Warm Soba Salad with Zucchini and Sunomono-Style Cucumbers

Adapted from Toni Okamoto


You can make the Sunomono-Style Cucumbers ahead of time! For best results, soak them in the marinade for 3 days ideally. This is enough time for the cucumber to really absorb full-fledge flavors.

Do not over-cook your noodles. Leaving them boiling even for a few seconds than recommended will turn them into a gummy mess. 

Make sure to toss the veggies and seasonings quickly so the noodles do not cool down. This salad is best served warm!

If you have any leftovers, place them in a sealed container and refrigerate them for 3 days.  Reheat using a microwave or on a stovetop. Take note though that the longer the Soba Salad is stored, the higher the possibility that the veggies will lose their crunch.


1 medium cucumber or 2 small cucumbers halved and sliced into thin half-moons (peeling optional, as is scooping out the seeds)
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 ounces dried soba noodles
1 medium zucchini julienned or 2 small ones
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds 


Put the cucumber in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the hot water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cucumber, making sure to submerge as much cucumber as possible. Set aside for at least 15 minutes (though ideally for longer, closer to 3 days).

Put the zucchini in a large bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the soba noodles and boil for 3-4 minutes (unless your package directions tell you otherwise) until tender but with a little bite. Drain, then, while hot, add to the zucchini and toss. Add as many cucumbers as you like, along with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar brine. Add the soy sauce and toss to coat. Add the scallions and cilantro, and toss. Taste, and add more vinegar, soy sauce, or salt as necessary. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds if using, and serve warm.