Soba noodle salad with salted cucumber and toasted peanuts is the perfect side dish for a host of Far-East-Asian inspired main course dishes.
The entire dish can be pulled together in the time it takes for the cucumbers to salt, which means this dish can go from your pantry to your table in around 20 minutes.
Easy Japanese-Inspired Noodle Salad
I love noodles, they can do so much heavy lifting in simple dishes and they are wonderfully low maintenance in the cooking department.
Whether they are in a soup like my beef noodle soup or hoisin chicken ramen, a stir fry like my Thai prawn stir fry or dan dan noodles or a simple side like my sweet chilli noodles and a they are a joy to cook with.
In this cold soba noodle salad, they are joined by lightly “cured” or salted cucumber, toasted peanuts and a delicious and simple dressing.
Soba noodles may look “muddy” but their rather “dull” appearance is more than made up for in flavour.
They are made from buckwheat which gives them a wonderful earthy and nutty flavour. I double down on this flavour here with the addition of both sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil and of course peanuts.
If you are on the hunt for a noodle salad, give this unassuming dish a whirl it may look “plain jane” but it tastes incredible!
If rice noodles are your mojo, check out my spicy tofu noodle salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use different noodles?
Yes, of course, the flavours in this dish will work fine with everything from udon noodles to egg noodles and rice noodles.
But if you have not tried soba noodles please do hunt them down, they are delicious in this simple salad!
What does salting the cucumber do?
The obvious answer is that it seasons the cucumber, but its most important function is to drive off moisture.
Cucumber is mainly water and when you drive off much of that water you really bring out the cucumber flavours.
How do you toast your peanuts?
I usually buy toasted peanuts because I can’t be trusted to toast peanuts without burning them at least once. There is a very fine line between burnt and perfect and you only need the slightest distraction!
If I do have to toast my own nuts (no you shut up) I use an air fryer. 5-6 minutes at 200°C or 395°F is good stirring every 30 seconds for the last minute or two.
Can I use regular soy sauce rather than dark soy sauce?
I personally would not in this recipe because it is a little saltier and less sweet than dark soy sauce. It will fundamentally change the balance of this recipe
This wonderful soba noodle salad is really versatile, you can serve it as a side or eat it as a light vegan lunch too!
I use the flavours of the dressing in the udon noodles that I use to make my take on yakisoba pan, but you could use these noodles instead!
I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Pot for cooking noodles, I use sakura noodles that just need to be soaked in boiling water.
- Stovetop if you are boiling noodles.
- Oven, air fryer or small frying pan if you are toasting your own peanuts.
- Sieve for salting cucumbers.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Mandolin, this is optional but it makes cutting the cucumbers much easier!
- Mixing bowls of various sizes.
This delicious and easy soba noodle salad features salted cucumber and toasted peanuts in a wonderful soy and toasted sesame oil dressing.
- 350g (~3 Cups) Cooked Soba Noodles, this is around 120g (4oz) of dried noodles.
- 1 (300g) Cucumber
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 50g (¼ Cup) Toasted Peanuts
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Tbsp Ground Nut Oil
- 2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 Bunch (125g) Spring Onions
- Cut the ends off the cucumber and then cut it in half. Then cut each half into "noodles" approximately 3mm in profile, a mandolin really is the best tool for this job.
- Place the cucumber noodles in a colander and sprinkle with the salt then give it a mix and allow to sit for 15 minutes over a bowl to catch the water that drips off them.
- Cook the soba noodles as per the instructions on the packet and immediately refresh them in cold water.
- Roughly chop the toasted peanuts.
- Clean and slice the spring onions.
- Peel the garlic clove and mash it.
- Whisk together the ground nut oil, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, dark soy sauce and mashed garlic.
- Give the cucumber a gentle squeeze to get rid of any excess moisture and add them to a bowl.
- Throw in the cooled soba noodles and the dressing and mix it all together, then add the chopped peanuts and the spring onions and give it all a final mix and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1834mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.