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Soba/buckwheat noodles (Recipe: cold soba salad with peppers and ponzu dressing) {vegan}

Soba salad with peppers and ponzu dressing

One important thing to know about soba noodles:

Although soba are made primarily of buckwheat, a gluten-free product, most soba also contain some sort of a binder -- sometimes yam, sometimes wheat. The buckwheat makes the noodles chewy and earthy, but noodles made only from buckwheat and water are incredibly delicate; the added wheat helps them hold together. Fortunately, all products sold in the US are required to have ingredient labels in English (thank goodness; sometimes it's really hard to identify foods packaged in other languages if you're a unilingual English speaker like me), so be sure to read carefully if you are eating gluten-free. Soba are one of the few noodles traditionally eaten cold, with a cold soy-based dipping sauce, though they also are delicious hot (especially in soup).

Cooking or baking?

Dried noodles will keep in the cupboard for years. Buckwheat's high oil content can cause the noodles to go rancid, so if there's a sell-by date on the package, take note. Buy from an Asian market with high turnover.

Pantry ingredients in this recipe:
Soba noodles (more facts and ingredient photos)
Reduced-sodium soy sauce
Agave nectar
Sesame seeds

Soba salad with ponzu dressing

Cold soba salad with peppers and ponzu dressing

Serves 2; can be doubled.


6 oz soba
2 Tbsp ponzu
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp honey, agave nectar, or sugar
1/2 cup diced bell peppers (a mix of colors)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds


In a large sauce pan or stock pot, bring two quarts of water to the boil. Add the noodles, and when the water returns to the boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Drain again. Place in a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the ponzu, soy sauce, lime juice and honey or agave (or sugar). Add this dressing to the noodles, along with the peppers, scallions and sesame seeds. Toss gently to combine.

Serve at room temperature, or chill for several hours and serve very cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Asparagus, pepper and peanut soba
Pesto soba
Grilled tofu with soba noodles
Shrimp lo mein
Rice noodle salad with shrimp

Recipes on Soup Chick:
Miso soup with soba and vegetables
Chicken, cabbage and soba soup

Other recipes that use soba noodles:
Garlic soba noodles, from 101 Cookbooks
Spicy soba noodles with shiitakes, from Smitten Kitchen
Soba noodles with kale, radishes and scallions, from Tea & Cookies
Tofu and soba noodles with lemon ginger dressing, from Steamy Kitchen
Ginger beef soba noodle soup, from Eliza Domestica

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Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


soba noodles are all highly nutritious.... how delicious it looks=)

We just had soba the other night! Though, we used a more traditional soba sauce that we bought in Japan. I would like to try it with ponzu sauce next time - sounds mouth watering!

Lydia, do you have a favorite brand of soba noodles? I tried making them earlier this year, and wasn't a fan of how they tasted. Usually I love them, so I have been shy to make them again. But this recipe sounds amazing.

I love soba... and as healy says, much more nutritious than regular pasta. I find they need to be rinsed after cooking, even if I'm serving them hot. They have so much starch they get really clumpy if I don't.

I have a food allergy to buckwheat - isn't that weird?! Believe me I think it was a first for the allergist who tested me!
but I am sure I could sub a different kind of noodle!

this looks delicious.. i love having noodles anytime.thank you for sharing.

Healy, BlackBook: what's better than something delicious that's also good for you?!

Nate, the combination of ponzu (which has citrus in it) and lime really gave these dishes a different and exciting flavor.

Sarah, I buy Roland noodles, sometimes, but also buy noodles with Japanese names I can't read, at my Asian market. I like noodles that have yam in them.

Julia, they're definitely better when rinsed, especially as they're often eaten cold.

Carol, not weird at all. And you can substitute whole wheat spaghetti, which would be delicious in this dish.

I starred your post link in my reader specifically to come here and read about soba. And now I know to watch for the kind that uses yam as a binder, not wheat. Thank you so much for that information. This gluten-free newby needs all the help she can get. :)
And your photos are just lovely! My camera is giving me fits!

As far as I know, Wild Yam (Jinenjo) Soba is not wheat free. I am familiar with one from Eden Foods, and couldn't find any other via online search. Possibly from Asian sources? At any rate, read labels: I have even found Japanese pasta labeled soba which doesn't even have any buckwheat at all.

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