Soba Noodle Salad

Soba Noodle Salad

Soba Noodle Salad in a white round bowl on a light wood grain counter
Easy | 30 MIN | 2 to 4 Servings

Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles. There are many delicious varieties of soba noodles. Two of my favorites are mugwort soba, which has a lovely flavor and pale green color, as does cha soba. Ito soba is an angel-hair soba and jinenjo soba has a hearty root vegetable added to the soba.

While buckwheat is gluten-free, soba noodles traditionally have wheat flour added to it. There are 100% buckwheat soba noodles. I’ve tried them. You don’t want them. Guaranteed.

There are however absolutely delicious, organic, gluten-free soba noodles from King Soba Noodles. When cooked properly these noodles have a texture that is firm, slightly chewy, and just wonderful. Learning how to cook these noodles so you get the right texture can be a trick though.

Instructions on how to cook King Soba Noodles are at the bottom of this recipe.

Ingredients

Veggies

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced finely
  • 2 medium carrots, julienne. If you can get them, rainbow carrots add a beautiful assortment of colors to the dish.
  • Dash of shoyu, gluten-free tamari, or coconut aminos
  • Sea salt – to taste

Soba noodles

  • 1 package organic soba noodles

Add at end

  • 2 scallions, sliced finely
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Here are two versions of the teriyaki sauce. One with soy, one with coconut aminos

Teriyaki sauce – with soy

  • 1/4 cup organic shoyu or gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (I often just grate the ginger on a Microplane)
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced. Taste the juice of 1 lime first. Add more if you want the lime flavor more potent

Gluten-free and soy-free teriyaki sauce

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (I often grate the ginger on a Microplane)
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced. Taste the juice of 1 lime first. Add more if you want the lime flavor more potent.
  • Salt to taste

Directions

The ingredients are listed in the order you will make the dish.

Order of preparation

  • Make the teriyaki sauce.
  • Prep your veggies.
  • Cook the veggies.
  • Cook the soba.
  • Toss it all together with scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Teriyaki Sauce

The recipe will most likely give you a little more than you need for the noodles. You can grill up some chicken, fish, or tofu and put the sauce on that which will be a good compliment to the meal. Save any extra in a bottle in your fridge. It keeps for at least a week or more.
Two sauce recipes follow one recipe with soy, one without.

Soba Noodles

Please read the information at the end of the recipe for choosing soba noodles and how to cook them – or you might have an awful mess on your hands. Many traditional soba noodles are tied into little bundles, three to a pack. Make sure to open the bundles before you start to cook the noodles. Soba cooks so quickly that you don’t want to be taking the time to open the second bundle when you already have the first bundle cooking.

As I always say – there’s a reason I know this.

Teriyaki Sauce – with soy

Whisk together all ingredients. That’s it. If you like, coarsely chop the garlic, ginger, and scallion then put all ingredients in a small measuring cup and use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients.

Gluten and Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce

Whisk together all ingredients. That’s it. If you like, coarsely chop the garlic, ginger, and scallion then put all ingredients in a small measuring cup and use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients.

Make the soba salad

Ok – now, put a pot of water on to boil for the soba noodles. While you’re waiting for the water to boil sauté the veggies.

Using a small skillet over medium heat, add the tablespoon of sesame oil (you can use a mild-tasting olive oil if that’s all you have). When the oil is hot, add the shiitake mushrooms. Season with your choice of either: shoyu (soy sauce), gluten-free tamari, or coconut aminos. Stir regularly, adding a splash of water if they start to stick.

When the shiitake are well cooked (just a couple of minutes), add the carrots and a pinch of salt. Stir well, adding a splash of water to prevent sticking and cover. Cook on medium heat, stirring regularly until the carrots are cooked but still have a crunch to them – this should take at the most another 5 minutes. Season with salt and shoyu/tamari/aminos to taste. Turn off heat and leave the cover off so the carrots don’t overcook.

When that pot of water comes to a boil add the soba noodles and stir, stir, stir. See instructions below for cooking soba noodles.

When noodles are done, drain and rinse with cold water. Put in a bowl and toss in the veggies. Add the teriyaki sauce to taste, scallion, and a handful of toasted sesame seeds.

How to cook soba noodles

Traditional soba noodles not gluten-free since they contain both wheat and buckwheat flours. There are several brands of organic soba noodles on the market that are just lovely. Green-colored mugwort soba is just delicious, ita soba is a skinny, skinny noodle and then there are just regular ol’ soba noodles.

To cook: bring a few quarts of water to a boil, add a bit of salt, add the noodles to the boiling water and stir a few times so they don’t stick together. Cook the noodles till al dente. Soba noodles tend to cook rather quickly. Often they are done as soon as the water comes back to a boil. Drain into a colander when done and run cold water over the noodles.

You can also find gluten-free, 100% soba noodles, but I have never had success cooking those so they don’t get mushy and fall apart.

And then there are King Soba brand soba noodles – which are my current favorite. There’s only one issue with them – you can’t follow the instructions on the package!

How to cook King Soba brand soba noodles for this dish

The package directions for cooking these noodles are absolutely, completely wrong! Don’t cook these noodles as long as the package says. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Untie the individual bundles of noodles. Put the noodles into the boiling water and stir, stir, stir or they will stick together. I found stirring with chopsticks works the best since it keeps them separate. Cook for only 2 minutes. The noodles will still look and taste raw but they will actually be done. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Then add to the already cooked veggies and season with teriyaki sauce.

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