This cold peanut noodle salad is all about my favorite Asian flavors, like sesame oil, edamame, and kimchi. Vegan and easy to make, it’s the perfect summer dinner.
August in NYC is crazy hot and humid. For the uninitiated, it’s the type of heat that hits you in the face as soon as you step outside, stifles your breathing, and makes you sweat immediately. Case in point: having some cold dinner recipes in your proverbial recipe box is key for survival.
This cold peanut noodle salad is one of our go-to’s this time of year. It’s got slippery brown rice noodles, juicy cucumbers, and crunchy bell peppers, protein-rich edamame, creamy peanut dressing, and funky kimchi. It’s a light yet satisfying one-bowl meal.
How to Make This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
Start by cooking your noodles according to package directions. In the last minute of cooking, toss in the shelled edamame (frozen peas work too). Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly under running water. Be sure to separate the noodles with your fingers to rinse off any excess starch – this will prevent them from sticking together.
While the noodles do their thing, make the peanut sauce by whisking together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fresh garlic and ginger, as well as some water to thin it out. If you want to make the sauce spicy, add some Sriracha, red pepper flakes, or chili oil.
Then, chop up the cucumbers, pepper, scallions, and kimchi, and place them in the largest bowl you have (you’ll want a roomy place to toss everything in the sauce). Lastly, combine the noodles and edamame with the vegetables and peanut sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Noodles: Feel free to use virtually any noodles you have: rice noodles, soba, lo mein, ramen, or udon. With that said, not all noodles are created equal and I always recommend whole food-based varieties, like brown rice noodles instead of white or 100% buckwheat soba.
- Edamame: Look for organic shelled edamame in the frozen vegetables or Asian foods aisles (near the dumplings). Frozen peas work just as well.
- Seasoned Rice Vinegar: This is rice vinegar with salt and sugar added to it. As a substitute, use plain rice vinegar or lemon/lime juice + a splash of maple syrup/honey.
- Cucumbers: Any cukes will work here – Persian, Kirby, or English.
- Other vegetables: Besides cukes and peppers, you can use carrots, radishes, cabbage, and/or chopped baby spinach.
Check out these other salads…
- Bean Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes and Avocado
- Summer Rice Salad with Pesto
- Warm Farro Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Parsley Pesto
- Massaged Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing and Crispy Chickpeas
Cold peanut noodle salad is a light yet satisfying one-bowl meal for hot summer days. Feel free to sub in whatever fresh veg you have on-hand, like carrots, radishes, cabbage, or bok choy.
- 8 ounces brown rice noodles (see below for substitutions)
- 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame (or peas)
- 1/2 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed or grated
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 2 small cucumbers, partially peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cups sliced scallions (or chopped cilantro or basil)
- 1/2 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
- Sesame seeds, for garnishing
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles and cook according to package directions. Toss in the edamame in the last minute of cooking.
- Drain the noodles and rinse under cold running water while separating the strands with your fingers to wash off any excess starch.
- While the noodles are cooking, make the sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1 crushed garlic clove until completely smooth. Then add 1/4 water water and whisk vigorously until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the noodles and edamame with the peanut sauce, cucumbers, peppers, and scallions. Mix with tongs until the noodles are evenly coated.
- Transfer to a serving platter and top with chopped kimchi and sesame seeds. (Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 4 days).
- You can use virtually any noodles you have: rice noodles, soba, lo mein, ramen, or udon. Even fettuccine will work in a pinch.
- This is rice vinegar with salt and sugar added to it. As a substitute, use plain rice vinegar OR lemon/lime juice + a splash of maple syrup/honey.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 480
Keywords: peanut salad, noodles, vegan, cucumber, sesame