Recipe: Cold Japanese Noodles Salad with Strawberry Soy Vinaigrette

May 12, 2022

Cold Japanese Nooodle Salad with Strawberry Soy Vinagrette

Remember my post a while ago about Marinated Strawberries and Radishes?

Did you make it?  It was super easy, refreshing and delicious, wasn’t it?

So what did you do with the leftover pink vinaigrette?

I normally use things like this as salad dressing, but I wanted to try something new and wild!

It was a hot day, so I was craving something cold!   Most of the houses (and even restaurants) in the Bay Area, especially those closer to the bay like ours do not come with air-conditioning, because it’s not supposed to get that hot.  Well, it seems like global warming changed that, and we often have days which we desperately need something cold for lunch.

As a native Japanese, my favorites for days like that are cold noodles.  We eat them all summer long, both Japanese and Chinese types, and now even cold capellini and rice sticks.  Cold noodles are so refreshing and go down so easily!   The most traditional kind of cold noodles in Japan comes with many condiments like shiso leaves, ginger, wasabi and shichimi togarashi peppers, but not much else, which makes it very high-carb.   With some julienned veggies and protein on top,  you can turn this into more  balanced, healthier, one-plate meal.

On that hot day, my  (hungry) gut told me that the strawberry vinaigrette would go great with cold noodles!

I used somen noodles, the thin, summer favorite wheat noodles to compliment the delicate strawberry flavor.  Buckwheat soba noodles would be too strong.

It’s basically salad on top of cold noodles.  So use whatever vegetables or protein you have in your fridge that would create some nice color contrasts.  Traditionally we do this on Chinese noodles, with julienned toppings; paper-like egg (kinshi-tamago), ham or chicken for protein, cucumbers (our summer favorite!), wedges of tomato, and sometimes wakame seaweed.

Since to me, this is more of a salad (because of the strawberry vinaigrette) than noodles, plus because of what I had in my fridge, I used more unusual vegetables like peppers and radish (guess why), along with julienned turkey.  I also like julienned lettuce on top as well.  You will only need a little bit of each to adorn the top.  If there’s any left, you can make another one the next day, (possibly with different kind of vinaigrette or noodles), or make salad without the noodles.

Cold Japanese Noodle Salad with Strawberry Soy Vinaigrette


  • Japanese somen noodles (thin) or Capellini — 2.5 - 3 oz/person
  • Strawberry vinaigrette leftover from marinade — about 2 TBS/person
  • Mentsuyu Japanese Noodle Soup Base  (follow the label instruction whether you have to dilute) — about 2 TBS at diluted strength
  • Assortment of toppings, preferably in various colors - enough to cover the top, about 1/2 - 1 cup (4 or 5 kinds, 1-2 oz each):
    • julienned vegetables
    • Julienned protein, such as cooked chicken, turkey, ham or egg


  1. Julienne all the vegetables and protein.
  2. If using egg (about 1/2 per serving):
    1. Beat egg with a little bit of salt and sugar, make a very thin omelet (just like you would make a crepe) in a non-stick pan.
    2. When the egg is almost set, let it cool a bit (it will continue to cook in the pan with residual heat), roll it up and cut into thin strips.
    3. Or just use wedges of boiled egg.
  3. Mix the strawberry vinaigrette and diluted mentsuyu noodle soup base approximately 1 to 1 or to taste.
  4. Boil the noodles according the package instruction.  Drain and wash in cold ice water until the noodles are very cold.
  5. In a salad bowl, pile up cold noodles in the center, and arrange shredded chicken/ham/egg and julienned vegetables attractively.  Pour generous amount of vinaigrette around the top and serve cold.

Note: When I try something completely new like that, I mix a small amount first, make sure I like it, and proceed with the rest.  Also add mentsuyu noodle broth gradually, so that you’d know how much you like in yours.

This is a versatile, go-to recipe for the warmer months.  You can create infinite possibilities by changing vinaigrette, topping and/or noodles — meaning whatever you have on hand.  One of my favorite variation is Hiyashi Chuka, Cold Chinese Noodle Salad.

What’s your favorite topping or vinaigrette for summer pasta or noodles?  Please share and leave a comment below for everyone!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 taste tests May 22, 2022 at 10:15 pm

Hmm … strawberry viniagrette … interesting! I love cold noodle salads but I’m picky about the dressing! It’s the glue that ties everything together!

2 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard May 27, 2022 at 2:00 pm

Actually, soy sauce and fruit goes pretty well. I may not top with egg when I use the strawberry soy vinegrette, but with more salad like topping, it’s very nice and refreshing. Have you tried sesame dressing? They are great, and really popular in Japan.

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