Recipe: Rainbow soba noodle salad

This colourful, fresh salad is easy to make and a joyful party on the plate

  • place PRE 30 minutes
  • place COOK 10 minutes
  • place SERVES 4
  • printicon

Soba are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. As buckwheat is a very strengthening grain, soba noodles were traditionally eaten to gain physical strength and vitality. In this salad, I use soba to make a light dish with colourful toppings. It is full of wonderful textures with a sauce that makes it pop and gives it a Japanese/Asian flair.


  • Bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the soba noodles and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water — this will prevent the soba noodles sticking together. Return the noodles to the pan, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and mix to combine.

  • Heat the olive oil and cashews in a small saucepan over medium heat and toast, stirring often to avoid burning the nuts, for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl, add the shoyu and stir to coat.

  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then add a pinch of salt and the mirin and sauté for another minute.

  • Combine the soba noodle sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

  • Divide the soba noodles among four plates and top with a generous amount of the sauce.

  • Top with the carrot, cucumber, orange, radish, nori, pickled ginger, spring onion and cashews and enjoy with chopsticks.

Adapted from ‘Plantbased: 80 Nourishing, Umami-rich Recipes from the Kitchen of a Passionate Chef’ is published next week by Smith Street Books


200g soba noodles
3 tbsp roasted sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
70g cashews
1 tsp shoyu
1 carrot, julienned
1 garlic clove, grated sea salt
1 tbsp mirin
1 long cucumber, deseeded, cut into matchsticks
2 oranges, cut into 5mm thick rounds
12 radishes, thinly sliced
1 sheet of nori, cut into thin strips
50g pickled ginger, cut into matchsticks
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp shoyu
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 garlic clove, grated
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

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