Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

A peanut noodle salad recipe featuring soba noodles punctuated with spring onions, tofu, peanuts, and asparagus. Serve it up family-style on a platter at a potluck, party, or buffet - it holds up perfectly at room temp.

Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad

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.

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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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