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I’ll admit, sometimes I get into a rut with healthy meals; yeah sometimes I eat healthily, shocker I know. What I really find that helps to get my creative juices going again is going grocery shopping. I love going to the store and farmers markets and seeing what I can find. My latest trip to the farmers market is what inspired this particular recipe. This vegan soba noodle salad is packed with all kinds of veggies I could find at the farmers market and tossed with a light but delicious orange vinaigrette.
What are soba noodles?
Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. Buckwheat, believe it or not, is a gluten-free flour! Yeah, that knocked my socks off when I learned that. Buckwheat is from the rhubarb family so there is no gluten in it whatsoever. These buckwheat noodles cook just about the same way as other noodles, about 6-8 minutes in boiling water and strain. Often these soba noodles are served in soups or other various Japanese dishes.
Building this Soba Noodle Salad
The recipe I’m about to give you is just a basis and something to get your creative juices going. However, I did choose my vegetables in this salad because of the beautiful ways in which they complement Asian flavors. I found inspiration from going to my local farmer’s markets and seeing what was in season at the time.
As this is a cold soba noodle recipe, this salad is ideal for making ahead of time. I like to blanch my peppers, broccoli and sugar peas with the noodles. Not only does this infuse the noodles with some of the veggies flavors, it helps to soften the veggies a tad before adding them to a salad. I like raw broccoli with hummus or some kind of dip… but I kind of like them softer for salads.
To cool down the noodles and prevent the green veggies turning color, I shock both the veggies and noodles in an ice bath! This stops the cooking process and retains the color. Strain and you’re ready to rock.
Orange Ginger Vinaigrette
Besides the buckwheat noodles, what really gives this soba noodle salad it’s Asian flare is the orange ginger vinaigrette. These flavors are crisp and clean and really highlight the freshness of the veggies in the salad. I find that grating the ginger into the vinaigrette gives me the flavor I’m looking for without chunks of ginger I would have to chew by simply chopping. A little-added zing of rice vinegar helps to amplify this Asian noodle salad.
This salad really makes a lot! But because of the vinaigrette and the blanching of vegetables, it only lasts 5-7 days. Which means it’s perfect to share, for lunch at work with over the weekend with friends! I hope that you’re adventurous in trying out soba noodles! I loved making my own spin on a soba noodle salad with the fresh veggies that the farmer’s markets had to offer.
Another fantastic Asian-inspired salad you might be interested in is this Asian Cabbage Ramen Salad
A vegan soba noodle salad is the perfect light, and filling, option for lunch or a dinner! Packed with farm fresh veggies and edamame for protein, this salad will leave you feeling satisfied.
- 4 ounce soba noodles cooked 6-8 minutes, shocked in cooled water
- 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
- ½ red bell peppers cut into 1/4'’ strips
- 3 ounce sugar peas trimmed and cut in half
- 3 green onions sliced thin
- 1 carrot shaved into ribbons
- 1 watermelon radish cut into matchsticks (regular radishes work as well, I would use 2-3 to get the same amount as 1 watermelon radish)
- 2 ounces sunflower sprouts any sprouts you prefer is fine
- 2 ounces spinach
- 7 ounces edamame shelled
- ½ bunch cilantro rough chopped
- 1 ounce basil chiffonade
- 2 large navel oranges juiced
- 1 ounce ginger grated
- ¼ cup rice vingegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- To taste salt and pepper
Bring a large stock pot, filled with water, to boil and salt heavily. In a large mixing bowl, create an ice bath by filling bowl ½ way with ice and enough water to cause the ice to float. Place noodles in first and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Next add broccoli, peppers, and sugar peas. Cook for the remainder 3-5 minutes. Strain in a large colander and place ingredients in ice water to shock. Strain from ice bath after noodles and veggies have cooled down.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together noodles and all vegetables. Dress with orange ginger vinaigrette and herbs. Combine well. Serve cold or at room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine orange juice, grated ginger and rice vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. While whisking, add in olive oil and whisk to combine.