Cold Ginger Soba Noodles

There's a hole in my heart left behind by the recent closure of my favorite local Chinese restaurant, which served cold sesame noodles unrivaled across three counties. While these aren't exactly its version (not even close, in fact), a yearning for my long-lost Tuesday night take-out has inspired me to create a new cold Asian noodle dish to call my own. If you're new to soba noodles, err on the side of undercooking them. They're done in a matter of minutes in a pot of boiling water and can easily trip into a gummy over-cooked place of sadness. Don't take the "run the cooked noodles under cold water to stop them from cooking" note too lightly, either. You'll thank me when you're enjoying the leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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For the dressing:

4 teaspoon sesame oil

6 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha

1 tablespoon miso

1 clove garlic, finely grated or pasted

1-inch knob ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/4 cup peanut oil

1/4 cup warm water

(12- to 14-ounce) package soba noodles

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

2 to 3 kale leaves, stemmed, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup pitted dried plums, chopped


  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing; reserve. 
  2. Drop the soba noodles into the boiling water; once the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the noodles until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cooked soba noodles and run them under cold running water to chill them thoroughly. Transfer the noodles to the mixing bowl with the prepared dressing. 
  3. Add the scallions, basil, kale and plums to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning as needed with tamari or soy sauce and Sriracha. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

If you're craving a lighter meal, just enjoy the noodles as they are. If you want a bit something more, they lend themselves perfectly to accompaniment by some seared salmon or grilled chicken or pork.