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Saucy Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

Jul 22, 2022 | 4 comments

In just 15 minutes, you could be enjoying this DELICIOUS super saucy sesame soba noodle salad. It’s a favourite for busy weeknights and meal prep and is easy to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge. Plus, it’s gluten-free and 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, red peppers, onion, baby corn, and sugar snap peas…it’s a great way to get lots of veggies in. Honestly, tossing crunchy veggies through a creamy sauce with noodles is always going to be a good idea.

It’s also a fab make-ahead meal because it keeps so well once it’s mixed. I love to make a batch on Sunday to enjoy 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 this miso grilled salmon).


The sesame sauce uses cupboard staples and I’ve listed some alternatives below. Everything else you 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 satisfying bite. They’re easy to pick up in a supermarket, but if you can’t find them, you could use udon instead. PRO TIP: Not all soba noodles are gluten-free, so make sure you check the ingredients to ensure there’s no wheat flour in them.
  • For the sauce. I’m using a combination of tahini (or use unsweetened peanut butter), sesame oil, chilli oil, tamari (or use soy sauce), rice vinegar (use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any), chilli jam), garlic and ginger.

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 blanched broccolini to create a super satisfying, saucy salad.

How to make it

Start by smacking the cucumber and tossing it through a marinade. The method of smacking cucumber – as well as being super therapeutic – makes lots of little craggy bits in the cucumber that the marinade can cling to.

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 give 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.

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 for 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.

Make that magical sesame tahini sauce – I like to use a fork to give it a really good mix until it forms a creamy, cohesive sauce.

Mix the noodles, cucumber, tahini dressing and the broccolini, then you’re done.

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 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 miso grilled salmon) or chicken (take a look at sticky gochujang chicken or miso chicken). It would also be delicious with sweet chilli glazed 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.

Like this recipe? Here are more make-ahead salads to try

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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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.

Saucy Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

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


In just 15 minutes, you could be enjoying this DELICIOUS super saucy sesame soba noodle salad. It’s a favourite for busy weeknights and meal prep and is easy to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge. Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegan.


Units Scale

For the salad –

  • 200g/7oz dried soba noodles
  • 100g/3.5oz tender stem broccoli (or use regular broccoli)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 scallions (spring onions), chopped finely

For the sauce –

  • 1/4 cup tahini (or use 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 sweet chilli jam
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1” piece of fresh ginger

To garnish –

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion (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, 2 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 from sticking together. Get a pot of water over a high heat on the stovetop 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. 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 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon chilli oil, 1 tablespoon chilli jam and 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds. Using a microplane or fine side of a grater, grate in the 2 garlic cloves and 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 2 chopped scallions. 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 scallions.


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

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is a meal in itself, but you can bulk it out with some sticky gochujang chicken or miso salmon. Adding sweet chilli glazed halloumi slices on top would also be delicious.

SUBSTITUTIONS: If you don’t have soba noodles, udon is a great alternative. Play around with your veggies – green beans, edamame, peas, sugar snap peas, zucchini or asparagus are great additions.

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


  • Serving Size: 350g
  • Calories: 560
  • Sugar: 5.7g
  • Sodium: 1912mg
  • Fat: 28.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 65.9g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Protein: 16.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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.





This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

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  1. Jane

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

  2. Amanda

    So mouth watering, the flavours are delish with the miso chicken.

    • Kate Alexandra

      Yayyyy so happy you enjoyed and that’s a fab combo!! Perfect flavours together x


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