Quick Asian Noodle Salad Recipe

Written by Allison of Some the Wiser. Welcome, Allison!

There are a lot of reasons to skip restaurant meals and eat at home.  Cooking your own meals at home is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and create memories in the kitchen.  As a single parent with small children, I don’t make it out to a restaurant more than a few times a year.

While I love the simplicity of eating at home and making meals from scratch, sometimes I crave the delicious ethnic flavours that my favorite local restaurants do so well.  With a little practice, I’ve been able to satisfy my cravings with a few simple tricks in the kitchen.

For me, the most difficult flavours to recreate at home have been those found in Asian cooking.  I can do Mexican/Southwestern style food with ease, and I am pretty good at recreating Italian pasta dishes.  Asian food, however, has been a little trickier to master.

I finally had a breakthrough with Asian cooking at home when I realized that there are a few simple ingredients that add all of the flavour that I missed from my favorite restaurants.

7 ingredients to stock for quick, Asian-inspired dishes

The following ingredients are commonly found in Asian dishes, and when you have them on hand you can create any number of delicious dishes:

Toasted Sesame Oil – A vegetable oil made from sesame seeds.  It is rich in both color and flavour and also full of healthy antioxidants.

Tamari – A naturally brewed soy sauce made from soybeans, water, and sea salt.  It is far superior to alternative types of soy sauce.

Balsamic Vinegar – A red wine vinegar with a sweet flavour.

Maple Syrup – Real maple syrup, made from the boiled sap of sugar maple trees, is a natural and flavourful sweetener.

Tahini – A creamy paste made by crushing hulled sesame seeds.  It has a distinct, toasted flavour.

Brown Rice Vinegar – A very mild vinegar made from fermented brown rice.

Miso – A salty paste made from aged soybeans.  Perfect for dips and spreads.

There are, of course, many more ingredients that could be added to this list, but if you have these few staples in the pantry, you will be able to create an incredible Asian meal at home.

Photo by Allison

This Asian Noodle Salad, with a simple dressing, is full of flavour and takes only 20 minutes to prepare.  It is a favorite lunch or light dinner at our house, and one that always impresses company!

It’s healthy, you won’t find any MSG in it like you might at your favorite Chinese food joint, and it always satisfies my Asian food cravings.  Enjoy!

Asian Noodle Salad

This Asian Noodle Salad, with a simple dressing, is full of flavour and takes only 20 minutes to prepare.
4.78 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 166kcal
Author: Allison


  • 1 12 oz package soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 cup diced cucumber

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 Tablespoons tamari
  • 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup


  • Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
  • Drain and cool well. Place in a large bowl.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Pour dressing over noodles and toss gently with sesame seeds, chives, cucumbers, and cabbage.
  • Can be served immediately, or chilled until ready to eat.


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 18.8mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1.9mg
About Allison

Allison Ruth, mama to three hungry girls, blogs at Some the Wiser where she takes life as it comes and tries to learn a little something as she goes.
Whether she’s baking bread, sewing, or contemplating the fate of socks gone missing in the laundry, she looks for the peace and creativity life offers to everyone who is paying attention.

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  1. Hm, my husband was just saying he wished we’d eat Asian food more, but I have similar hang ups about cooking it! This looks like a nice easy place to start. 🙂

  2. that is one colorful , tasty noodle salad. thanks for the useful list…

  3. This sounds absolutely delightful! So quick and so tasty!

  4. i love toasted sesame oil! i actually have an “asian” section in my frig where i keep rice wine vinegar, my sesame oil, soy sauce, siracha sauce, etc. this sounds like a great summer salad.

    • Yes, Sriracha is an excellent addition to the Asian cupboard must-haves! I’ve never cooked with tamari instead of soy sauce so I’ll have to try that but I also like to have on hand some ground or fresh ginger and Chinese 5-spice powder.

  5. This sounds really yummy Allison! And thanks for the rundown on ingredients to stock for asian flavours. I have most of them but had never heard of tamari, have to pick some up.

  6. What a beautiful photo of yumminess!!! I love how you give all the options for making our own creation, too. A few years ago I started using Sobo noodles. They are sooo good. It’s amazing what the right sauce will do, too. Thanks for the recipe and tips….I’m off to pin it now.

  7. What a fabulous Asian noodle Salad! I am starving now! That is why i can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Love it!

  8. 4 stars
    I love Asian noodle salads. I like to add toasted cashews, a little hot sauce and some fresh Thai basil to mine for a southeast touch.

  9. 5 stars
    WOW, I’m loving this recipe, it’s so close this cute little Noodle House we like to go too. Thanks to you, I can make it without going through the test kitchen process 😉

  10. Now that is my kind of salad. Delish and healthy!

  11. I’ve been wanting a good Asian inspired salad for this summer.This looks perfect and I think I have most of the Asian condiments already, bonus!

    Lovely pictures!

  12. 5 stars
    To your list I’d add fish sauce. It adds that umami that homemade Asian dishes so often lack. And for dieters (and I’m one, albeit bad at it), shiritaki noodles pick up the sauce flavors wonderfully without adding calories or carbs. No joke!

  13. I love Asian dishes, but I am definitely not all that confident with recreating them in my kitchen, so thanks for giving me somewhere to start. Love seeing Allison here on Simple Bites!

  14. Looks delicious and easy! A great weeknight meal for sure.

  15. 4 stars
    I love noodles. I’ve already tasted this food, and i’m loving it so much! The taste of the different spices comes out when your eating it.

  16. YES to tamari and miso! What can I say, I love umami. 🙂

  17. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    5 stars
    Wow, I never would have thought to put maple syrup on that list, but it makes so much sense! Great post, Allison. Love the noodles.

  18. Christine Balch says

    5 stars
    I love cooking new recipes. I haven’t tried cooking this Asian Noodle Salad. This will be my next prospect recipe this weekend. I would try to make this one for my family. I hope they will like it. Thanks for the ingredients and steps.

  19. This sounds incredible! Much lighter than my usual peanut noodles. I bet brown rice pasta will work super in this dish. Can’t wait to try it.

  20. Great Idea! Thanks!

  21. 5 stars
    It looks so appetizing and flavourful!

  22. I just discovered sesame oil and was amazed at how much better our stir-fry tasted with it–delicious! Even my brother who was over for dinner and is pickier than I am liked it. Thanks for the other suggestions–I’ll definitely check into them too!

  23. One small technical correction to your ingredient list. True, authentic balsamic vinegar is made from white Trebbiano grapes and must, not red wine…

  24. Hi, I’m Alberto from Italy.
    Do you have a beautifull blog with many originals italian recipes.
    I’m start a blog where i write the original italian dish of my family.
    If you wont take some recipes you can take is a honor for me.
    Bye from Italy

  25. Lisa Bogaert says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s awesome! 🙂

  26. 5 stars
    This is very health and colorful salad recipe. i will must try this on coming weekend.

  27. 5 stars
    We love this!

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