Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles

BY : PUBLISHED : April 5th, 2022 UPDATED: May 11th, 2022

Simple and delicious garlic sesame soba noodles in 20 minutes. Enjoy them warm or as a cold sesame noodle salad with the veggies of your choice! It’s fast, healthy, and requires minimal effort for a foolproof, gluten-free, meat-free mid-week meal!

completed Sesame Soba Noodles in a white bowl with chop sticks

Quick, Simple, + Versatile Sesame Soba Noodles Recipe

On days when we want a quick, simple, low fuss meal on our tables in under 20 minutes, noodles and stir-fries often come to the rescue. We’ve previously shared recipes for a simple veggie chow mein, udon edamame stir fry, and a shiitake-asparagus-tofu stir fry. Now, it’s the turn of these garlic sesame soba noodles!

With just a handful of pantry staples and a couple of extras, this sesame noodle recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and makes for a delicious last-minute midweek meal. Even better, with several ways to adapt the recipe, you can enjoy it as a side or main, warm with all your favorite stir-fry veggies, or as a cold sesame noodle salad with crisp veggies like shredded carrots, cabbage, and bell peppers. It’s up to you!

What Are Soba Noodles?

Soba noodles are a type of long noodle made from buckwheat flour (soba is simply the Japanese name for buckwheat). Buckwheat noodles are darker than regular wheat noodles and have an earthy, subtly nutty flavor. Buckwheat is also naturally gluten-free - though some varieties of the noodle include wheat flour.  

Even better, buckwheat noodles pack in additional fiber and protein over regular noodles. They also boast several health benefits thanks to several healthful plant compounds, antioxidants, and numerous vitamins and minerals. These include being anti-inflammatory, blood sugar control, improving heart health, and even cancer prevention.

When combined with a simple, savory, zingy ginger garlic sesame noodles sauce, this vegan soba noodle recipe is a delicious and foolproof way to pack in nutrients. You might also enjoy this warm soba salad with cucumbers or chap chae-style soba noodles.

The Ingredients

This vegan soba noodles recipe requires a handful of pantry staples and just a few extras, with plenty of opportunity for versatility.

  • Soba noodles: Use 100% buckwheat noodles (which are gluten-free) when possible, as some versions contain wheat.
  • Aromatics: These aromatic Japanese soba noodles rely on a combination of garlic and fresh ginger.
  • Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil packs in tons of flavor and shouldn’t be substituted with another oil.
  • Soy sauce: Use dark or light/ reduced-sodium soy sauce. For a gluten-free option, use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Chili paste: You can use chili paste, chili sauce, sriracha, chili garlic paste, etc. Adjust the amount to taste or omit it entirely if you want mild sesame sauce noodles.
  • Vegetables: We used yu choy. Bok choy or broccolini would also work or refer to the FAQs for more ideas.
  • To garnish: We used sliced green onion/scallions (the white and green parts) and sesame seeds (raw or toasted. We prefer the latter).
ingredients for Sesame Soba Noodles measured out in small bowls against a white surface

Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations

There are several simple ways to adapt this garlic sesame noodle recipe, including:

  • Chili: To increase the spice in the sesame ginger noodles, you could add some red pepper flakes or chili oil to make delicious chili garlic noodles.
  • An acid: Add a small splash of either lemon or lime juice or rice wine vinegar to add zing and depth to the sesame oil noodles.
  • Sugar: A pinch of sugar or maple syrup helps to balance the flavors, especially when an acid is added.
  • Protein: Easily boost the protein in this garlic sesame noodles recipe with the addition of tofu (crispy or puffed), tempeh, or your favorite meat alternative like ‘chicken strips.’
  • Tahini: Add some tahini (or possibly peanut butter) for a creamier sauce.
  • Nori: While this isn’t cheap, if you have some at home, some shredded seaweed is a delicious garnish for the healthy soba noodles.
  • Veggies: There are plenty of quick-cooking stir-fried veggies you could add to the sesame noodles recipe. Check the FAQs for all our top recommendations.

How to Make Ginger and Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles?

  • 1) First, cook the soba noodles according to their package instructions (this usually takes between 5-7 minutes).

Immediately after cooking them, drain and rinse the noodles. This is important to remove excess starches and stop the noodles from clumping up.

  • 2) Meanwhile, prepare the soba sauce. To do so, first finely mince/grate the ginger and garlic. Then, combine them with the sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili paste, and whisk together.
sauce for Sesame Soba Noodles in a white bowl against a white background
  • 3) In a skillet, add the chopped yu choy (or veggies of your choice) and allow it to wilt slightly.
veggies in a black pan against a white background
  • 4) Then, add the noodles to the pan along with the sauce and sliced green onions and cook for a minute, mixing well.
  • 5) Finally, serve garnished with sesame seeds (and optionally some more green onions). Enjoy!

The Cold Soba Recipe:

After cooking the soba noodles, drain them and place them in a bowl with cold water or rinse under running cold water.

Then, toss with the sauce and any raw veggies and enjoy the cold sesame noodles immediately.  

FAQs

Can I substitute the soba noodles?

Yes, this sesame oil soba sauce would also make delicious sesame garlic ramen noodles, udon, rice noodles, vermicelli, etc.

What vegetables can I add to the sesame noodles recipe?

