Ahhh, I love this! So cold, fresh, and filling! This is actually a newer version of one of the first recipe that I ever posted on the blog, Thai Cucumber Salad. And when I say “one of the first recipes that I ever posted” I mean, like, when I was still using my phone to take pictures. That’s old. 2009 old.
Anyway, I added some soba noodles to bulk it up a bit and a few chopped peanuts for crunch. As I mentioned in the original recipe, a little fresh cilantro would also be awesome with this. Overall the salad is sweet, spicy, and a little tangy, thanks to the rice vinegar. The fresh flavor of cucumbers and green onion pair perfectly with the light, sweet dressing for a side dish that will fill you up without weighing you down in this hot weather.
I definitely paid a little too much for my soba noodles, but traffic was crazy crackers that day, so I sacrificed price for convenience. Cooking on a budget is all about where you draw your line of compromise. If you can’t find soba noodles, you can try some thin whole wheat spaghetti, or just go without noodles and add extra cucumber (like in the original recipe).
Summer is almost over… enjoy that fresh produce while you can!
Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad
- 8 oz. soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) $3.69
- 1 large cucumber $0.79
- 2 whole green onions $0.22
- ⅓ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped $0.27
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar $0.60
- 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil $0.28
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes $0.03
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the noodles and boil just until tender (5-7 minutes). Drain the noodles and rinse briefly with cool water. Allow the excess water to drain away.
- While waiting for the water to boil and the noodles to cook, prepare the rest of the salad. Peel the cucumber if desired. If the cucumber has a lot of seeds, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Cut the cucumber once more lengthwise (to make quarters) and then cut across into small slices.
- Slice the green onion and roughly chop the peanuts. Combine the chopped cucumber, sliced green onion, and chopped peanuts in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, stir together the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat.
- Add the cooled and drained noodles to the bowl and toss to combine the ingredients and coat in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Step by Step Photos
These are the soba noodles that I bought. I probably could have gotten a better price at Whole Foods, and definitely a better price at an Asian market. Despite the over priced noodles, the salad still came out fairly inexpensive. Yay!
Boil ‘dem noodles. (they seem to cook slightly faster than regular pasta. 5-7 minutes.)
Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to bring the temperature down. Let the excess water drain away as you finish making the rest of the salad.
You can start doing all of your chopping etc. while the noodles are cooking. You don’t have to peel the cucumber, but I like to peel stripes off of mine because it makes a neat design when you end up slicing the cucumber.
If your cucumber has a lot of seeds, you may want to scrape them out with a spoon. That’s up to you. I usually don’t mind the seeds, but this one had a unusually large amount. I also like to cut the cucumber into work-able sections of about 4-6 inches.
Slice the sections in half once more lengthwise, then slice across the cucumber to make the little sections.
Roughly chop the peanuts. It’s important to get unsalted peanuts or else the dish will be way too salty. Also slice the green onions.
Combine the cucumber, green onion, and peanuts in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, simply combine the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the dressing over the items in the bowl and toss to coat.
Now add the well drained and cooled noodles. Toss again to coat in the dressing and ENJOY!