Soba Salad

Source:  Mayumi’s Kitchen Macrobiotic Cookbook

Soba Salad on plate
Soba Salad

Soba Salad

I love cooking like this. Fresh veg, noodles, with a great Asian style sauce and you have a Soba Salad. I love arranging it, I love eating it. Whenever I cook like this, the yin & yang take over in me. I must have the proper balance of crunchy and soft; spicy and mild; sweet and savory. This recipe was adapted from a wonderful macrobiotic cookbook. (Madonna’s old macrobiotic personal chef)
I substitute ingredients on the spot with what my kitchen has to offer. The reason is simple. In my mind I am already craving this meal, so I have to create it, even if I have to substitute a few ingredients. On this particular day, I substituted the soba noodles for rice noodles. Additionally, what I did not have on hand, I more than likely omitted.

I did not have Soba noodles, so I used Rice Noodles. I did not have Tempeh, so I used medium/firm soy, I did not have shoyu, nor mirin so I used my organic soy-sauce. I also did not have the bean sprouts, so I substituted with sweet peas. Yellow pepper, I substituted for zucchini, asparagus I substituted with mushrooms and the purple cabbage, I used white cabbage. Are you getting the picture? You can choose any menu option as long as you have close substitutes. You need the noodles, and at least a choice of 4+ vegetables. You’ll need the bitter and sweet with soy sauce and the sweetness of the rice vinegar, but I added a dash of maple syrup to sweeten a bit more. This is a very yin-yang dish. Soft/crunchy, warm/cold, sweet/sour. Be sure you can achieve the elements. It’s a great meal!

Soba Salad with Asian Style Dressing

Still a wonderful dish that requires little prep time, but delivers a load of creativity and flavor to the table. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Salad, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 people


Mayumi’s recipe:

  • 7 oz soba noodles dry
  • 6 oz tempeh
  • 1 tsp shyou
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1/4 cup spring water
  • 1/2 cup cucumber sliced
  • 1 cup green shiso leaves
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts or mung beans
  • 1/2 medium yellow pepper
  • 2 spears asparagus
  • 3/4 cup purple cabbage sliced fine
  • 1 TBS ginger fine grated
  • 1 to 2 TBS sesame seeds toasted for garnish

My version:

  • 7 oz asian noodles dry: rice, egg or soba
  • 6 oz tofu medium firm, cubed
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar a dash of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1 cup shiso leaves
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 whole zucchini
  • 5 medium mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup cabbage white or purple
  • 3 TBS ginger grated
  • sesame seeds toasted for garnish


  • Make the Asian style dressing: Warm the shoyu, mirin, brown-rice vinegar and dash in a pot for a few minutes over medium heat, being careful not to allow the mixture to boil. Set aside to cool, then add the sesame oil and whisk thoroughly to blend.
  • Boil the soba according to instructions on the package. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water.
  • Fry the tempeh in an oiled pan over medium heat for 2-3 min. on each side. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute or so, then add the shoyu, mirin, and water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Wash and cut all vegetables. Use the aid of a julienner tool to achieve matchstick size vegetables.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. One at a time, blanch the carrot, bean sprouts, bell pepper, asparagus and cabbage in that order.
  • Transfer the soba to serving dishes or bowls. Neatly arrange on it the carrot, bean sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, bell pepper, tempeh, cucumber, myoga, and shiso. (shiso is a herbal plant with flavors of mint, cilantro and cumin. Use what you have that resembles this description if shiso can’t be found)
    Pour the dressing over and top with sesame seeds.

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