Peanut-Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles

Peanut-sesame slaw with soba noodles -

True or false: this week has been a doozy. It has truly been a doozy for my circle of friends. I don’t know what is in the air or the stars, but the week has been oddly ripe for health procedures and boy drama. If you can say the same, take heart! You’re not alone. Cryptic messages aside, I’ve mostly been staying up late packing and frequenting the nearby liquor store for boxes. (My bar will be fully stocked at my new place. Party time!)

carrots, green onions, brussels sprouts and cabbage

Moving day is tomorrow and I am downright giddy about leaving this space. Every time my belongings fit neatly into their cardboard box, I feel a slight reaffirmation that I have made the right decision. I’m tired of driving around in circles looking for parking spots and cramming jars of olive oil back into my overcrowded kitchen cabinets. So tired.

I’m also beyond eager—like stomping my feet impatient—to see my new place come together. I cannot wait to wash my clothes in my own washer and dryer, bake cookies in a full-sized oven and let Cookie outside at night instead of donning my puffy coat. I’ll feel downright spoiled over there.

Asian slaw ingredients

I’ve been on a slaw bender ever since the life-changing slaw at Justus Drugstore that inspired my brussels slaw. This slaw is crunchy and satisfying, filling and full of flavor. I tend to get snacky when I’m feeling anxious or unsettled, so I’ve been taking a fork to this slaw in those moments. Chomp chomp chomp!

peanut sauce and soba noodleshow to make peanut slawEasy peanut-sesame slaw with soba noodles - cookieandkate.comPeanut-sesame slaw with soba noodles recipe -

Peanut-Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles
4.9 from 30 reviews
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 8
A healthy Asian slaw made with cabbage, carrots and soba noodles (optional), tossed in a bold peanut-sesame sauce. This slaw recipe is very flexible—feel free to omit the noodles and/or brussels sprouts and buy pre-shredded slaw mix for easier preparation (you'll need about 12 cups slaw mix). This slaw can easily be vegan and gluten-free (see notes).
  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 small purple or green cabbage, sliced into quarters and core removed
  • ½ pound (about 12) Brussels sprouts, optional
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds
Peanut-sesame dressing
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or other soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • Sprinkle of coarsely chopped peanuts
  • Handful of cilantro, coarsely torn
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  1. Cook the soba noodles: bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water before returning to pot.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: This is easier in a food processor than by hand. If using a food processor, shred the cabbage and sprouts with the slicing disk, then grate the carrots using the grating disk. Or use a chef's knife to chop the cabbage and sprouts into thin strips, then coarsely grate the carrots.
  3. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked soba noodles, shredded cabbage and sprouts, grated carrots, and chopped green onions. Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat (you may or may not need all of the dressing). For best flavor, let the slaw marinate for 20 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve slaw with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts, torn cilantro and a lime wedge.
  • Adapted from River Cottage Veg.
  • This makes a whole lot of slaw! Feel free to halve the recipe by buying about 6 cups prepared slaw mix and roughly halving the dressing ingredients.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, either omit the noodles or buy certified gluten-free soba noodles. You might also have good results with a firm gluten-free spaghetti, like a corn and quinoa variety. Be sure to use tamari (check the label to make sure it's gluten free) instead of regular soy sauce, which is not gluten free.
  • To make this recipe vegan, use agave nectar instead of honey.
  • This slaw keeps very well for a few days (covered and refrigerated). Before serving, wake up the flavors with a dash of lime juice or vinegar and more fresh cilantro.

P.s. More peanutty/noodley/cabbagey recipes you might like: spicy Thai peanut sauce over roasted sweet potatoes and rice, peanut soba noodle bowl, honey mustard Brussels sprout slaw, West African peanut soup and soba noodle & raw veggie salad.


  1. says

    Happy moving weekend! I hope your new place treats you so so well. I think we are on the same wavelength this week—soba noodles and peanut butter. Just wish we were closer to share a meal together. xo

  2. says

    OMG this looks incredible! Your savory peanut sauces are to die for, so as soon as I saw this post I hit “print this recipe” before I even finished reading the commentary. I’m stomping my foot in anticipation of your new place, too. It will be fabulous!

  3. says

    this looks heavenly with peanut sauce. I made something similar with store bought coleslaw minus the peanut sauce but doused with soy + ponju.

  4. Julia says

    My goodness, this looks lovely! I am a huge fan of cabbage (it does such a good job of bulking up a salad) and that dressing is the perfect addition!

  5. says

    This looks AMAZING! Will it hold for a few days, or do you think I should just do the dressing on the side for leftovers? I want to have it for a few lunches :)

    • says

      Hey Lia, I’m sorry I didn’t provide those details in my notes. This slaw is great for leftovers. No need to reserve the dressing on the side, but you can brighten up the flavors before serving by adding a little splash of lime and some fresh cilantro.

