Warm Soba Salad with Sunomono-Style Cucumbers

  • Servings : 2
  • Prep Time : 5m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 20m

This simple, refreshing salad makes a great side dish on a hot summer night, or a perfect light lunch. Soba noodles are just awesome – delicious, healthy, and incredibly quick-cooking – and they’re paired here with fresh zucchini (wilted slightly by the heat of the noodles), scallions, cilantro, and lightly pickled cucumbers in the Japanese sunomono style for a quick, healthy, oil-free Asian noodle salad.

This recipe makes a pretty decent amount of pickled cucumbers – probably more than you’d want to use in the salad – but they’re great to have around to snack on, or add to salads or sandwiches, and they keep in the fridge for a week or two, so there shouldn’t be any real problem.


  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and sliced into thin half-moons
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 3 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)


Step 1

Put the cucumber in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the hot water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cucumber, making sure to submerge as much cucumber as possible. Set aside for at least 15 minutes (though ideally for like 3 days).

Step 2

Put the zucchini in a large bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the soba noodles and boil for 3-4 minutes (unless your package directions tell you otherwise) until tender but with a little bite. Drain, then, while hot, add to the zucchini and toss. Add as many cucumbers as you like, along with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar brine. Add the soy sauce and toss to coat. Add the scallions and cilantro, and toss. Taste, and add more vinegar, soy sauce, or salt as necessary. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds if using, and serve warm.

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