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Sesame Soba Noodle Salad (Gluten Free)

Jul 22, 2022 | 2 comments

In just 15 minutes, you could be enjoying this DELICIOUS super saucy sesame soba noodle salad. It’s a favourite for busy weeknights or meal prepping and is customisable to whatever you have in the fridge. Plus, it’s gluten free and can easily be made vegan!

Sesame soba noodles with cucumber and broccolini in a white and blue bowl with chopsticks, with a small bowl of spring onions on the side.

This is one of those recipes that you can totally make your own once you know how to make the base. Use green beans, edamame, broad beans, peas, asparagus, shredded cabbage, asparagus, red pepper, onion, baby corn, sugar snap peas…you can really throw in whatever you have in the fridge and it’s a great way to gets lots of veggies in. Because honestly, tossing crunchy veggies through a creamy sauce with noodles is always going to be a good idea!

It’s also a great make ahead meal because it keeps so well once it’s mixed, so is a perfect one for meal prepping and enjoying throughout the week. Along with adding more vegetables, you could throw in some shredded cooked chicken (this miso grilled chicken or sticky gochujang chicken would be great), grill some halloumi and add that in or flake in cooked salmon (try my miso salmon).


The sesame sauce uses cupboard staples and I’ve listed out some alternatives below. Everything else you most probably already have!

Ingredient for soba noodle salad laid out on a grey marble background and labelled.
  • Soba noodles. These are made from buckwheat flour which means they’re gluten free, so they’re fab for anyone with a gluten intolerance. I also actually prefer them to regular egg/flour noodles because they have more flavour and a really satisfying bite. They’re easy to pick up in a supermarket, but if you can’t find them, you could use udon instead.
  • For the sauce. I’m using an addicitive combination of tahini (or use an unsweetened peanut butter), sesame oil, chilli oil (give my chilli oil a go), tamari (or use soy sauce for a non gluten free version), rice vinegar (use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any), chilli jam or honey (try making my homemade chilli jam), garlic and ginger. It’s creamy and nutty from the tahini, super savoury from the soy sauce with a lovely sweetness from the chilli jam and a hit of spice from the chilli oil. I could drink this stuff and I know you’ll love it too!

The noodles and sauce are mixed with DELICIOUS marinated smacked cucumber (this uses similar ingredients as the sauce does, minus the tahini) as well as quick blanched broccolini to create a super satisfying, saucy salad.

MAKE IT VEGAN: Replace soy sauce with tamari for a vegan alternative.

How to make it

Start by smacking the cucumber and tossing them in a marinade. The method of smacking cucumber – as well as being super therapeutic – make lots of little craggy bits in the cucumber that the marinade can cling on to. Essentially, it means more flavour.Chop the ends off the cucumber then lay it out on a flat surface. Grab a rolling pin, then whack the cucumber, moving along the whole thing until it starts to crack and splinter. T

Once the cucumber has cracked, cut it in half and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Cucumber has a very high percentage of water, the majority of which is in the seeds, so scooping them out helps to prevent the cucumber releasing a lot of water as it sits. Cut the de-seeded halves into thin strips, then dice those into small cubes. Transfer to a small bowl and add tamari, rice vinegar, chilli oil, salt and garlic. Give it a good mix and set aside.

Soba noodles often have a reputation for being a little tricky to get right. They can end up gummy or sticky, rather than lovely glossy noodle strips ready to be tossed in a sauce. The hack for getting them right is to plunge them in cold water after they’re cooked, and then giving them a little scrunch/massage in the water. This action gets rid of the excess starch sticking to the outside of the noodles, which makes them stick and go gummy in texture. It seems weird, but it works!

Cook the soba noodles for 5 minutes in boiling water, then drain, plunge in the cold water and scrunch them up for 30 seconds. Repeat the draining, cold water plunging and scrunching one more time, then set aside in a colander to drain.

Chop the ends off the broccolini (or broccoli) and slice into bite sized pieces. I like cutting them small so that they’re easier to mix in with the noodles. My favourite, lazy hack to blanching vegetables is to pour boiling water on top of them and let them sit for a couple of minutes. Blanching vegetables like broccolini cooks them so they’re not raw, but they’re still lovely and crunchy. The green will also become more vibrant after blanching, and it will stay green if you plunge the broccolini into cold water after blanching. I just find that getting a pot out to cook something for literally 2 minutes is an annoying extra step which is why I really champion this hack. So much easier.

Make that magical sesame tahini sauce. This stuff is ADDICTIVE. There’s just something about the nutty tahini, spicy chilli oil, salty soy, sweet chilli jam and toasty sesame oil that is just so good. I can easily eat this with a spoon! It’s also brilliant for drizzling over salads, roasted vegetables, grilled meat or with avocado toast. Add tahini, tamari, sesame oil, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, chilli oil, garlic and honey/chilli jam to a small bowl. With a fork, give it a really good mix until it forms into a creamy, cohesive sauce.

