Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad

$5.92 recipe / $0.99 serving

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

Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad

4.9 from 9 reviews
Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.92
Cost Per Serving: $0.99
Serves: 6
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Slice the green onion and roughly chop the peanuts. Combine the chopped cucumber, sliced green onion, and chopped peanuts in a large bowl.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad

Step by Step Photos

Soba NoodlesThese 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 NoodlesBoil ‘dem noodles. (they seem to cook slightly faster than regular pasta. 5-7 minutes.)

Drain NoodlesDrain 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.

Peel CucumberYou 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.

Remove SeedsIf 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 CucumberSlice the sections in half once more lengthwise, then slice across the cucumber to make the little sections.

Chop PeanutsRoughly chop the peanuts. It’s important to get unsalted peanuts or else the dish will be way too salty. Also slice the green onions.

Salad in BowlCombine the cucumber, green onion, and peanuts in a large bowl.

DressingTo 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.

CombinePour the dressing over the items in the bowl and toss to coat.

Add NoodlesNow add the well drained and cooled noodles. Toss again to coat in the dressing and ENJOY!

Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad


  1. Shan says:

    Such a great recipe! Great for summer, too – refreshing. I added some edamame to it. The flavor of the sauce is tasty. I’ll be using it on other dishes as well. Another keeper!

  2. Lindsey says:

    Awesome! I made this salad last night and it didn’t disappoint. I believe this is the 5th recipe I have made from your site and I have enjoyed every single one.
    I didn’t have soba noodles, so I subbed whole wheat spaghetti. Added shredded carrot, edamame, and cilantro, plus doubled the sesame oil. I just can’t get enough of that stuff. Thanks for another great recipe!

  3. Katie says:

    I’ve had this in my bookmarks for a few years now, and today was the day. My grocery store didn’t have soba noodles, so I used whole wheat spaghetti. I added a lot more zucchini and 8 oz of mushrooms–delicious! Next time I might bite the bullet and cook the vegetables a little with some red bell pepper and watercress. Simple and amazing. The sauce is on point, as always Beth.

  4. Alex says:

    This tastes amazing and so easy to put together!!! The only recommendation I would make is to slice up the cucumbers a bit thinner, they’re not mixing as well or as evenly as they look in your pictures, and maybe that’s just the OCD talking :)

  5. Nina says:

    And loved the stripes on the cucumber! Makes it look very posh! Definitely a great potluck bring along because easy (no cooking!) and fast to make, pretty to look at and yummy!

  6. Nina says:

    Delish! Great flavors! We kept experimenting with other spices and tried out ginger, garlic, and tamari. Each just a little bit on a spoonful bite its own to experiment. Couldn’t top your original recipe! We added some cut up raw snow peas and a few slices of avocado on the side. Thanks again!

  7. Abby says:

    Alternative delicious version: peanut butter w/ flax&chia instead of peanuts, added toasted sesame seeds, minced ginger and edamame. Used angel hair pasta, red wine vinegar. In short, only had half of the ingredients, still made something delicious.

  8. Keira says:

    OH MAN! My husband and I loved this. It was so quick, easy, and refreshing. I didn’t have sesame oil so I used butternut squash seed oil, which has a similar toasted nutty taste.

  9. Barbara says:

    I made this today, so darn good! Every dish I have made of yours is awesome! :)

  10. Samantha says:

    Wow, this was so yummy! I made this today for a quick lunch, and I quickly shovelled down 2 bowls (oops). Soba noodles are da bomb. Will definitely be making this again.

    • Samantha says:

      Sooo I’m now in Scotland for a school exchange, and I wanted to get the ingredients for this…I couldn’t find rice vinegar for the life of me, so I bought sushi seasoning (which has rice vinegar in it at least!). I also realized when I went to make it that I forgot to buy peanuts, but I had crunchy peanut butter, so I ended up mixing that into the dressing! All in all, peanut butter was good, but I think I’ll need a lot more sushi seasoning (since it’s only 31% rice vinegar apparently), or I’ll look harder for rice vinegar.

  11. Maggie says:

    Simple, easy, quick, delicious.
    I used a little more salt and slightly more sesame oil. Next time I’ll go a bit easier on the red pepper flakes. :-)

  12. Sarah says:

    Mmmm, I just made and devoured this. I have never had soba noodles before but I am sold, they’re delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe

  13. Jenny says:

    This is awesome! My new favorite recipe.

  14. Red Dawn says:

    I made this for a potluck this past weekend, and I had some left over ginger marinated pork chops in the fridge that I added to it. It was so good! Thank you for posting such wonderful recipes.

  15. Daryan says:

    I like to up the nutrient content of cold noodle dishes by adding extra chopped or minced greens and vegetables to the original recipes. Any vegetable recommendations that would compliment the Asian flavors? Thank you all!

  16. Neen says:

    This is right up my alley! As soon as I saw this recipe I went out and bought whatever ingredients I didn’t already have so I could make this. It definitely satisfied my noodle craving! So tasty and easy to whip up. I love the crunch from the peanuts and cucumber. It’s cool yet spicy and perfect for summer.

  17. Sarah says:

    Couldn’t find soba noodles at Walmart or at another grocery store. I looked in the asian food aisle and in the pasta aisle and didn’t see them.

    Where else should I look? At an Asian grocery store?

    • Yes, an Asian market is the next best place to try. They are sure to have them. Sometimes they’re labeled “Buckwheat Noodles” instead of soba.

    • Usually World Market/Cost Plus stores also sell them in their Asian food section (not the lowest price perhaps, but I know they can be hard to find in certain parts of the US without a lot of Asian markets, though worth hunting down. Love the flavor of soba!)

  18. Gina says:

    Oh my goodness I can practically taste this!!! What a perfect cold crisp salad for hot Louisiana summers!

  19. Anna says:

    I know this would taste best with the sesame oil and rice vinegar, but would it still taste good if I used olive oil and white vinegar?

    • Well, it would definitely taste 100% different. White vinegar is much, much stronger than rice vinegar and the sesame oil is included for flavor, rather than to act as an oil. Toasted sesame oil has a really strong nutty flavor, which is why you only need 1/2 tsp. Olive oil is very mild in flavor.

      All of that being said, oil and vinegar cucumber salads are pretty common in Italian cooking, so it might be good just completely different :) I would skip the peanuts, as they just wouldn’t match without the sesame oil.

  20. this looks right up my alley! As someone trying a new budget this month who has soba noodles in their pantry I think it might even get made twice

  21. Mary says:

    Lol! When this came into my mailbox today, I thought it said ‘club soda and cucumber salad’. Dyslexic or what!

  22. Dave says:

    Is toasted sesame oil something one could regularly find in a normal supermarket? I couldn’t find it yesterday…would it be with other cooking oils or in the Asian section?

    • Sarah says:

      Asian section. I’ve found it in most stores. May not say “toasted”, but it’s all the same Sesame Oil

    • Carol J says:

      Toasted sesame oil is usually found in the Asian section of any large supermarket.

    • Thanks everyone for replying before I had a chance to get back! Y’all are awesome :) Like everyone else said, you can usually find it in the Asian section of most larger grocery stores. It doesn’t always say “toasted” on it, but you can tell it’s toasted by the dark amber color. Regular sesame oil (untoasted) is a much lighter color and flavor, and will be with the other oils in the baking section.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for your responses everyone!

  23. Can’t wait to make this! Looks simple and delicious.

  24. Looks amazing and right up my alley.

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