This Cold Asian Noodle Salad Recipe with homemade Ponzu dressing and chilled udon noodles is easy to make and bursting with flavors. A lovely light and fresh lunch or dinner idea that just makes life a little better!
This delicious Asian Pasta Salad has become somewhat of a classic at my home, especially during hot summer months. It is so easy to make, refreshing, and incredibly tasty!
It's always is a winner when I serve this for lunch or dinner and I've brought it potlucks too. It's not the usual pasta salad and it gets rave reviews.
Udon noodles, cooked al dente, are combined with colorful raw and fine julienned veggies, like carrots, red bell pepper, and green onions. These vegetables add a beautiful sweet crunch.
Toss in some fresh baby spinach and pour over the unbelievably delicious and seasoned Japanese Ponzu salad dressing and you have a fantastic side dish or main meal.
Some people don't like spinach so I have a kale option in the notes section of the recipe card. I aim to please!
I even have different photos for you. The main pictures are with kale and the ingredients and big bowl of the Asian pasta salad is with spinach.
Are you like me and like every vegetable in the world? I am trying to think of something I don't like. Oh, I just thought of one. Don't hate me. My eyes are squeezed tight and I am going to just spit it out. Beets!
Okay, okay, okay ... I'm smiling but let's get back to spinach and fresh pasta salads. A perfect Cold Asian Noodle Salad Recipe to be more specific.
Let's Talk Ponzu Salad Dressing aka Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu is a Japanese salad dressing. It's not a sweet dressing like you might think but it is super flavorful with orange juice mixed in as the citrus addition.
It can also be a sauce and marinade. It's that good and also:
It has so many spicy flavors and it also has hints of citrus. Orange in this recipe. Sometimes lime or lemon is used.
It has a light texture and only has one tablespoon of oil in it. I am sure you can leave it out if you are wanting to omit any oils.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you used this marinade in tons of other recipes. And it is super easy to make.
You simply whisk together the dressing ingredients. If you want to make more for later use, simply store some in a mason jar with a lid and refrigerate.
Even though it is good to have skills and be able to make your own dressings Ponzu sauce is also sold in grocery stores. You might want to have it on hand at all times like your favorite salad dressing.
The Udon noodles I use come in a pack of 16 ounces and each is wrapped in individual groupings. I use three of these which is actually about 9 ounces.
I say 16 ounces in the recipe because that is often how you will find udon noodles. So what I am trying to explain is that you can make this salad with an ounce more or less and it will still be great.
There is plenty of dressing and the vegetables will mix in great no matter what. Follow all of the other measurements and the udon noodles for the package size you bought and it will still work.
Oh, yeah! I love the noodles I buy these because they are organic. You know I'm all about that whenever I can be. There are quite a few on the market though.
Here are some (a different producer) on Amazon but I want you to see what they look like. They're in the Asian section in the grocery store and the noodle is very white.
Udon noodles are a perfect salad pasta. They are a little thicker and really fun to dive into with chopsticks. Easy to grab and better to taste.
My husband is the pasta, noodle king, and he gladly concurs! But feel free to experiment with whatever is in your pantry—udon, rice noodles, ramen. I bet that any of these can turn this salad into a hearty meal.
Let me know if you made this with a different kind of noodle and if you liked it!
Toss this Delicious Asian Pasta Salad
So, mix the ponzu dressing with the udon noodles, julienned carrots, and red bell peppers. The taste is fantastic. Add in some spinach and you get even more taste, texture and nutrition.
There's one more thing to do. You gotta let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors come together.
Please don’t overlook this step. It is so worth it! Not only do you get a melting pot of Asian-inspired flavors, but the noodles are wonderfully cold and chewy. That dressing really gets better and better.
Enjoy this for lunch, dinner, as a side, or to take along for picnics or potlucks. If you are looking for more inspiration on super salads, I have a couple of more here for you:
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What Do You Think?
If you take a photo of your beautiful fresh Asian pasta salad I would love to see it. Follow me over on Instagram and tag me on your photo @vegan_in_the_freezer.
Your opinion means a lot to me and if you'd like to leave a comment and possibly a star rating I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Cold Asian Noodle Salad Recipe
- 10 ounces udon noodles
- 1 cup carrot, julienned
- 1 cup red bell pepper. sliced thin into matchsticks
- ⅓ up green onions, (scallions), sliced into rounds
- 2 cups baby spinach
For the dressing:
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons mirin, sweet rice wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra Virgin olive oil
Make the Dressing
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Taste for seasoning and chill in the refrigerator.
For the Salad
- Cook the udon noodles according to directions, al dente. Drain and let cool.
- In a large bowl add the noodles, julienned vegetables, spinach and the salad dressing. Toss well.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.