In college, I used to LOVE eating cold, leftover Chinese food, straight from the carton in the fridge (actually, I still love to do that). In fact, Chinese food is one of the very few leftover foods, originally served hot, that I enjoy eating cold.
My favorite is the chow mein noodles. And when cold, leftover Chinese food wasn’t an option, I often ordered cold noodle salads at my favorite Oriental restaurants. But now, being a Weight Watchers member and a mom trying to make healthy food to serve her family, I try to avoid fatty, high-calorie, high-sodium foods from restaurants. And instead, I try and create a healthier “knockoff” at home that is still incredibly tasty, but low in Weight Watchers Points and as healthy as I can get it.
My version of Oriental Cold Noodles turned out absolutely AMAZING. Seriously, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was so fresh, zesty, and tangy, and truly a real treat for just 6 Points per serving. This is now what I turn to for my cold noodle fix. Pair it with some miso soup for a delicious and complete meal.
Oriental Cold Noodles Recipe
- 9-10 oz soba noodles - 1 package
- 1 large cucumber - diced
- 1 cup carrots - diced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup cilantro - finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ tsp sesame seeds
- Juice from 1 lime
- Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl. Toss in cilantro, cucumbers, and carrots, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
- Pour dressing over noodles and toss to combine. Top with sesame seeds. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours.
This is SUPER SPICY just so you know and I even cut the pepper flakes down to half. I did add a about a tablespoon of sweet Asian chili sauce which has a slight kick but this is still overall much less spicy than the original recipe is written. I took out the cilantro because I LOATH it and I instead chopped some green onion and set it on the side for those who want the extra layer of flavor. It works nicely here. I ended up adding a little more soy sauce and a touch more brown sugar. I did not add the extra sesame seeds. My mom, sister, niece and my two little girls probably won’t touch this due to the spice level but I thought it was decent. If there’s a next time I’d add some ginger as well. Oh — and I used lo mein noodles.
I made these last night thinking I could make them warm for dinner and then just eat them cold afterward. They were not very good warm. Refreshing with the cucumber, but just a heads up to other folks that have the same idea in mind.
Pretty spicy with the pepper, I would say tone it down and use less or take it out all together, the vinegar and garlic does a job on its own.
I would use fresh chili instead of red pepper flakes for additional crunch.
I love cold noodle salads and have bookmarked this to try soon.
So happy to have found your blog and looking forward to trying your recipes! This recipe looks like the perfect solution to a Chinese food craving. I’m adding this to the menu plan to serve as a side with grilled chicken. Looking forward to being a regular reader!
Do we still say Oriental?
It’s okay to say Oriental when you’re talking about anything other than a person. Oriental rug, Oriental noodles, etc. Apparently it’s only offensive when it’s directed at a person. I am half Japanese and have no problem with people saying Oriental and my 100% Japanese mother does not mind it either. But I guess some do so if I’m talking about a person, I say Asian.