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Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

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Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The New Moosewood Cookbook


This salad can be scaled up or down depending on how many people you are serving, so adjust quantities as needed.

The dressing will feel really thin — too thin — but it works. I add the sesame oil for both flavor and body, but this is not in the original recipe, so feel free to leave it out if you don’t like that flavor. And I add a hefty dose of Sriracha, not only for heat but for flavor — it provides a nice bite in addition to heat.

You can make the dressing a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld and to let it cool down, but you can always stick it in the freezer to let it cool down faster. Alternatively, you can make the dressing in the food processor using cold water.


For the dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup boiling water (see notes above if you’d like to use cold water)
  • 1/4 cup cider or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
  • Sriracha to taste

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 3 small cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber
  • 6 scallions
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
  • Peanut Dressing to taste
  • hot sauce of choice, Sriracha or Sambal Oelek are nice options


  1. Make the dressing: Place the peanut butter in a bowl and whisk in the hot water until blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning as necessary with more lime juice, salt, Sriracha, sesame oil, etc. to taste. Transfer to the fridge to cool. Note: sometimes it’s easier to make adjustments after the dressing has cooled down.
  2. Make the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add soba to water and turn the heat down so that the water is gently simmering — soba is a little more delicate than pasta and you don’t want the water rapidly boiling if you can help it. Boil for 4 minutes (or according to package), drain, and rinse under cold water using your hand to disperse the water evenly over the noodles and slosh them around to prevent them from clumping.
  3. Let the noodles dry in a colander. Meanwhile, julienne the cucumbers on a mandoline or slice them into slivers with a knife. Chop scallions thinly on the bias. Coarsely chop the peanuts. Place noodles, cucumbers, scallions, and peanuts in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top. Don’t be afraid to pour it on — it’s light. Serve with more Sriracha or Sambal on the side.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Asian