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This vegan somen salad is perfect for when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, or when you just don’t have time to cook. It’s delicious, nourishing, and comes together in just under 20 minutes!
Somen salad is my favorite go-to summer potluck dish because it’s so easy to make in bulk and is super refreshing and delicious on a hot day. With the weather getting warming and summer coming soon, I thought it was the perfect time to share this recipe. Traditionally, somen salad is made with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, imitation crab, egg, green onions, and sesame seeds. However, I decided to add in extra veggies (for #extrahealth) and tofu for plant-based protein.
This somen salad is made from 100% plant-based ingredients and is perfect for a light, healthy, and satisfying lunch, or as a side salad with a main for dinner. Chewy noodles, fresh veggies, and tofu scramble combine with a tangy Asian vinaigrette in this Japanese noodle-based salad.
To make this salad you need 9 basic ingredients:
- somen noodles, or you can sub rice noodles for gluten-free
- lettuce, my family uses iceberg but I usually opt for romaine or green leaf as they have more nutrients
- carrot, I like to spiralize mine so they’re more noodle-like, but if you don’t have a spiralizer you can just slice them thinly or use a vegetable peeler
- cherry tomatoes, I like to add tomatoes for more color, but you can leave them out if you want
- cabbage, make sure to shred your cabbage very thinly, and you can even very lightly steam it to make it a little softer. Or you can replace with thinly sliced cucumber (which is traditionally used — but I was out of cucumber when I took the photos)
- green onion, for extra Asian flavor
- firm tofu, I like to make it into a tofu scramble to mimic scrambled eggs, but you can also just cube it
- turmeric, optional for making the tofu more of a yellow, egg color
- sesame seeds, for garnish and a little extra nutty flavor
The dressing is a simple 5-ingredient vinegar-based dressing:
- rice vinegar
- soy sauce, use tamari for gluten-free
- maple syrup, can be subbed with sugar
- sesame oil, technically can be omitted but I think it adds a nice fragrance and extra Asian flavor
- peanut butter, for creaminess and nutty flavor, can be subbed with almond butter
This salad really could not be any easier to make. And if you don’t have all the salad ingredients listed here, it’s okay! Just use what you have, any salad veggies will be delicious I’m sure. The dressing really pulls it all together, but luckily it’s made from just 5 staple ingredients for Asian cooking.
Make this for a potluck, family dinner, picnic, or a super quick lunch! It’s guaranteed to be a hit because, c’mon, who doesn’t love noodles?? I’ve made this 3 times this week already (and it’s only Tuesday) and I still can’t get enough. I LOVE noodles but always have an internal debate about whether I should make soup noodles when it’s 80°F out. Like, is my love for noodles greater than the regret I start to feel as my clothes stick to me and my forehead cries with sweat while I slurp down hot noodles? I still don’t know. But with this salad, I don’t have to wonder. I get to enjoy my noodles and still be at a reasonable body temperature!
I hope I’ve convinced you to try out this somen salad! If I did, please tag me in your recreations on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you and am always eager for feedback! Happy cooking 🙂
Somen Noodle Salad
- 1 bundle of somen noodles
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 carrot, spiralized
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1/2 block of firm tofu
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Boil water and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to prevent the noodles from cooking further.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and crumble the tofu into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Stir until seasonings are evenly mixed and the tofu has turned a yellow color. Take off from heat and let cool.
- Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients to a small jar. Tightly seal the jar and then shake vigorously for a few seconds until everything is combined.
- Add the lettuce, carrot, tomatoes, cabbage, and green onion to a large salad bowl. Add in the noodles, tofu, and salad dressing and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.