I’ll admit it: I’m a noodle girl, through and through. Pasta, ramen, udon, I love ’em all. That being said, if I’m cooking any kind of noodle at home, it’s probably linguine or spaghetti. I rarely cook Asian food, and I almost never cook Asian noodle dishes.
There’s something about it that has always intimidated me. The endless aisles of noodles at the Asian specialty market left me feeling confused about which kind to buy, how to prepare it, what sauces to use, etc. So, believe me when I say that this Soba Noodle Salad will be your gateway drug to the wide world of noodles. Let’s break it down.
Soba noodles are cooked the same way as any other kind of noodle. Place them in water, bring to a boil, cook until al dente, then strain. For this kind of cold salad, you just strain the noodles then rinse with cold water.
Veggies are where you can really get creative. In a skillet, we cook the baby bok choy and carrots to soften them up. You could add shiitake mushrooms, tofu, or even chicken, shrimp, or steak. Our salad also includes sliced cabbage to give it some crunch.
Dressing always brings the flavor a salad. This dressing is a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Oh, and don’t forget some brown sugar to add the sweet balance to the salty.
Noodles + veggies + dressing. That’s it.
Sure, there’s a decent amount of slicing and mincing in this recipe. But while the soba noodles cook, you need something to do anyways, right? Right. And how else are you going to learn to use that chef’s knife?
First, you’ll need to bust out those knife skills and mince the garlic and ginger. We’ve shared our simple techniques for both in our how-to videos. Next, the baby bok choy is super easy to chop—just make sure to rinse them as dirt can collect between the leaves. And we’ll throw in a shortcut: buy pre-shredded carrots to save yourself the time and energy.
That leaves us with our gnarly yet gorgeous head of purple cabbage. Here are five simple steps to thinly slice, or shred, that head:
Fit for a crowd
This is a perfect salad to serve at a large dinner party, especially an Asian-inspired potluck…chicken lettuce cups, anyone? So what makes this recipe great for groups?
It’s low maintenance. You can make the salad earlier in the day, then serve at room temperature or chilled.
It’s impressive. From the green bok choy to the purple cabbage, there’s a colorful mix of Insta-worthy veggies to keep your friends intrigued.
It’s adaptable. If you want to serve 8 people, just double our recipe. That’s it. At our first CK Supper Club dinner, we served this salad to nearly 30 people, and all we did was just scale up this recipe.
Make this healthy Soba Noodle Salad? Show us how it turned out! Tag your photo with #confettikitchen on Instagram and we just might feature you!
What You Need
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (toasted preferred)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 9.5 ounce package soba noodles
- 2 medium carrots (or 1 1/2 cups shredded)
- 3 baby bok choy
- 1/4 head purple cabbage
- 1 cup frozen and shelled edamame
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Garnish: sesame seeds, green onions
Chef’s knife and cutting board
Bowls: 1 small, 1 large
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep dressing ingredients:
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce (3 tbsp) and brown sugar (1 tbsp) and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add minced garlic and ginger, crushed red pepper (1/2 tsp), and sesame oil (1 tbsp) to the bowl. Stir and set aside.
Add soba noodles to boiling water and cook until al dente, about 4-5 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, prep and cook your veggies:
- Julienne carrots to yield about 2 cups (if not using pre-shredded). They should look like matchsticks.
- Thinly slice purple cabbage
- Rinse baby bok choy to remove dirt. Slice into ~1-inch pieces, including the green leaves.
- Rinse edamame under running water to defrost
In a medium pan, heat canola oil (2 tbsp) over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté until softened. Add baby bok choy and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
Assemble and serve!
Drain cooked noodles into a colander. Run cold water over them for about 30 seconds, or until cool. Transfer to a large bowl, and add carrots, bok choy, cabbage, and edamame.
Pour over dressing and gently toss using tongs to evenly coat all the ingredients. For an optional garnish, sprinkle thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
For added crunch, add thin strips of red bell pepper.
Make it your own: Sauté shiitake mushrooms and add to mix. For more protein, add in scrambled tofu.
|Purple cabbage||Green cabbage|
|Canola oil||Peanut or coconut oil|