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Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Noodle Salad

Soba Noodle Salad with julienned cucumber and sesame-ginger scallion sauce is light, refreshing and delicious! It’s the best summer fare for a light vegan lunch or dinner!

top down view of bowl with serving of soba noodle bowl with cucumber and sesame-ginger scallion sauce with items surrounding.

Did you know that buckwheat noodles (aka soba) are not related to wheat at all? They’re actually seeds, making them 100% gluten-free while containing a fair amount of fiber and protein. Soba noodles are nutty in flavor and perfect for cold noodle salads!

I love this soba noodle salad’s delicious combination of flavors and textures. It’s a little bit of everything—sweet, spicy, salty, noodly, and refreshing all in one!

I’ve been making this soba salad for years, and it’s always amazing and hits the spot. It’s a super easy recipe to make, and I think you’ll love it as much as I do!

If you love soba noodles, be sure to check out this Soba Noodle BowlSoba Noodle Stir FrySoba Miso Soup or Soba Noodle Soup. They are all quick, easy, and delicious!

top down view of ingredients used to make sesame-ginger scallion soba noodle salad with cucumbers.

Ingredient Notes

In this cold soba salad recipe, buckwheat noodles are combined with cool and refreshing cucumber noodles and tossed with a flavorful sesame-ginger scallion sauce for a light and delicious vegan lunch or dinner.

Here is everything you will need:

  • Soba noodles – My favorite is these King Soba Noodles from Amazon (affiliate links).
  • Cucumber – Use regular, English, or Persian varieties.
  • Cilantro – Adds herbaceousness but can be omitted if you do not care for cilantro.
  • Lime – Freshly squeezed lime juice is best.
  • Scallions (green onions) – Use the pale green and white parts only.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger is best.
  • Sesame seeds – Use white, black, or toasted.
  • Rice wine vinegar – Unseasoned is preferred.
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Toasted sesame oil – You can use regular sesame oil, but it will not be as flavorful as nutty-flavored toasted sesame oil.
  • Tamari – Substitute with soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Namo Shoyu.
  • Red pepper flakes
side angle view of freshly mixed soba noodles with cucumber noodles and sesame ginger sauce in a glass bowl with items surrounding.

How To Make Soba Noodle Salad

This recipe is super easy to make!

  • Make sesame-ginger scallion sauce. Whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, lime juice, and toasted sesame oil in a small bowl.
side by side photos of cooked soba noodles and julienned cucumber noodles.
  • Cook soba noodles. Prepare the buckwheat noodles according to package directions. Depending on the package, they cook up fast in about 6 – 8 minutes.
  • Make cucumber noodles. Using a julienne tool, prepare your cucumber ‘noodles’. You can also create ribbons if you prefer.
top down view of freshly mixed soba noodles with cucumber noodles and sesame ginger sauce in a glass bowl.
  • Assemble soba salad. In a medium bowl or pot, the noodles are cooked in, combine the noodles, cucumber noodles, 3/4 of the sauce, and cilantro, gently mixing to combine (shown above).

Now the soba salad is ready. Enjoy the flavor sensation!

Salad Tips

  • Rinse the noodles. Be sure to rinse the soba noodles well after cooking to ensure they cool down and stop cooking. Otherwise, you will have a mushy, unusable mess on your hands!
  • Use thin cucumbers. The thinner the cucumber, the easier it is to work with when using a julienne tool, as they will fit the width better. A couple of Persian cucumbers would be great!
  • Meal prep: This soba salad is great the next day, making it perfect for meal prep. That’s if you have any leftovers!

Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions

  • Oil-Free: Omit the oil in the marinade and use extra tamari, rice vinegar, or water instead. It won’t quite have the same robust toasted sesame flavor, but it will still be delicious!
  • Gluten-Free: To keep the marinade gluten-free, use tamari, namo shoyu, or coconut aminos. Make sure to use 100% buckwheat noodles, as some brands contain a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour.
top down view of bowl with serving of soba noodle bowl with cucumber and sesame-ginger scallion sauce with chopsticks.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 – 4 days.

