Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad

Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

I've been trying to cook from the archives a bit lately. There are so many recipes that I'll cook on repeat for months, and then neglect when a new favorite makes an appearance. There are many, many recipes in my life, and to those that get sidelined on occasion, rest assured, I still love you. I dusted off this lazy day peanut noodle salad for lunch yesterday. It's a perfect, colorful bowl of peanut-slathered soba noodles punctuated with spring onions, tofu, more peanuts, and asparagus. A total crowd-pleaser, and makes a great lunch in a jar if you need a new option for work or travel.

Peanut Noodle Salad RecipePeanut Noodle Salad RecipePeanut Noodle Salad Recipe

When I initially wrote the recipe, I mentioned how when the San Francisco skies are clear, bright, and blue I like to pop into Greens Restaurant where in addition to table service, they have a robust take-out menu. I usually grab a tofu sandwich on seeded bread, a side of their famous black bean chili and then walk the short distance to a nearby picnic bench where I enjoy the sailboats, seagulls, and sunshine. As I was reaching for my sandwich I noticed a stack of containers packed with peanut-slathered noodles. It had been ages since I'd enjoyed a good peanut noodle salad, so I decided to throw one together myself. I apparently couldn't be bothered to walk to the store for ingredients (hence the lazy title), and tapped my pantry for inspiration.

This makes a big chunky batch of peanut noodle salad. Serve it up family-style on a platter at a potluck, party, or buffet - it holds up nicely at room temp.

Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

I used asparagus in this version, but you can use any of your favorite in-season vegetables. This time of year peas, asparagus, and carrots all make great additions to the noodles and peanut sauce.

1 8 ounce package soba noodles
1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed then cut into 1/2-inch segments

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup hot water

1 small bunch of spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peanuts
12 ounces extra-firm (organic) tofu, cut into small cubes (feel free to heat the tofu in a skillet if you like, but cold is good too)

herb flowers, optional

Big a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the soba noodles per package instructions.In the last minute or so of cooking toss in the asparagus. Drain noodles and asparagus, run under cold water for about a minute to stop cooking, and set aside.

Make the peanut dressing by combining the peanut butter, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and a big pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Thin with hot water - the amount you'll need depends on the original consistency of your peanut butter. I like it the consistency of a thin (non-Greek) yogurt. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed.

Gently toss the noodles, asparagus, spring onions, peanuts, and tofu with a big splash of the dressing. I reserve a bit of each ingredient to sprinkle on top of the serving platter to make it look nice. Add more dressing a bit at a time, until the salad is dressed to your liking, reserving any extra for another use. Taste, sprinkle with more salt (if needed), and a few herb flowers if you have them on hand, and enjoy!

Serves 6 - 8.

Prep time: 7 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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  • I just finished writing a post about how it's still winter in Chicago, and there you go picnicking with your delicious-sounding food! I'm so jealous! :) This recipe sounds fantastic and perfect for lunch at work. I love your blog!! Thanks!

  • This is perfect pantry-raid food. I think I'll make it tonight. Court: I buy brown rice vinegar at a local Korean supermarket. Any Asian market would probably have it. (Although, I have to buy brown rice flour at my local health food store, the Asian markets don't seem to have any call for it.)

    Rhonda Smart
  • this looks delicious! i have a version of a that calls for thinning the sauce out with brewed, strong tea. normally when i make it, i toss in mung bean sprouts and shredded cucumber with the soba, but the asparagus looks especially good. thank you

  • Court: Brown rice vinegar can be found at natural foods stores like Whole Foods or specialty stores like Trader Joes. You may even order it online through a company like Eden Foods (which makes the brown rice vinegar I use). I make a similar dish, but use udon or rice noodles. Something about the soba texture irks me.

  • I have been looking for a great noodle salad recipe to bring to an upcoming potluck and it looks like this is it! It looks yummy. Thanks.

  • I love noodle salads! I made a Vietnamese-style one last week with tons of fresh herbs and some cashews. Anything with peanut sauce is a winner in my book.

  • i love peanut noodles and am always on the lookout for new recipes. yet another gets added to the list! i just used spring onions for the first time the other day and loved them, so i'm excited to use them in this!

    michelle @ TNS
  • I love the creamy, nutty flavor you get from peanut butter in a sauce like this. Being a noodle dish makes it easy to mix it up with whatever veggies are on hand and in season. Looks delicious!

  • When I was in high school I used to make something very similar to this. Of course, I was at the mercy of whatever was in my parents' fridge/ there were no veggies or tofu involved, and I usually had to use linguini or some other Italian noodles. It was so easy and good, though!

  • Feels like spring time.... Tasty and delicious, It won't take long till I try!

  • This looks fabulous! I love peanut dishes; can't wait to try.

  • I'd like to be in San Francisco right now... These recipe looks so refreshing. We have wonderful asparagus at the market now so I will be making it!

  • Thanks for the reminder about peanut-sesame noodles. I've been meaning to make these for a while. Also good with sprinkled sesame seeds (black ones look cooler if you can find them) either instead of or in addition to the chopped peanuts. If a non-veg is anti-tofu you could substitute grilled or broiled chicken or maybe even green soybeans. Someone also recently wrote on another post that soba noodles are a complete protein so you don't even need an additional one. Like Heidi said, this is also great with julienned or shredded carrots and I think this is an any-time-of year dish because it can be eaten cold or warm. If you have it, cilantro makes a good garnish, too. OK, that's enough.

  • Looks good! I love noodle dishes and am always on the lookout for new ones. I wonder whether this would be nice with munchy seeds instead of peanuts.... I think I'd have to adapt this a bit, as I don't care for tofu, but maybe quartered hard-boiled eggs instead? Next Saturday's lunch is beginning to take shape...

    Mrs Redboots
  • The peanut butter and noodle combo hasn't exactly hit Scandinavia yet... Honestly, I must admit I've never heard about it before. But as it is reather rainy here these days, I don't think this will hit the menu chez moi just now, but I'll keep it in mind for when our regional asparagus begin to hit the markets.

  • oh I know that restaurant :-) it's a Fort Manson, isn't it? Great salad combinations.

  • I love how you make everything look so effort-less. Like "oh i just threw this together" Amazing! Teddy

  • Yum! I like my peanut soba salad with crunchy peanut butter, although your 1/2 cup of peanuts probably equalized that. Where does one find brown rice vinegar?

  • Yum! Now that's my kind of airplane food. Your seatmates will be jealous.

  • This looks perfect for the first springtime lunches of the season!

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