Miso Noodle Salad
Sep 23, 2023
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Japanese-inspired miso noodle salad is packed with fresh herbs, vegetables, crunchy peanuts, and my favorite savory aromatic delicious miso dressing. Miso dressing is a combination of citrus, umami, and earthy flavors for the perfect complex robust savory bite.
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Savory Veggie Packed Miso Noodle Salad
I came across Miso in the Asian section of the grocery store years ago and have become a huge fan of adding it to just about everything I can think of to get that unique umami flavor. Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning and condiment that has actually been used for centuries. It is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a bacteria called koji. The type of miso you choose to use for your dressing whether it be white, yellow, or red will determine the taste of your dressing and by extension the noodle salad.
This noodle salad is packed with umami, savory, and tangy flavor from the miso dressing and succulent Thai noodles that are a personal favorite. I add some fresh red bell pepper for some color and balance. Then I top it with peanuts for that nutty crunch and cilantro for an aromatic element. The star of the show here is the miso dressing. The dressing has tang from the vinegar, fat from the oils, sweetness from the honey, earthiness from the garlic and ginger, and is the perfect balance! Once you have made and enjoyed your miso noodle salad if you have leftover dressing you can use it for roasted vegetables or as a dip!
How to Make Miso Noodle Salad
First you will need to assemble the folllowing ingredients:
- Yellow or white miso (2 tbsp) – white miso is going to have the mildest and sweetest flavor. Red miso is fermented for a longer time so it has a stronger more robust flavor and yellow miso is somewhere in between. Choose the miso that you like the flavor of best, I recommend newbies use white or yellow.
- Rice vinegar (2 tbsp) – tangy, crisp, bright rice vinegar will add that robust brightness to the dressing. You can substitute apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar.
- Lime juice (2 tbsp) – lime has a sharp acidic clean flavor that adds that lovely bite to the dressing.
- Ginger (1 tsp) – fresh grated ginger is one of the aromatic elements of this dressing, you can use ginger paste if you prefer.
- Garlic cloves (4) – garlic is our other aromatic element, it has a strong pungent flavor that will distinguish the dressing and noodle salad.
- Sesame oil (4 tbsp) and Olive oil (4 tbsp) – sesame oil adds the Asian robust flavor and olive oil helps tone that flavor down while still adding fat to the dish.
- Honey (2 tsp) – a spoonful of honey adds some sweetness that balances out the dressing.
- Cayenne pepper (1/8 tsp) – this tiny amount of cayenne pepper will help add some heat and spice which wont make the dressing spicy, it will just balance things out. Add more cayenne is you want it spicier.
- Rice Noodles (14 oz) – or similar Asian noodles, these light smooth noodles have the advantage of being gluten-free. They are chewy and have a delicate bite you want for your miso noodle salad.
- Red bell pepper (1) – julienned bell pepper adds a nice bite of texture and a lovely fresh element to the salad.
- Cilantro (1 cup) – fresh chopped cilantro adds a lovely color to the salad and is the perfect garnish that also packs a robust punch of flavor.
- Roasted salted peanuts (½ cup) – chopped peanuts add a nutty crunch to the noodle salad that will balance everything out well. You can use cashews if you prefer or omit the nuts.
Once you have the ingredients, we will use this method:
- Make the Dressing. In a blender combine all the dressing ingredients. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure it is combined thoroughly.
- Cook the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Some Asian noodles need to be soaked in warm water while others need to be boiled. Drain and add them to a large bowl.
- Toss. Add the bell pepper and cilantro to the noodles. Pour the dressing over it and toss to combine. Top with the chopped peanuts and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Asian Noodle Salad
Add more veggies. One of the best ways to add more nutritional value is by adding more veggies. You can sauté them before adding them if you prefer.
Make spring rolls. This noodle salad makes a great filling for fresh spring rolls. Great compact lunch especially with some peanut sauce – yum!
Double the dressing. If you love the dressing, you can double it and store extra in your fridge for when you want to whip up more noodle salad or use it to dip vegetables or atop roasted vegetables.
Add protein. You can top this noodle salad with your favorite protein. I like some grilled chicken atop it, thin sliced beef, sauteed shrimp, or even toasted tofu!
Better later. This noodle salad gets better when it sits dressed in the fridge. Sometimes I will make it when I plan to eat it the next day. The longer it sits the better the dressing soaks into the noodles.
Miso is available in most grocery stores in the Asia section. It comes in a plastic airtight bag and is a paste. I refrigerate it in a jar after I have opened the bag.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
This salad is designed to be enjoyed at room temperature. It is best to warm it up for 30 seconds or so if it has been in the fridge.
You can add more vegetables, some sweet chili sauce, more fresh squeezed lime, or some sesame seeds to this salad to jazz it up.
What to Serve with Miso Noodle Salad
Asian Slaw: Crunchy and tangy, an Asian-inspired slaw can contrast nicely with the softer noodles.
Steamed Dumplings: These are a fun and flavorful side that everyone loves. Choose from pork, chicken, or veggie-filled options.
Edamame: A bowl of salted or spiced edamame can be a healthy and satisfying side.
Tempura Vegetables: If you’re looking for something crispy, tempura veggies or shrimp would be a hit.
Sushi Rolls: Maki or sashimi can be an elegant addition to the meal and keep with the Asian theme. Our Easy Vegan Sushi is perfect for veggie lovers, too!
Miso Soup: Double down on the miso flavor with a warm, comforting cup of miso soup.
Fresh Fruit: Consider something like pineapple or mango slices to bring a sweet, tropical vibe.
Beverages: Light green tea or a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc can round out the meal beautifully.
Miso Noodle Salad Recipe
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For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp yellow or white miso
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- ⅛ tsp Cayenne pepper
For the Noodle Salad
- 14 oz Rice Noodles, or similar Asian noodles
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and set aside.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions, usually boil for 8 minutes and drain.
- Combine the bell pepper, cilantro, and rice noodles in a large bowl.
- Add the miso dressing and toss to combine. Top with the peanuts and enjoy!
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 274Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 207mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 5g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.