These Asian Noodle Salad Jars are a portable, colorful and healthful lunch that will get you through the work week, deliciously.
Can I tell you guys how much I loved these cold Asian noodle salad jars? I was so glad the recipe made four salads, because I totally ate these for lunch all week and never got tired of them! It’s something different than the typical lunchtime salad. All of the veggies stay nice and crunchy since the salad dressing is contained in the bottom of the jar. All of the colors make it a feast for the eyes, too.
Since this post was originally published in 2013, I’ve received LOTS of questions about it, and I’m happy to answer them. I’m providing an “Asian Noodle Salad Recipe FAQ below:
How to make asian noodle salad jars:
When you build salad jars, the dressing goes in the bottom. For these, I put the soba noodles in right above the dressing. That means the noodles basically marinate in the dressing as the jars sit in your fridge, making them super flavorful when you finally un-cap that jar and dump it into a bowl.
The veggies sit on top of the noodles, staying crisp since they’re not covered in dressing. And finally, the rice noodles sit on top, ensuring they don’t get soggy from the dressing at the bottom of the jar. If you want even crispier rice noodles, simple put them in a small ziploc bag, and either squeeze that bag into the jar above the veggies, or pack it separately.
How long does asian noodle salad last:
Up to five days in the fridge. If you’re going to store it on the longer side (3 to 5 days), I highly recommend putting the rice noodles in a ziploc bag, as mentioned above.
Why use peanut butter? Can I substitute something else?
I frequently use peanut butter as an emulsifier in salad dressings. This works especially well in Asian-style salads. The peanut butter allows the oil and vinegar to come together into one harmonious substance. Tahini (sesame seed paste) is another good option in place of the peanut butter.
What is sambal oelek? Can I use sriracha instead?
Sambal oelek is an Asian chile paste made with raw red chiles, vinegar and salt. It’s found in the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores, right near the sriracha. If you can’t find sambal oelek, you can use the same amount of sriracha to make the dressing in this recipe.
Can I make the Asian Noodle Salad dressing more mild?
If you’d like a dressing without any spiciness, you can just leave out the sambal. If you do this, the dressing might be a touch on the sweet side from the peanut butter. So if you’d like, you could add a a teaspoon of ground fresh ginger to balance out the peanut butter flavor a little bit.
Can I add protein to this asian noodle salad?
Sure! I recommend roasted chicken or sautéed shrimp if you’d like to add more protein to this salad. Beware that if you add protein, you may have trouble fitting everything into pint-sized jars. You could use quart jars, or a different container altogether.
I can’t find edamame at my supermarket. What else can I use?
Snow peas or sugar snap peas would be a great substitute. Cut them in half crosswise for easier eating.
Where do I find crunchy rice noodles?
You’ll also find these in the Asian aisle of your supermarket. I used La Choy brand for these asian noodle salad jars. You can also use chow mein noodles.
Is Asian Noodle salad vegan?
As long as you ensure that whatever brand or rice noodles and soba noodles you buy are vegan (they probably are), this cold asian noodle salad recipe is vegan!
For the Salad:
- 4 ounces soba noodles
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shelled edamame, cooked
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crunchy rice noodles
For the Spicy Peanut Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 4 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- In large pot of boiling water, cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water and drain.
- Meanwhile, make Spicy Peanut Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, sambal oelek, soy sauce and vinegar. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated. Stir in sesame seeds.
- Divide Spicy Peanut Dressing equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide soba noodles over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with rice noodles. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 455mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
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