Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles
These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo dish, I crave noodles with a little more color, perhaps, and more texture and flavor. Must be the “maximalist vegetarian” in me. Always more veggies!
This riff on sesame noodles is exactly what I’ve wished for. This recipe features tender noodles and green onions, of course. I replaced some of the noodles with tons of crisp raw veggies, plus I added tiny sesame seeds, toasted to bring out their best.
The bold but simple seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger and garlic, and a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro (omit it if you don’t like it). I added some chili flakes for extra heat, which you can scale up or down to suit your preferences.
From what I’ve read, sesame noodles likely originated in the Sichuan province of China (please let me know if you know more). These noodles are not authentic, but they are tasty. I can’t stop going back for more.
Bring these noodles to a gathering or serve them as a side dish. They are nice at room temperature or chilled. Or, turn this recipe into a light meal by adding shelled edamame, crispy baked tofu or a fried egg or two. This recipe keeps well for several days in the fridge, and packs well for lunch.
This recipe is an updated and improved version of a very old recipe on my blog called “Soba Noodles with Vegetables.” Way back in 2011, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the seasonings, but I wasn’t sure how to fix them. I’ve revisited the recipe and tweaked it to yield exactly the flavor I’ve been craving all this time.
If you’re a fan of the old recipe, view the original recipe as a PDF here.
Craving more noodles? Try these recipes:
- Peanut Slaw with Soba Noodles
- Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles
- Almond-Sesame Soba Zoodles with Quick-Pickled Veggies
- Colorful Veggie Lettuce Wraps
You might also enjoy my Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce, Crunchy Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad, and the Fresh Sesame Soba Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce in Love Real Food (page 98).
Please let me know how your sesame noodles turn out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Veggie Sesame Noodles
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
This riff on sesame noodles features tons of colorful vegetables. This recipe is healthy and easy to prepare—perfect for bringing to get-togethers! It’s vegetarian/vegan and easily gluten free. Recipe yields 6 side servings.
- 8 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti noodles of choice*
- ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce, just be sure it’s reduced sodium or it will taste too salty)
- ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste (scale back or omit if sensitive to spice)
- 2 ½ cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 10 ounces or ¼th medium cabbage)
- 3 whole carrots, peeled and then sliced into ribbons with vegetable peeler (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into very thin strips
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Optional: 2 cups shelled edamame, steamed
- Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Once they’re done cooking, drain them in a colander and rinse them well under cool water. Transfer the drained noodles to a large serving bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often (keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly). Once they’re fragrant and turning golden, transfer them to a small bowl so they don’t burn. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
- To assemble, add the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro and optional edamame to your bowl with the noodles. Drizzle in the dressing. Add all of the sesame seeds, and use tongs to toss until the mixture is fully combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later. This salad is best consumed within a couple of days, but it will keep for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from Last Minute Sesame Noodles on Aggie’s Kitchen, originally from Eatingwell.com
*Make it gluten free: If you are sensitive to gluten, seek out 100% buckwheat soba noodles (I like Eden Foods’ brand) or substitute your favorite sturdy gluten-free spaghetti.
Change it up: Try adding a tablespoon or two of peanut butter to the dressing. Or, play around with the vegetables used here—you’ll just need about 5 cups total. For additional protein, include the optional edamame or serve with crispy baked tofu on top, or add a fried egg or scrambled eggs.