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Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing

  • 1/5
    Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing
  • 2/5
    Soba noodles. One bundle is about 120 grams and serves approximately two.
  • 3/5
    Cooked, drained and rinsed soba noodles.
  • 4/5
    Peanut butter dressing ingredients.
  • 5/5
    Salad components clockwise from top left: tofu, carrots, cilantro, peanuts, red pepper and cucumbers

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Feb 18, 2016

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Soba Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing

Frankly, this salad is about the irresistible dressing, which I kind of want to eat on its own. I played with creamy peanut butter, Asian spices, and a bunch of other ingredients, and I kept calibrating until I had a perfectly balanced mixture of salty, sweet and spicy.

It might seem silly to buy Chinese five spice—typically a blend of equal parts ground anise, star anise, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon—if you’re going to use only a quarter of a teaspoon, but it adds a warm, pungent taste to the dressing. (Besides, it’s great in other recipes; I like to add some to the batter when frying chicken or sprinkle it on steamed salmon.)

This recipe is flexible, so feel free to use other salad components: tempeh, shredded nappa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and bean sprouts come to mind. 


  1. Serves 2
  2. 120 grams dried soba noodles (1 bundle noodles)
  3. 1 red pepper, destemmed, seeded, cut into matchsticks
  4. 1 medium Persian cucumber, trimmed, cut into matchsticks
  5. 1 small carrot, trimmed, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  6. 1 cup baked tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces
  7. ¼ cup Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  9. Handful of peanuts
  10. Peanut Butter Dressing
  11. ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  12. 3 tablespoons water
  13. 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  14. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  15. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  16. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  17. 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  18. ½ teaspoon salt
  19. ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
  20. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  21. ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice


Pour 6 cups of water into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain the noodles in a sieve and rinse under cold running water.


Divide the noodles, peppers, cucumber, carrot and tofu in half and arrange next to each other in a circle on a serving plate.


In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until creamy. Add an additional tablespoon of water if the dressing is too thick.


Sprinkle the salad with the parsley, sesame seeds and peanuts, and drizzle with the dressing to taste.


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