You can add any of your favorite stir fry vegetables to these vegan garlic sesame noodles, including:

Broccoli
Broccolini
Snow peas
Green beans
Spinach
Peas
Shredded carrot
Shredded cabbage
Bell peppers
Bean sprouts
Water chestnuts
Zucchini
Mini corn or sweetcorn
Mushrooms

You could also use a fresh or frozen prepared ‘stir fry vegetables’ combination to add to the garlic sesame noodles. Plus, if you plan to make a cold sesame noodle salad, you could also use raw veggies like avocado, sugar snap peas, radish, etc.

When adding any vegetables, try to choose veggies with similar cooking times and chop them into even pieces, to cook evenly. Stir-fry them while the noodles cook.

How to cook soba noodles?

The package should contain instructions. However, soba noodles are generally cooked in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until al dente. Then, drain them well and rinse to remove any excess starch (to avoid them sticking).

Do I need to rinse the soba noodles?

Yes, if you don’t, they clump up quickly after being drained. Rinsing will remove any clinging starches and leave you with individual noodles. Tossing a small amount of oil into the noodles will also help reduce clumping (in this case, the oil in the sauce).

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Don’t overcook the noodles: They are best enjoyed while al dente, with a slight chewiness.
  • Rinse the cooked noodles: This can help remove excess starches from the cooked soba noodles and avoid a clumpy mess.
  • Toast the sesame seeds: This simple step packs in a ton of extra flavor. Add the seeds to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and golden.
  • Adjust to taste: We all have different levels of preferred garlic, ginger, spice, saltiness, etc. So tweak the amounts to your liking.
  • Soba noodles vary: Different brands have different results, and some even contain wheat, so read the ingredients list and feel free to experiment with several brands.
completed Sesame Soba Noodles in a white bowl with chop sticks

How to Serve?

Once the sesame soba noodles are ready, enjoy them as a simple side dish or main. Top up the dish with a protein, dumplings, and/or veggies for more of a ‘fully loaded’ noodle bowl or serve alongside simple sides like this edamame salad.

How to Store?

You can store any leftover sesame soba noodles in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Enjoy the leftovers as a chilled soba noodle salad OR reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Vegan Sesame Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Sesame Soba Noodles in a white bowl with chop sticks

Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles

Stephanie Lundstrom
Enjoy these Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles warm or as a cold sesame noodle salad with the veggies of your choice! It’s fast, healthy, and requires minimal effort for a foolproof, gluten-free, meat-free mid-week meal!
5 from 50 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 3 servings
Calories 327 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of soba noodles
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil
  • cup of soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili paste (or to taste)
  • A few stalks of yu choy (or a green veggie of choice like broccolini or bok choy), chopped up a bit
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
  • In a standard-size bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili paste.
  • In a large pot or saucepan, add yu choy (or vegetable of choice) to wilt slightly. Then add cooked noodles to this pan along with sauce and green onions. Cook about 1 minute, mixing together all elements.
  • Top with sesame seeds.

Video

Notes

Variations:
  • Chili: To increase the spice in the sesame ginger noodles, you could add some red pepper flakes or chili oil to make delicious chili garlic noodles.
  • An acid: Add a small splash of either lemon or lime juice or rice wine vinegar to add zing and depth to the sesame oil noodles.
  • Sugar: A pinch of sugar or maple syrup helps to balance the flavors, especially when an acid is added.
  • Protein: Easily boost the protein in this garlic sesame noodles recipe with the addition of tofu (crispy or puffed), tempeh, or your favorite meat alternative like ‘chicken strips.’
  • Tahini: Add some tahini (or possibly peanut butter) for a creamier sauce.
  • Nori: While this isn’t cheap, if you have some at home, some shredded seaweed is a delicious garnish for the healthy soba noodles.
  • Veggies: There are plenty of quick-cooking stir-fried veggies you could add to the sesame noodles recipe. Check the FAQs for all our top recommendations.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 14gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 2049mgPotassium: 319mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 643IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Stephanie Lundstrom

View all posts by Stephanie Lundstrom

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Janaye says

    5 stars
    These noodles look so good!

    • Andrea White says

      So flavorful and delicious!

  2. Michelle Cehn says

    the photos are gorgeous!!

    • Andrea White says

      Alfonso is the GOAT!

  3. Teodora Grujic says

    This is one of my favorites! So delicious!

    • Andrea White says

      So flavorful and delicious!

  4. Gina House says

    I've made these 3 times in the past week. They are amazing! I also added cubes of smoked tofu to it and my husband is in love. He's asked for more every day! 😀

    • Andrea White says

      Love that! So glad you guys are enjoying this one 🙂

  5. Tina G says

    This looks incredible! Love all of the veggies.

    • Andrea White says

      The flavor makes eating veggies so easy!

  6. Amanda Meth says

    GORGEOUS photos! This looks so good!

    • Andrea White says

      Aesthetic and delicious!

  7. Oscar says

    Loved all the flavours in this easy recipe. Garlic and ginger is my favourite combo and the noodles were delicious. Great recipe.

    • Andrea White says

      Definitely a nice combo!

  8. Rob says

    This looks so easy and delicious! Love all the additional vegetable options and looking forward to making these noodles!

    • Andrea White says

      Let us know what you think of it! 🙂

  9. Sara says

    This recipe was beyond delicious! Super flavorful and easy to prepare. We will definitely be making this again soon!

    • Andrea White says

      Awesome! I love the flavor too. So so good!

  10. Andrea White says

    So delicious!

  11. Nancy Wu says

    healthy and low carbs!! perfect!

    • Andrea White says

      Easy and delicious!

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