Noodle salads are a great way to have a meal that contains all the food groups in just one tasty bowl. This weeknight-friendly noodle bowl has chewy, earthy soba noodles, crispy cucumbers, and tender baby kale all tossed in a garlicky, savory sauce built from easy-to-find Asian sauces and condiments. It also comes together lickety-split: In the time it takes to cook the Japanese buckwheat noodles, you can whisk together the dressing, prep the veggies, and, if you're feeling ambitious, poach some eggs for some extra protein and a runny yolk to mix into each bowl.
These noodle bowls are great at room temperature and can last a few days in the refrigerator, making them a nice make-ahead lunch option. While we like the combination of refreshing cucumber and baby kale leaves, you can really use whatever vegetables or greens you like. Try shelled edamame, arugula, baby spinach, or halved cherry tomatoes. Make it vegan by skipping the poached eggs, and keep it gluten-free by using tamari and making sure there's no wheat in the soba.
Garlicky Soba Noodle Bowls
Serves 3 to 4
8 to 9 ounces
dried soba noodles
medium scallions, thinly sliced
soy sauce or tamari
Asian sesame oil
sambal or Asian chile-garlic paste
English cucumber, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
baby kale (about 2 1/2 packed cups)
Poached eggs, for serving (optional)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the soba and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing and vegetables.
Whisk the scallions, vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, sambal, and garlic together in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cucumber and baby kale in a large bowl; set aside.
When the soba is ready, drain in a colander. Run cold water over the noodles until cooled, then drain well again. Transfer the noodles to the bowl of vegetables, add the dressing, and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and top with poached eggs if using.
Gluten-free: To make the recipe gluten-free, make sure the soba only contains buckwheat, and use tamari instead of soy sauce.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.