Bookmark this udon noodle salad with peanut dressing for summer. It’s a hot weather one-bowl meal that requires minimal cooking and can feature whatever veg you have on-hand.
Cold udon noodle salad has been my summertime go-to for years. It’s the perfect hot weather dinner since it requires minimal actual cooking (just boiling noodles) – i.e. you won’t turn your kitchen into the fiery pits of Mordor.
This salad gives you everything you need – carbs, protein, a couple of servings of veg, and healthy fats – all in an easy one-bowl format. It’s super convenient, great for picnics, and leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day. Last but not least, this concept lends itself well to variations based on whatever vegetables you wanna add.
Ingredient Notes + Substitutions
- Udon. These thick Japanese noodles are my go-to for this salad. Look for fresh, vacuum-sealed udon in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. You can buy dried udon, too, but they’re not as chewy/plump. If you can’t find udon, use ramen, soba, or another Asian noodle.
- Edamame. Frozen shelled edamame adds protein to the salad. You can substitute it with peas or skip it altogether.
- The Vegetables. I love the combo of raw cucumbers, bell peppers, and cabbage here. You can sub in napa cabbage, radishes, blanched/sautéed broccoli, carrots, thinly sliced spinach or kale, snow peas, and/or spiralized zucchini.
- Peanut Sauce. This simple homemade sauce is made with peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. If you have a peanut allergy, sub in another nut butter (like almond or cashew), or use sunflower seed butter.
Cold Udon Noodle Salad Step-by-Step
Prep the Vegetables: While the water for the noodles comes to a boil, slice up your vegetables. Cut them as thinly as possible to match the shape of the noodles.
Make the Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate; the sauce will seem lumpy at first. Then gradually add the water until the sauce reaches a pourable consistency.
Cook the Noodles: Cook the noodles according to package directions. In the last minute of cooking, toss the edamame into the pot so it has a chance to fully defrost. Then drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water, making sure to separate the strands with your fingers to wash off all the starch.
Combine Everything: In the largest bowl you have, combine the vegetables, cold noodles, and peanut dressing. Using tongs or your hands, toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed before serving.
Pro Tips for the Best Udon Salad
- Slice the vegetables as thinly as possible. The goal is to match them to the size of the noodles.
- Don’t overcook the noodles. Or you’ll end up with a mushy, chalky salad.
- Rinse the noodles well. Be sure to wash the noodles thoroughly so all the excess starch is rinsed off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Apart from the ones in the recipe card below (cucumber, bell pepper, cabbage), you can use napa cabbage, radishes, blanched/sautéed broccoli, carrots, thinly sliced spinach or kale, snow peas, and/or spiralized zucchini.
If you have a peanut allergy, use another nut butter (like almond or cashew), or sunflower seed butter.
Yep! The salad keeps well in the fridge for up to two days.
More summer favorites…
- Vegan Creamed Corn
- Warm Potato Salad with Green Beans
- Larb-Inspired Lettuce Cups
- Dairy-Free Tzatziki Sauce
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag @thenewbaguette on Instagram with your creation.Print
For the Salad
- 1 pound fresh udon noodles* (see note below)
- 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame (or peas)
- 2 small cucumbers, partially peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 sliced scallions, for serving (or chopped cilantro or basil)
- Sesame seeds, for serving
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter*
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar*
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed, grated, or minced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles.
- Meanwhile, prep the vegetables.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add 1/4 cup water and whisk vigorously until smooth.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook them. 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 the excess starch.
- In a large bowl, combine the noodles and edamame with the peanut sauce and vegetables. Mix with tongs until the noodles are evenly coated.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds before serving.
- Look for fresh, vacuum-sealed udon in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. You can buy dried udon, too, but they’re not as chewy/plump. If you can’t find udon, use ramen, soba, or another Asian noodle. If using dried noodles, use 8 ounces instead of 1 pound.
- I recommend crunchy peanut butter here for the texture. If you have a peanut allergy, sub in another nut butter (like almond or cashew), or use sunflower seed butter.
- If you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar, use regular rice vinegar (or lime/lemon juice) plus a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 14.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 40.7 g
- Fiber: 4.3 g
- Protein: 10.4 g
Keywords: udon, noodle, salad, peanut, asian