Cold Soba-Noodle Salad


This is the kind of salad we like most. You start with a base of grain or noodle and add some dressing — and the rest is up to you. This salad is delicious without the optional ingredients but even better when you add whatever extras you like best.

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Large pot
  • Fork
  • Colander
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large mixing bowl Wooden spoon



  • 1 (8-ounce) package buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, greens and whites chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • Optional Extras:
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and grated
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced or julienned
  • 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1⁄2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts or cashews



  • Fill the pot halfway with water and put it on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. (You’ll know the water is boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface.) Add the soba noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes (or follow the directions on the package). To test a noodle to see if it’s done, carefully fish it out with the fork, run it under cold water, and taste it. Drain the noodles in the colander and rinse with cold water.
  • Put the soy sauce, scallions, lemon or lime juice, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and ginger in the bowl and mix well.
  • Add the soba noodles and stir well.
  • Add whatever extras you like and stir well. Now taste the salad. Does it need more lemon or lime juice, or soy sauce? If so, add it and taste again.
  • Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.



Toast sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet over low heat for a minute or two, until you just begin to smell them.


Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and are used a lot in Japanese cooking. But here’s the funny thing: buckwheat isn’t wheat — or even a grain at all! It’s actually a seed-producing plant related to rhubarb.

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