Cold Asian Noodle Salad

IMG_9116 On steamy days like these, I absolutely hate slaving over a hot stove — an outdoor grill is fine, but my kitchen stove? No thank you. Lately I’ve been cooking much of our dinners in the mornings when the temperature is still cool, then refrigerating everything and assembling the meal right before we eat. This “cook & cool” method (I just made up that term, do you like it?) works really well for pastas, rice, and other hearty grains because they store well, and taste great chilled. For this Cold Asian Noodle Salad, the pasta only takes a few minutes to simmer, so it’s easy to do right before you leave for work. Just drain the noodles, then cover and refrigerate (and if you’re feeling extra ambitious, chop the veggies and store separately in the fridge). Then when you get home, all you have to do is whip up the dressing, then toss everything together. Voilà! Done! And this easy summer salad can be served alongside grilled chicken, or dished up as a vegetarian entrée. Either way, you’ll thank me tonight when you’re enjoying a cool meal on the patio rather than sweating in the kitchen.

Cold Asian Noodle Salad

Serves 4

  • 8½ oz. buckwheat noodles
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1½ Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1½ Tbsp tahini
  • 1½ Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp (or more) chili oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp agave (or honey)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste

IMG_9115 Set a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add buckwheat noodles and immediately decrease heat to low. Simmer for 4-6 minutes or until noodles are soft. Pour noodles into a colander set in the sink. Run cold water over noodles until cool. At this point you can continue making the salad, or cover and refrigerate the noodles for 8-12 hours. Whisk together vinegar, tahini, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil (if using), agave, garlic, and ginger until smooth and creamy. Season with pepper. Place chopped veggies and buckwheat noodles in a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss again until distributed evenly. Season with more cracked pepper. Salad can be served immediately or covered and refrigerated for up to two hours.IMG_9123 Want to cook up some more cold noodle dishes? Check out my recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad.

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3 thoughts on “Cold Asian Noodle Salad

    • I would serve it with a cold, dry sake, myself, but if you’re not a sake fan, then a light, semi-dry white wine (Savignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay) would pair well, too. Enjoy!

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      • I went with the Gerwurztraminer since I had it in the cellar! I think it will go well with no bake cheesecake I am seving later in the evening! 🙂

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