Soba Noodle Salad!
Spicy. Peanutty. Salad that’s not a salad.
Happening now. You in?
First things first – soba is so cool.
It comes in those little bunches wrapped with a little strip of cute paper, and it is satisfying and nutty and noodley in the way that only the BEST noodle-based salads of the world can be. Hey, guess what? It’s also gluten free because soba = buckwheat. And guess what x2? It is a noodle lover’s dream for summer because it can be eaten straight-up cold. Delicious and colorful and flavor-boss-mode, straight out of the fridge. Which is basically how I eat half of my noodles to begin with.
See? This is all working out according to plan.
For this recipe, I actually revisited an older soba noodle salad recipe from 2014-ish that had been long since forgotten. Sometimes I get seriously sad about how many favorite recipe gems probably lie untouched in the archives of the blog – WHY AREN’T THERE MORE MEALS IN THE DAY? I was not about to reinvent something that had already been made and loved, so I pulled out this old recipe and revised it just slightly:
A little more heat, a new veg addition, and a swap of lime juice for vinegar.
Sounds about right.
This recipe is begging to be customized. Make it with more chicken. Less chicken. Only green vegetables. Spicier peanut sauce. It’s totally your call, and it’s totally going to be bomb delicious when you pull it out of the fridge for lunch/dinner/snack/repeat.
Would it be weird to say I am happy for you? Good things ahead, Soba Child.
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Salad featuring red peppers, cabbage, chicken, soba noodles, and a quick homemade spicy peanut sauce. Salads don’t get much yummier than this.
For the Spicy Peanut Sauce:
- 5 tablespoons peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons water
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (optional – for flavor)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup chili sauce like sriracha (more or less depending on spice tolerance)
- 1/2 cup peanuts
For the Salad:
- 1 lb. chicken breast
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3–4 cups chopped purple cabbage
- 10 ounces soba noodles
- fresh cilantro or basil to taste
- crushed peanuts for topping
- Spicy Peanut Sauce: Puree sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add the peanuts last so you can control how chunky it is (I like to leave it a little more on the chunky side).
- Chicken: Cook the chicken in a skillet over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. When the chicken is cooked through, set aside until cool enough to handle and shred the meat.
- Vegetables: Chop the red pepper, cabbage, and cilantro to your desired size for the salad.
- Noodles: Cook the noodles according to package directions (usually just boiling for a few minutes).
- Assemble: Toss everything together with enough dressing to generously coat everything. Serve hot or cold!
If you’re making this ahead of time, toss everything together except the veggies. Those are best when added just before serving.
As written, this recipe is heavy on the noodles. If you want a higher chicken/veg to noodles ratio, you could double the amount of chicken, or vegetables, or whatever you want.
Sometimes I double the sauce because I am a sauce hog. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with extra peanut sauce in the fridge.
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