The citrus scallion dressing on this cold soba noodle salad will keep you (and your guests) coming back for more. This Japanese-inspired salad is make-ahead and can be served cold or at room temperature, so pack it for your next summer potluck or picnic. You’ll be glad to have such a zesty and refreshing vegan summer meal!
Start with the right soba noodles
Soba is Japanese word for buckwheat. However, most packaged soba noodles in the grocery store or online contain a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flours. If you’re gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients. Here’s a great option for gluten-free soba noodles in several different flavors. We used these 100% buckwheat soba noodles for this recipe, but sweet potato and buckwheat noodles sound delish!
Soba noodles, like their Japanese cousins udon noodles, are thick and chewy. They hold up well in a cold salad dressed with citrus scallion oil, as in this recipe. Soba noodles are also sturdy enough to allow you to make this refreshing salad ahead of time. Ultimately, hearty and tasty soba noodles drenched in citrus scallion dressing are a crowd-pleasing dish for any get-together.
The sweet spot: Citrus Scallion Dressing with Jalapeño
After cooking the soba noodles to al dente and cooling them well under running water, we toss them in a zesty and savory scallion oil with a kick. The result is the ultimate Japanese soba noodle salad.
The technique to delicious citrus scallion dressing is to start with freshly sliced scallions. Don’t be afraid to slice up the whole stalk, all the way from pearly white to dark green. You’ll want to reserve a few circles of the darkest green to sprinkle on the soba noodle salad before serving.
Then, warm your oil. We used olive oil for its flavor and high smoke point. However, if you love sesame, you could use sesame oil or a mixture of sesame and olive. Finally, you’ll release all the allium deliciousness from the scallions and the heat from jalapeños into the dressing when you pour the hot oil over the sliced veggies. Finish with a splash of bright lemon juice, and you’ve got a vibrant citrus scallion dressing that coats your soba noodle salad beautifully.
What to pack with this Soba Noodle Salad for your next gluten free picnic spread
Now you have the perfect Asian soba noodle salad to pack for your next lunch (hello weekend meal prep). So why not round out the meal with some of our other favorite gluten free make-ahead dishes?
- Carrot Cake Overnight Oats that will start your day on a sweet and creamy note.
- Quinoa Tabbouleh with fresh and crispy tomatoes, cucumber and parsley.
- Mason Jar Salads with Sesame Yogurt Dressing from Cotter Crunch are an easy-to-meal-prep lunch to take on the go. To make vegan, simply use your favorite dairy-free yogurt for the dressing.
- Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad from Ambitious Kitchen is protein-packed, spicy and sweet with those beautiful dried cranberries.
- Finally, we couldn’t forget dessert! Bring these Vegan Gluten Free Four Berry Pie Bars to your next picnic, and everyone will want to share your blanket 🙂
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The citrus scallion dressing on this cold soba noodle salad will keep you (and your guests) coming back for more. This Japanese-inspired salad is make-ahead and can be served cold or at room temperature, so pack it for your next summer potluck or picnic.
For the Salad
- 1 package soba noodles, gluten-free if necessary
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly into matchsticks
For the Dressing
- 4 tablespoons + 1 tsp olive oil or sesame oil
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced into rounds. Reserve half of the dark green for topping
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Sesame seeds for topping, optional
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sliced carrots and blanch until just tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
- Return the water in the pot to a boil and add the soba noodles. Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the noodles for the salad.
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil.
- Place the sliced scallions, minced jalapeño and salt in a heat-proof bowl.
- When the oil is heated (it will be shimmering), carefully pour the hot oil over the scallion mixture in the bowl. Immediately stir to combine, using a spoon to lightly bruise the scallions and jalapeño to release their flavors into the oil. Add the lemon juice and stir the dressing to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked soba noodles, red bell pepper and blanched and cooled carrots. Add the dressing and cilantro, toss well, and top with reserved scallion greens and sesame seeds.