If you’re eating gluten-free, pasta night can pose a real challenge. While gluten-free noodles exist, they often lack many of the benefits that whole-grains can add. Until soba noodles, that is. These wheat-free noodles aren’t just a tasty alternative to typical pasta, but they come with a host of health benefits, too. And when they’re smothered in a light and fresh Thai dressing, this soba noodles recipe is hard to resist.
What Are Soba Noodles?
Soba noodles are quite popular in Japan, where soba is the Japanese word for “buckwheat,” which is what the noodles are made from. While you used to be able to only find soba noodles in Japanese restaurants here in the States, they’ve gained popularity over the past few years.
One of the main reasons is that buckwheat (contrary to what the name sounds like!) is actually a seed, so it’s totally gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for those avoiding wheat. It’s got a deep, nutty flavor that’s delicious in stir fry noodle recipes.
You do need to beware when purchasing; some brands will add wheat to their noodles as filler, but pure soba noodles are made only from buckwheat. You can usually find these in the organic section of your local grocery store, at Asian markets or online if they aren’t accessible near you.
What Makes Soba Noodles So Good for You?
So why exactly is this soba noodles recipe so good for you? While noodles aren’t usually considered health foods, you can feel good about adding soba noodles to your shopping list.
For starters, soba noodles are considered a prebiotic. These are the compounds that probiotics, the healthy bacteria in your gut, eat. By getting enough prebiotics in your diet, you’re providing beneficial fuel to the little gut critters that are keeping your gut balanced and happy. In fact, you can think of this duo as your own form of natural antibiotics.
As far as noodles go, soba noodles are also packed with a hefty amount of protein. Two ounces of the stuff provide eight grams of protein. This amino acid boosts energy level, prevents fatigue, builds muscle mass and more. You definitely want enough protein in your diet! Psst: according to the USDA, we should aim roughly for 50 grams a day — a bit more for men and a little less for women. (1)
Finally, soba noodles taste really good! They can be served either hot or cold and, because authentic soba noodles are made from 100 percent buckwheat flour, they’re the perfect noodle for gluten-free eaters.
One serving of this soba noodles recipe (based on four servings) contains approximately the following: (2)
- 284 calories
- 5 grams fat
- 828 mg sodium
- 326 mg potassium
- 48 grams carbs
- 3 grams fiber
- 6 grams sugar
- 10 grams protein
- 53 percent DV vitamin A
- 109 percent DV vitamin C
- 6 percent DV calcium
- 11 percent DV iron
How to Make This Soba Noodles Recipe
This soba noodles salad recipe will turn you into a soba-loving fiend. It’s packed with veggies, like carrots, peppers and cabbage and then finished off with a creamy nut butter dressing. It’s great for busy nights because you can prep the veggies and the dressing ahead of time, and then you can just prepare the noodles and combine when you’re ready to eat.
Start by preparing the dressing. Not only is this soba noodles recipe gluten-free, it’s vegan as well!
We’ll use coconut aminos as the base, which taste just like soy sauce but have no icky GMOs or MSG. Then, we’ll add maple syrup to sweeten things up naturally without sending your blood sugar into a tailspin the way regular table sugar can. Next, sesame oil gives this dressing some Asian flavor.
Adding your favorite nut butter, like almond or cashew, makes the sauce creamy and ups the protein content. Finally, to spice things up, we’ll include some turmeric and ginger. Turmeric is a powerful herb that’s been used for thousands of years to fight disease, while ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. I love adding this combination to meals for a natural immunity boost.
Next, cook the soba noodles according to the package directions and set aside. Because this soba noodle salad can be eaten warm, at room temperature or cold, there’s no need to worry about keeping them warm.
Next, chop up your veggies. This is one colorful salad! Cabbage is a vegetable you might not eat too often, but it’s incredibly good for you. It’s full of vitamin C, helping to keep your immunity up. It also fights inflammation and is low in calories.
Two types of bell peppers are next. They are absolutely packed with antioxidants and vitamins; in fact, one bell pepper contains more than double your daily amount of vitamin C and 75 percent of your day’s vitamin A!
When you’ve chopped and sliced to your heart’s content, toss the soba noodles in a bowl and add the veggies.
Drizzle the dressing over the noodles, stirring to combine so that all the noodles and veggies are coated in the dressing.
Top the noodles off with sliced green onions and serve.
This soba noodle salad makes for a tasty lunch or dinner. With little cooking involved, it’s especially awesome on hot summer nights when you’re not keen on firing up the stove or oven for too long.
Inspired to make other Thai dishes. First, make this Thai iced tea to go with these soba noodles, then try these delicious recipes:
- 1 package buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon nut butter of choice
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Make the dressing and set aside.
- Cook buckwheat soba noodles according to package and set aside.
- Place the soba noodles in a bowl and add the chopped vegetables.
- Add in the dressing and mix well.
- Serve topped with sliced green onions.