Build-Your-Own, Easy Noodle Salad

The formula for this super easy noodle salad allows you to create a scrumptious meal with whichever ingredients you have on hand. {Jump to Recipe}

Build-Your-Own Asian Noodle Salad // FoodNouveau.com

Contrary to many good cooks I know, I love following recipes. I don’t believe that they are restrictive. On the contrary, I feel super satisfied and proud when I follow a recipe step-by-step and produce an outstanding dish. But I like formulas, too—you know, recipes that provide guidelines, rather than instructions, so you can let your creative juices flow? This recipe—perfect on hot summer days!—is one such formula. Got noodles in the pantry, leftover meat, and veggies in the fridge? You’re all set for an easy weeknight meal. Want to turn it into a company-worthy dish? Marinate and grill your meat, carefully select your vegetables for a colorful result, and add in extra flavorful ingredients to kick it up a notch.

Regardless of your choices, the enticing aromas and textures of this easy noodle salad will make you want to enjoy it over and over again.

Build-Your-Own Asian Noodle Salad // FoodNouveau.com


Build-Your-Own, Easy Noodle Salad



Yield 2 servings

The formula for this easy noodle salad allows you to create a scrumptious meal with whichever ingredients you have on hand.


For the dressing

For the salad

  • 2 cups (500 ml) cooked noodles—for example, soba (buckwheat) noodles, udon noodles, flat rice noodles, or Low Mein egg noodles
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cooked chicken, shredded, or any other cooked protein, such as sautéed shrimp or fried tofu
  • 1 cup (250 ml) julienned Asian pear, or green apple, green papaya, or green mango
  • 1 cup (250 ml) mixed julienned vegetables—for example, cucumber, carrot, bell peppers, zucchini, or radishes
  • 1 handful bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
  • 1 green onion, minced

Toppings (use one or several of the following)

  • Chopped roasted peanuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Fresh herbs: basil, coriander, or mint
  • Fried shallots (sold in Asian product aisle, in Asian grocery stores, or online, sometimes called “fried onion”)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce (such as Sriracha), or chili oil


To make the dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar with a screw-top lid. Shake vigorously and set aside. (You can make the dressing in advance and refrigerate it for up to 1 week.)

To make the salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked noodles along with the protein and fruit of your choice, as well as all the vegetables and toss to combine. Drizzle with about half of the dressing and mix well so all ingredients are coated with the dressing.

To serve: Divide the dressed Asian noodle salad between two serving bowls. Add the toppings of your choice and serve the remaining dressing on the side so each person can season to their liking.


The version of the salad I photographed (above) contained soba noodles, flank steak, green papaya, zucchini, carrots, radishes, Thaï basil, coriander, and peanuts.

More Easy and Colorful Salads

Warm Barley and Cod Salad

Warm Barley and Cod Salad // FoodNouveau.com

Peach and Tomato Panzanella Salad

Summer Panzanella Salad // FoodNouveau.com

Marmalade Shrimp and Bacon Salad

Marmalade Shrimp and Bacon Salad // FoodNouveau.com

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