Serving Suggestions

top down view of bowl with serving of soba noodle bowl with cucumber and sesame-ginger scallion sauce with chopsticks.

More Asian-Inspired Recipes!

If you try this soba noodle salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

Soba Noodle Bowl with cool, refreshing cucumber noodles and 100% buckwheat noodles paired with a sweet and spicy ginger scallion sauce, makes a light and healthy lunch or dinner!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 6 min
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: boil, mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Asian


  • 1 package (8 or 9 oz.) soba noodles
  • 1 large English cucumber, julienned
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • lime wedges

Ginger Scallion Sauce

  • 3/4 cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 23 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 12 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Namo Shoyu
  • 12 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha, optional


Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Soba noodles: Cook soba noodles according to package. I recommend salting the water well to really bring out the flavor (I would not usually recommend this but if using 100% buckwheat noodles they will benefit from this…at least I think so). Once done, rinse the soba noodles under cool running water to cool them down and stop them from cooking, or they will turn mushy.

Cucumber: In the meantime, prepare your cucumber using a julienne tool. If your cucumber is really long, you can cut it in half before you julienne it if you like. You can also spiralize if you have a spiralizer. Feel free to cut them into 1/4 inch x 1 1/2 inch matchsticks pieces if you don’t have a julienne tool.

Combine: Once noodles are rinsed, return to the pot they cooked in, add the cucumber, cilantro and about 3/4 of the sauce, toss well.

Serve: In a single serving dish, add 1/2 of the noodle mixture, top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce, and salt & pepper to taste. Add as much lime juice as you like. I especially loved the lime and used about 2 juicy ones for myself.

Serve warm or cold.

Serves 3, or 2 generously.


A serving of cubed tofu pairs well here, adding more protein.

I specify English cucumbers here but 2 – 3 Persian cucumbers will work too. Look for thinner cucumbers as they are the easiest to work with when using a julienne tool.

You can use regular sesame seed oil, but toasted sesame seed oil will yield the most distinct and delicious flavor!

Adjust any ingredient in the sauce to suit your taste.

Oil-Free: Simply omit the oil in the marinade, using extra tamari, rice vinegar or water in its place. It won’t have the same robust toasted sesame flavor, but will still be delicious!

Gluten-Free: For the marinade, stick with tamari, namo shoyu or coconut aminos to keep it GF.

Soba Noodles: You can purchase 100% buckwheat noodles by Eden Buckwheat Noodles or King Soba Noodles from Amazon (affiliate links).

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  1. Bob Molzahn says:

    This recipe is fantastic and have made it many times! However, prep time is more like 30 minutes if not more. When mixing the final product I sprinkle in the sesame seeds and green onion separately with the cucumber before the sauce is added and mixed in.

  2. I love this! It’s become a new go-to recipe, I eat it week after week. It’s super flavor but the best part is, is that I pretty much have all the ingredients at home already. Or, it’s a pretty quick trip to grab a cucumber or some green onions if need be.

  3. This looks amazing. I should probably make this for dinner this week.

  4. thank you so much for gracing our earth with this recipe. my life will never be the same. this is literally the most delicious soba noodle dish i have ever tasted. ✨✨

  5. Could I sub spaghetti noodles?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Claire! Yes, you sub with any type of long spaghetti noodle and even rice noodle will work. Enjoy!

  6. I didn’t have sesame oil or sesame seeds; so I used tahini instead. It tasted wonderful. It could make a good oil free option.

  7. Delicious! Great meal for a hot summer night. Garlic is shown in the pic but it’s not in the ingredients list, so I used two cloves. Will definitely make again.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Kim! So glad you loved it! I’ve updated the ingredient list with the garlic. Thanks for pointing it out. Cheers :)

  8. Amazing! Just made this for lunch and blown away by all the flavors. So easy too!

  9. This is really wonderful. I just used a potato peeler on Japanese cucumbers – no issue with the seeds, just gave me nice, fat noodle ribbons. The lime at the end gives it the perfect hit of acid. Will definitely be repeating.

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