This Warm Soba Salad tossed with Sunomono-Style Cucumbers is a quick, healthy, and oil-free salad that will warm your belly up! The silky soba noodles and crisp zucchini and cucumbers coated in an umami-rich dressing from the Japanese-inspired cucumber dish are absolutely delicious!
1medium cucumberpeeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and sliced into thin half-moons
½ cup hot water
¼cup rice vinegar
1teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon table salt
3 ounces dried soba noodles
1 medium zucchini juliennedor 2 small ones
½tablespoon soy sauce
2stemsscallionsthinly sliced on the diagonal
¼ cup cilantroroughly chopped
1 ½teaspoon sesame seeds optional
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).
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.
You can make the Sunomono-Style Cucumbers ahead of time! For best results, soak them in the marinade for 3 days ideally. This is enough time for the cucumber to really absorb full-fledge flavors.
Do not over-cook your Soba noodles. Leaving them boiling even for a few seconds than recommended will turn them into a gummy mess. So do not leave the pot unattended.
Make sure to toss the veggies and seasonings quickly so the noodles do not cool down. This Soba Salad with Cucumbers is best served warm!