This Soba Noodle Bowl with Rainbow Veggies and a simple Sweet and Tangy sauce is easily my favorite thing to eat for lunch (or a lighter dinner). Ready in 20 minutes or less and so delicious!
I have been making this Soba Noodle Bowl for years. I can’t believe I’ve never shared it here with you!
I first made this nearly a decade ago. I adapted the recipe from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (affiliate link). It was such a hit that it’s been in the regular meal rotation ever since.
I’ve probably been eating this at least 3 or 4 times a month for the past ten years. It’s high time I told you all about it!
What are Soba Noodles?
Soba Noodles are a Japanese noodle made with buckwheat. They look similar to spaghetti noodles, but they’re very different in both flavor and texture.
The buckwheat in soba noodles gives them a uniquely nutty flavor and a darker-brown color. They cook much faster than spaghetti noodles and if you overcook them, the texture becomes very gummy. Most buckwheat noodles also contain some amount of wheat flour because buckwheat on its own doesn’t stick together very well.
I can usually find soba noodles in the Asian foods aisle at my local grocery stores (Smiths, Kroger, Sprouts). The best brands, however, are online or at the Asian market. When you’re buying soba noodles, look for brands that have a high percentage of Buckwheat flour. I like to buy brands that have buckwheat listed as the first ingredient, but this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.
The package I have pictured here is one that I frequently buy from my local grocery stores. It has wheat flour listed as the first ingredient, but I think the buckwheat flavor is still strong. My favorite brand, however, is Hakubaku (affiliate link), it’s just a little harder to find locally.
Cooking the soba noodles is easy. They cook for less time than spaghetti noodles – I normally don’t cook mine for more than 4 or 5 minutes. Make sure to give them a cold water bath when you drain them to help prevent overcooking.
Making Soba Noodle Bowls
This Soba Noodle Bowl recipe is very flexible. You can switch out the veggies and play around with the veggie to noodle ratio.
My favorite veggie combination is a blend of cabbage, bell peppers and cucumber. I like the rainbow veggie colors, the crunch, and the sweeter flavors. You can also try broccoli, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas. Make it how you like it!
My favorite thing about this recipe though is how quick and easy it is. Chop your veggies while you bring the water to a boil. Mix up the sauce while the noodles cook. Then toss it all together and enjoy. It’s easily ready in less than 20 minutes!
The Sauce (a.k.a. the real star of this show)
This sauce is the real reason soba noodle bowls made it onto my favorites list. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, with just the right amount of tanginess to make it interesting.
It’s easy to make – just a simple blend of Tamari (Japanese style soy sauce), toasted sesame seed oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup – but it packs a really big flavor punch! And if you like a little spice, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of hot chili oil, or even just a sprinkling of red chili flakes. I’m always feeding kids too so I don’t do this, but I think it would be mighty tasty with a spicy zing in it.
You can also make a double batch of this yummy sauce and save it to drizzle over stir fried vegetables and meat or mix it into any veggie and rice bowl.
I love to eat this for lunch, because it’s both quick and healthy. But we have enjoyed it many times as a quick and light dinner too. If you want to make it a little heartier for dinner, just add some chicken in there.
If you enjoy this recipe for Soba Noodle Bowls, you may also enjoy these recipes:
- 30 Minute Vegetarian Thai Chili
- Coconut Curry Sauce
- Crunchy Asian Salad with Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- 12 oz package of Soba Noodles
- 2 cups chopped cabbage (red and/or green)
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper (sliced or diced)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- toasted sesame seeds (black and/or white)
- 4 tablespoons tamari
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- (optional: 1 tablespoon hot chili oil, or 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes)
- Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions.
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.
- After draining noodles, toss gently with the sauce and prepared vegetables. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
This keeps well in the fridge for a few days and tastes good both warm and cold.
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San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce, Black Bottle, 10 Ounce
COZILIFE Reusable Chopsticks 8-Pairs, Premium Quality Fiberglass Chopsticks for Household and Restaurant, 9 1/2 Inches in length, Kraft Box Package
Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, (no salt added) 9.5-Ounce (Pack of 8)