresh!

    My mother likes to make soba noodles with a soy sauce + wasabi dipping sauce, lots of thin strips of nori, and freshly grated daikon (finely grated into a slushy-like consistency). The nori and daikon are used like condiments which we heap onto the noodles every so often and the noodles are dipped into the soy sauce. It is really tasty, simple, and refreshing. I’m pretty sure this is not the traditional Japanese way to eat soba, as I am Korean, but I don’t think I can call it a Korean style soba either. I think my mom just made it up!

  8. belle

    I tried this recipe and it’s great! I added one green apple and tomato. Totally went well with the mango and soba.

    Refreshing with the lime juice and rice vinegar as well. Love it! Thanks!

  9. Kathy

    Absolutely amazing! Wonderful flavor, wonderful color. This is my new favorite salad recipe of all time.

  10. Anu

    I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! Perfect for a hot night, like last night. I had the hardest time finding soba noodles (and I live in the East Bay) – finally got them at Whole Foods. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!!

  11. RD

    This was a little too sweet for my tastes. If I make it again I’d just use a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 1 tbs. of sugar, and add a 1/4 cup of soy sauce to cut the sweetness.

  12. schwop

    Wow! Delicious. My favorite soba noodle recipe yet…

  13. Michele

    I loved this salad – so many yummy ingredients in one place! I made this tonight and added chicken cooked in sesame oil; DH doesn’t think it’s ‘dinner’ unless there is meat involved! He thought it was a little too sweet, like a previous poster, so if I make it again I will cut down the sugar and the vinegar a bit. I didn’t use all of the dressing either.

  14. Shelly

    I made this with pineapple instead of mango and the addition of some blanched shrimp- it was fantastic! What a perfect summer dinner!

  15. RD

    I did not care for this. I thought it was way too sweet. Would only serve it as a dessert. :-)

  16. Sofia

    We used about half a tablespoon of agave nectar in place of the sugar, and topped the salad with seared ahi tuna. It was great!

  17. chitra

    I made these for my birthday picnic in June but edited it a bit by not putting as much sugar or rice vinegar. It was a hit!

  18. Meghan

    Delicious! I agree it was a little sweet, but it was also very complex and the sweetness was not overpowering. I did have A LOT of extra dressing pooling up in the bottom of my dish and it seemed sort of soggy at times. I would suggest adding the dressing cautiously, to make sure you are not putting too much on. You might have left over.

    Otherwise phenomenal summer side dish.

  19. Christine

    I never used to understand food purists that glorified “authentic” recipes and scorned fusion/Americanized dishes. I now understand. I’m a third generation Japanese American, and even to me, this recipe looks, pardon me, terrible. Japanese dishes are usually simple, meant to emphasize natural, delicate tastes. The only way cold soba should be eaten is with tsuyu (a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and fish stock) garnished with finely chopped green onion, freshly grated ginger/daikon, and nori.

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