Spicy Cold Noodle Salad with Soy-Lime Dressing

A great choice to pack for lunch or a potluck, this scrumptious cold noodle salad comes together in 25 minutes, brims with flavor, and is hearty enough for a main meal. Earthy soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat, anchor the salad and work well with lighter ingredients like snow pea pods, sweet bell peppers, and Chinese cabbage. Pineapple adds a contrasting juiciness, shiitake mushrooms lend a woodsy flavor, and fresh edamame gives extra oomph. Finely sliced red chiles add heat, but feel free to skip the chiles if you’re spice-averse or if kids will be eating it—you can always offer red pepper flakes or hot sauce at the table. Fragrant with fresh ginger, the creamy lime dressing ties everything together. Garnish with scallions, peanuts, and fresh cilantro, and these nourishing cold noodle bowls are ready to devour!

Tips

Are Soba Noodles Gluten-Free? Soba noodles are traditionally made from buckwheat, which is naturally gluten-free—but be sure to read the label, as some brands of soba noodles also contain wheat flour. 

Gluten-free: This salad is gluten-free if you use gluten-free tamari sauce (not soy sauce) and gluten-free soba noodles.

Gloves: Wearing gloves is advised when cooking with hot chiles, as they contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. 

For more inspiration, check out these tasty ideas:

By Ellen Boeke,

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Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. dry soba noodles, broken in half
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 cups snow pea pods, halved on the bias
  • 2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
  • 1 cup slivered red bell pepper
  • 1 cup slivered yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple or papaya
  • 4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 fresh red chile, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, seeded if desired (see tip, recipe intro)
  • ⅓ cup bias-sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped raw peanuts

Instructions

  • To make soy-lime dressing, whisk together the first six ingredients (through garlic) with 2 tablespoons water.
  • Cook noodles according to package directions, adding edamame the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the next seven ingredients (through red chile) to bowl with pasta and edamame. Drizzle with soy-lime dressing and toss to combine. Top with scallions, cilantro, and peanuts. Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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About the Author

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About the Author

Ellen Boeke

Ellen Boeke has more than 25 years of experience as a recipe developer and food editor. She holds Bachelor's of Science degrees in consumer food science and journalism from Iowa State University and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Find her on LinkedIn.
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