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Sesame Noodle Salad

Sesame Noodle Salad

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Sesame Noodle Salad, so quick and easy! Thin noodles infused with a sesame, honey, soy sauce dressing.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Featured in 12 Easy Recipes for New Cooks

Is it hot where you are? We’ve had an unseasonably cool several days, but the weather reports assure us that that’s about to change.

This sesame noodle salad is a perfect cold noodle salad for a hot day. Make the noodles and the dressing ahead of time and let the noodles soak in all the flavor from the dressing (sesame oil, honey, soy sauce).

Then toss it with green onions, cilantro, bell pepper and peanuts right before serving. Yum!

You can also add cubed cooked chicken to the salad to make it a more substantial meal, or some tahini for a creamier sesame flavor. If you take it to a potluck picnic, double the recipe! This one is a crowd pleaser.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2006

Sesame Noodle Salad Recipe


Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)


  • 12 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


1 Prepare the dressing: Put the dressing ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

2 Cook the pasta: Put the pasta in a large pot in salted boiling water (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water). Cook al dente, according to the directions on the pasta package. Drain.

3 Toss with dressing, chill: Stir together the cooked pasta and the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 Stir in cilantro, peanuts, green onions, bell pepper: When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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Sesame Noodle Salad

Amount Per Serving Calories 198 Calories from Fat 27 % Daily Value * Total Fat 6g 10 % Saturated Fat 0.8g 4 % Cholesterol 0.0mg 0 % Sodium 419mg 18 % Total Carbohydrate 31g 11 % Dietary Fiber 1.9g 8 % Protein 5.6g 12 %

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oodles of Noodles: How to choose the right noodle for a cold vegan asian noodle salad

This recipe calls for soba or buckwheat noodles, but is versatile enough if you prefer a lower protein option like rice noodles. However, all noodles do not behave the same when chilled. Read on to learn how to prepare different types of noodles for this dish.

Soba noodles

Some soba noodles are a combination of wheat and buckwheat and some are 100% buckwheat. Options with a higher percentage of buckwheat have a nuttier flavor. Soba noodles are often used in recipes like this vegan Asian noodle salad because their texture works well with cold dishes. Follow these top two tips for great results!

  1. Make sure the noodles are fully cooked! Soba noodles are not meant to be al dente.
  2. To prevent them from clumping up after chilling, we recommend giving them a good rinse.

Rice noodles

Prefer a lower protein noodle? Rice noodles are a great option. When cooking rice noodles, you will often find two different sets of instructions. For this dish follow the instructions for cold dishes and rinse well after cooking to help prevent clumping. If using rice noodles we also recommend that you eat the dish the same day as you make it. Rice noodles will absorb the sauce more than soba noodles, making for a clumpier dish if left overnight in the fridge.

Gluten free noodles

Another great low protein option is gluten free spaghetti noodles made from corn. When using this type of pasta in a cold dish it is important to cook the pasta until tender and rinse well after cooking. Check out our vegan macaroni salad post for more information about gluten free pasta and how to make it work for your nutritional needs.

Not sure what type of noodle to use in this vegan asian noodle salad to support your kidney health?

We are here to help! Join our monthly class to find out how we use the power of nutrition to help preserve kidney function. If you prefer a one-to one setting, consider booking a consultation with one of our expert Renal Dietitians.

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Recipe Summary

  • 12 ounces dried soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles, dried Asian wheat noodles, or angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin, short slivers
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • Salt

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 to 3 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles, stir to separate, and cook until just tender to bite, 3 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. If desired, cut noodles into shorter lengths for easier serving. Rinse and dry pan.

In the same pan, over medium heat, stir sesame seeds in oil until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne stir until blended. Add noodles and mix until well coated. Add bell pepper, carrots, and green onions mix gently. Add salt to taste. Mound in a serving dish.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 ½ ounces uncooked linguine pasta
  • 9 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 small serrano chile peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Fill a saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, stir in the linguine, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink, and rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, stir in the green beans, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are bright green and slightly tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the beans, and rinse with cold water to chill.

In a large salad bowl, combine lime juice, canola oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, orange zest, and serrano peppers, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the dressing to stand for 30 minutes. Lightly toss in the carrots, green onions, linguini and green beans, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill before serving.

Sesame Noodle Salad

Sesame noodles are No. 1 on my takeout disappointment list. Over and over again, I see sesame noodles on a salad bar or nicely packaged in the ready-to-go aisle and I can't resist. Just as predictably, I'm underwhelmed. Greasy, slimy and mushy are three adjectives that come to mind. When I started to look at recipes, every one I saw was loaded up on fatty ingredients or was what I call a "dump recipe," with an ingredient list so long there was no chance I'd ever make it.

So I came up with this recipe, which is simple, quick and based on fresh ingredients. Start with fresh Asian noodles, available at some supermarkets and in the produce section of Asian markets. (Fresh linguine or spaghetti may be substituted.) Blanch snow peas and carrots, then combine them with slivered scallions, sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds. That's it.

Look for the freshest snow peas you can find. They'll have a nice green color and should be very crisp.

Servings: 6 - 8 main-course servings or 10 to 12 side-dish

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Rinse well with cold water until thoroughly cooled. Spread the noodles on a rimmed baking sheet or large piece of aluminum foil.

Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the snow peas once the water returns to a boil, cook for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the snow peas to the bowl of ice water. As soon as the snow peas are cool, transfer them to a clean towel to dry them. Cut the snow peas lengthwise into 1/4-inch matchsticks.

When the water returns to a boil, add the carrots cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the color brightens and the carrots become flexible. Drain and transfer to the ice water to cool, then place the carrots on the towel to dry.

Combine the noodles, snow peas, carrots, scallions, 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Use tongs or your hands to thoroughly combine. Taste and add sesame oil, soy sauce or sesame seeds as needed.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Toss before serving.

NOTE: Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking them frequently, just until fragrant and lightly browned.

Sesame Noodle Salad - Recipes

You can use any vegetables you like in this salad, just make sure they&aposre crunchy -- like corn kernels, blanched broccoli florets, cucumbers. When you make the dressing taste it as you go, adding more or less of the ginger or chili-garlic sauce depending on your love of heat. ¦

4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (see note)

1/4 cup Asian chili-garlic sauce, or to taste

1/2 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish

1 14-ounce package firm tofu

3/4 cup thin green beans (haricots verts) or sugar snap peas

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 pound dried udon noodles

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into matchsticks

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (see note)

To make dressing: Whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, chili-garlic sauce and sliced green onions.

To make salad: Drain tofu and slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange in a single layer in the bottom of a shallow dish. Whisk the dressing again, then pour half of it over the tofu. Allow to marinate, turning once or twice, while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Set a bowl of ice water near the stove. Add the green beans or sugar snap peas and blanch for about 1 minute, or until tender-crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking. Add the carrots to the boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute, or until tender-crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking. If using sugar snap peas, slice each lengthwise into matchsticks.

Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until completely cool.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat for several minutes. When hot, remove tofu slices from the marinade and arrange in an even layer on the pan (you may have to grill the tofu in batches). Grill until browned on one side, about 3 minutes, then turn and grill the other side, about 3 minutes more.

Place noodles, green beans or snap peas, carrots and red bell peppers in a large bowl. Pour remaining dressing over and toss to coat. If it seems too dry, add some of the dressing used to marinate the tofu.

Divide the salad among the bowls, top each with a couple slices of tofu. Garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro, sesame seeds and green onions.

Note: To speed preparation, we use grated fresh ginger in a jar from Trader Joe&aposs.

Note: To toast sesame seeds, spread on baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown. Or you can buy jars of toasted sesame seeds in the Asian foods section at many grocery stores.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad Recipe with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Cold Soba Noodle Salad Recipe. Noodle Salad Bowl with Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini, Green Onion and Sesame Lime Ginger Dressing. Refreshing Summer Salad. Vegan Nutfree. Gluten-free Option, Soy-free Option. Jump to Recipe

Its been Very hot in the PNW last few weeks and standing near the hot stove to cook is not fun. Light meals that can be made ahead, work out best. This noodle salad is a perfect light dinner or lunch. It can be made ahead and is very refreshing. These soba noodles are also great to take to potlucks or to eat outside enjoying the sunny summer evening.

Cook the noodles, toss in oil to keep them from getting sticky. Chop the veggies, mix the dressing, toss with noodles and done! Change up the veggies, add some tofu or edamame, change up the dressing with some peanut butter for a peanut dressing for variations. Chill the dressing for a bit so the ginger can infuse the dressing as well get slightly pickled in the lime + vinegar to take the raw edge off.

Warm Sesame Noodle Salad

Takeout always sounds appealing on a weeknight, but cooking something nutritious at home doesn&rsquot have to be time-consuming or tedious. Instead of ordering in, take a cue from Nicole Berrie, founder of Bonberi, and whip up this easy warm sesame noodle salad.

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

4 ounces gluten-free pasta

½ head of iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

1 cucumber—peeled, halved and thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the gluten-free pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Strain and set aside.

2. Make the Dressing: Using a blender or food processor, blend the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and ¼ cup cold water. Season to taste with kosher salt. Set aside.

3. Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce and cucumber. Top with the cooked noodles, then add the dressing and toss again. Transfer to a serving plate garnish with the cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges.

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Possible Variations:

Guys, the sky’s the limit with variations on this one! Feel free to:

  • Add in protein. Feel free to add in some chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu to your noodles, either stir-fried in a separate sauté pan or baked separately in the oven.
  • Add in veggies. Just about any stir-fry veggies would work well with these noodles, such as asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, squash or zucchini.
  • Add in greens. Sautéed bok choy, cabbage, kale, spinach or other greens would also be delicious mixed in.
  • Make it peanut-y. Feel free to add in 2-3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter to the sauce to make it more of a peanut sauce.
  • Make it sweeter. Sounds odd, but I also love this recipe with a tablespoon of maple syrup added. It makes for a nice sweet and salty balance.
  • Make it spicy. Feel free to double or triple the amount of garlic chili sauce in the recipe if you would like an extra kick.
  • Use different noodles. Any kind of noodles — from ramen to rice noodles, udon, soba, yakisoba, lo mein noodles or sweet potato noodles — would work well in this recipe.
  • Use zoodles. Want to make this gluten-free and healthier? Try subbing in zucchini noodles for half (or all!) of the noodles.


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