Get the sesame sauce into a large bowl (you can also mix it in this bowl to save dishes). Add the soba noodles, marinated smacked cucumber, broccolini and spring onion. Give everything a really good toss with tongs – you want to make sure the noodles are coated well in the sauce and the cucumber and broccolini and evenly combined through. Finish with toasted sesame seeds and curly spring onion and you’re good to go.

Watch me make it


This super quick + easy sesame soba noodle salad is where it’s AT y’all #noodles #salad #noodlesalad #sobanoodles #veganfood #vegetarianfood

♬ Food Vlog – Sound_Force

Got a question?

How long will the noodles last?

You can keep these in the fridge for 3 days, in a sealed container. It’s a great make ahead meal.

Can I make these in advance?

Yes you can! Honestly I sometimes find that it’s even better the next day – the flavours have a chance to really penetrate everything and it’s just so delicious.

Can I use another type of noodle for this?

Udon would be a good alternative to the soba noodles here and they’ll last for the same amount of time in the fridge. You could even use spaghetti to make this if you like!

Would you serve this as a main meal?

I think the salad is hearty enough by itself, especially for lunch. But if you do want to bulk it out, it pairs well with salmon (try my miso grilled salmon) or chicken (take a look at my sticky gochujang chicken or miso chicken). It would also be delicious with grilled slices of halloumi.

What else could I add to the salad?

This is a really customisable recipe! You could use asparagus, spring onion, cauliflower, green beans, edamame, broad beans, peas, spinach, red peppers, onion… All of those would be delicious in this, so you can definitely improvise based on what you have in your fridge or freezer.

Chopsticks pulling up soba noodles from a blue and white bowl.

Like this recipe? Here are some others you might enjoy!

If you make this recipe let me know in the comments below! I love hearing how you get on with my creations.

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Sesame soba noodles with cucumber and broccolini in a white and blue bowl with chopsticks, with a small bowl of spring onions on the side.

Sesame Soba Noodle Salad (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


In just 15 minutes, you could be enjoying this DELICIOUS super saucy sesame soba noodle salad. It’s a favourite for busy weeknights or meal prepping and is customisable to whatever you have in the fridge. Plus, it’s gluten free and can easily be made vegan!

Remember, if you’re looking for cup measurements, just use the ‘Units’ section below and click on ‘US’.


Units Scale

For the soba noodle salad –

  • 200g dried soba noodles
  • 100g tenderstem broccoli (or use regular broccoli)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or a gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1.5 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 spring onions, chopped finely

For the sauce –

  • 60g tahini (or use an unsweetened peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use tamari to make it vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or chilli jam (try making my chilli jam)
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil (try making my chilli oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1cm piece of ginger

To garnish –

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced lengthways and put in a glass of water to curl up


  1. Make the smacked cucumber. Chop the ends off the cucumber and lay it out on a flat surface. Using a rolling pin, whack the cucumber, moving up and down until it cracks. Slice in half lengthways, then scoop out the seeds and discard them. Slice into long strips, then dice into small cubes. Transfer to a mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce,1.5 tablespoons of chilli oil, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Using a microplane (or garlic press) grate or crush the garlic clove directly into the bowl. Mix the cucumber through the sauce and then set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles. Often soba noodles can be sticky or gummy once cooked. The trick to avoiding this is to rinse and squeeze them in a bowl of cold water after cooking. This removes the excess starch and will stop them sticking together. Get a pot of water over a high heat on the stove top and bring to the boil. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions (probably for 5 minutes). While they’re cooking, prepare a bowl of cold water. After 5 minutes, drain the noodles in a colander, then plunge into the cold water. With your hands, give them a good scrunch for 30 seconds, then drain again. Repeat the cold water squeezing one more time, then drain in the colander again and set aside for any excess water to drain out.
  3. Blanch the broccolini. My hack to quickly and easily blanch vegetables is literally to pour boiling water over them in a bowl and let them sit. I don’t know why it seems like more work to boil the water on the stove and then drain them, but for me it does! Get the broccolini in a large, heatproof bowl along with 2 teaspoons of salt. Boil your kettle, then pour the boiled water into the bowl so that the broccolini is covered. Leave for 3 minutes, then drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  4. Make the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 60g tahini, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon chilli oil, 1 tablespoon chilli jam and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds. Using a microplane or fine side of a grater, grate in the 2 garlic cloves and piece of ginger. Mix the sauce vigorously with a fork.
  5. Mix the noodles. Add the drained soba noodles to the mixing bowl with the sauce, along with the smacked cucumber, broccolini and the 2 chopped spring onions. Toss everything together really well to make sure the noodles are coated in the sauce. Divide between plates, top with more toasted sesame seeds and the curly spring onion. Dig in!


This is a great make-ahead salad. You can assemble the whole thing and then store in a container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It will last well for 4 days.

This is a meal in itself, but you can bulk it out with some sticky gochujang chicken or miso salmon. Adding some fried halloumi slices on top would also be delicious!

If you don’t have soba noodles, udon are a great alternative.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: salads
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: asian


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Keywords: buckwheat noodles, cold noodle salad


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





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  1. Jane

    Made this for lunch today – was so delish!! And really easy too


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