Looking for a refreshing noodle bowl that can be served cold? Something that is easy to make that you can just grab out of the fridge and eat without any hassle? Then try my Vegan Somen Noodle Salad.
Traditionally a Japanese dish served with fish cakes or even imitation crabmeat, I decided to go fully vegan with this Somen Salad Recipe – and I can tell you that I am NOT disappointed!
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Vegan Somen Noodle Salad Recipe
One thing I’ve learned about cooking is there are no rules – that’s what makes it so great. Yes, there are traditions. Recipes are made a certain way or, at least, the basics remain the same.
But the really cool thing is that there is a lot of room for interpretation. I used to find myself putting off recipes or not trying something new simply because I didn’t have ‘all the right ingredients‘.
You know what? It doesn’t matter! Use what you have or what you can get easily and start cooking!
I’ve been dying to make a nice Somen Salad for the summer, but I didn’t have the Japanese fish cakes and couldn’t find them locally. So, I decided to go totally vegan with this recipe.
Tofu is often used as a common substitute for the fish element when going vegan with this dish, so I thought I’ll just substitute tofu…
Nope – didn’t have tofu either.
I also work full-time (and had no time to get all the proper ingredients). But I didn’t let that stop me! Don’t let that stop you either. Use what you have – no more excuses!
So here is my own interpretation of a Simple Vegan Somen Noodle Salad.
Now let’s get cooking…
What You Need – The Ingredients
- 1 Package Dried Somen Noodles – You can buy Somen Noodles online if you can’t find them in a grocery store near you
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 2 Green Bell Peppers
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Green Annaheim Pepper (I only had this because I grew them in my garden this summer!)
- 1 Jar of Hoisin Sauce
- Sesame seeds (Optional – but well worth the added flavor and texture)
As I said above in the introduction, do NOT worry if you do not have all the same ingredients as me. I am also making a Vegan Somen Salad, whereas a traditional Somen Salad is made with cold fish cakes, which you may want to include.
I am also using Hoisin sauce because I love the way it tastes and I think it really complements the vegetables (and I didn’t have time to make my own dressing). (Note: At the end of this article I will provide a link to a recipe for a great make-it-yourself-dressing for your Somen Salad)
What You Do – Vegan Somen Noodle Salad Recipe Instructions
- Fill a pot with water and set in on your stove top on medium heat until it comes to a slow boil
- Add Dried Somen Noodles to the pot and cook them for 3 minutes – it is VERY important not to overcook these, as somen noodles are very thin and delicate and easy to overcook
- Drain water from pot immediately once 3 minutes is up (careful – the water will be hot!) and transfer the noodles to a self-draining colander like this one
- Immediately run cold water over the noodles in the colander for about 2 minutes to prevent them from overcooking
- Place the cooked noodles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare your vegetables
- Start by peeling (Julienne) your carrots using an easy-to-grip Julienne Y-Peeler, which will create thin, delicate carrot shavings
- De-seed and slice your red and green peppers into smaller, bite-sized chunks using a sharp chef’s knife like this one
- At this point, I simply place my chopped vegetables on a plate so that they are ready to ‘build’ my somen salad once the noodles have been sufficiently chilled
Now, I like my Vegan Somen Salad nice and cold because I find serving and eating it this way is so refreshing, especially during the summer, so I am willing to wait a little while.
However, if you are already getting hungry 30 minutes of chill time for the noodles should be sufficient.
Building Our Vegan Somen Noodle Salad
- Remove covered noodles from refrigerator and place in a serving bowl
- Grab a handful of julienned carrots and drop randomly on top of noodles
- Take a handful of sliced green peppers and do the same
- Grab a handful of sliced red peppers and do the same
- Repeat using whatever vegetable you have decided to include
- Drizzle a generous amount of Hoisin Sauce over the somen noodle/vegetable combination
- Add sesame seeds on top (optional, but if you have sesame seeds you will want to do this)
- Mix the noodles, vegetables, sauce, and sesame seeds (if you added them) thoroughly so that the Hoisin Sauce is evenly distributed throughout the salad and covers the Somen noodles completely (Note: Hoisin sauce is very sticky – it’s used often in Asian sticky wings recipes, so – not only is it delicious – it will stick to the noodles nicely!)
Like Asian-Inspired Summer Salads?
If so, please check out my Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad – it’s so delicious and refreshing and it is a perfect summer appetizer that goes well with any Asian entree.
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