    • says

      Actually, I bet Cookie would scarf down my leftover slaw if I left it within reach! She loves peanuts and cabbage (and cauliflower and kale stems). In other words, she’ll eat almost anything. :)

  6. says

    Good luck moving! And it is increadible that you are actually still blogging the night before. Last time I moved I took so much longer to pack all my last few things that I only had two hours sleep before the movers came :-)

    • says

      Hi there! I’m sorry I didn’t answer you sooner. Yes, this slaw keeps very well for a few days. You can wake up the flavors with a dash of lime juice or vinegar and more fresh cilantro.

  7. says

    One of the reasons I look forward to Friday evenings is because I get to come home and look at the gorgeous food you’ve been cooking!! I think you and I are slaw soul mates because it’s been a staple meal in my house these days too. There’s just something about Thai/Asian inspired food all jumbled into a big bowl that makes my mouth water and tummy very happy. Best of luck with your move this weekend! I had to move again a couple of months ago and although it’s never fun, you’ll feel SO much better once you’re all settled. Can’t wait to see what the first meal is that you christen your new kitchen with!

    • says

      Thank you, Angela! I usually intend to post on Thursday, but it always ends up being Friday afternoon. Bad blogger! I’m so with you on slaws/Asian flavors. So good.

  8. says

    Damn! This looks and sounds amazing; love all the flavors in this bowl. We are big slaw eaters during the warmer summer months, but thinking that is about to change, by adding the noodles. Haven’t thought of doing that before, definitely makes it a meal!

  9. says

    Perfect timing, too–apparently today is National Peanut Butter Day, which is kind of amazing…kind of like this slaw, which I could definitely use in my belly right now. I’m the kind of gal who eats peanut butter or peanut butter sauces straight from the jar, so this is definitely on my to-make list.

  10. Sarah says

    Happy moving from me too! Your new place sounds awsome! I’m so excited to see pictures. And the salad – mmmh… River cottage veg is my favourite cookbook, your adaption from its salads is as if another recipe has been added! Definitly going to make it for lunch next week.

    • says

      Thanks, Sarah! My slaw is quite a bit different from the slaw in the book, although his version is lighter (and delicious), too. I added noodles and peanut butter.

  11. says

    Yum, this looks awesome! And great job on shredding your self, I usually just go for the pre-packaged-easier with small kitchen space :) Have a great move!

  12. Kate says

    Just made this tonight- it turned out INCREDIBLE! Seriously so delicious it felt like it came out of a restaurant! Super healthy and filling, I will definitely be making this again and again. I have tried a bunch of your recipes and they all have turned out amazing! Even my steak-and-potatoes boyfriend has absolutely loved everything I’ve made from your site. Thank you for such a wonderful blog!!

  13. says

    I’m super excited that this slaw contains noodles. I’m usually not into slaw, but with noodles…it’s a whole different thing.

    Good luck with the move! I’m SO excited for you!!

  14. says

    Hi… My name’s Brian and I’m a slaw fanatic. Just wanted to leave a little note saying that I am now officially obsessed with this beautiful dish. Must make it this weekend for our dinner party.

  15. says

    Oh. my. goodness. I’m on a dumb whole 30 right now and this has all the things I love and want RIGHT NOW. Yumm… maybe I’ll make a cashew/zucchini noodle version to satiate in the meantime. Nice work! (full disclosure, not really buying into this grains are bad for all humans thing, but doing as an experiment.)

    • says

      I could never survive whole30! Sometimes I wonder if I should try going without grains or dairy and see what happens… but then I think about bread and cheese and remember that I feel great as long as I’m making sure to eat whole grains. You could totally skip the noodles in this slaw and it would still be great. If almonds are allowed, I think it would be great with almond butter.

      • says

        Hi Kate,

        Stumbled onto this recipe again because of your reader faves round up, and I’m so glad you mentioned that it can work with almond butter. My bro is highly allergic to peanuts, but loves these types of slaws. So I’m excited to try it out!

        Thank you!,

  16. Vinny says

    Been following your blog for ages, never commented, Anyhows you got some great recipes…love ya work…from the greatest country on earth…….. Australia :))
    Cheers Vinny.

  17. Andrea says

    Great dressing recipe! The taste is delicious, though its a little on the heavy side, would you recommend anything for it to be a looser dressing/ a little lighter?

    • says

      Hi Andrea, sure, you could decrease the amount of peanut butter and add olive oil to your desired consistency. Or, you could probably add a splash of water to thin it out, too. You might want to compensate for the less concentrated flavors by adding a dash of salt or adjusting the tamari/vinegar.

  18. Monster Jen says

    I made this dish last night (sans brussels sprouts, as I didn’t have any on hand, and added an extra ounce or two of noodles) and it was delicious! I was so excited to have it again for lunch today!

    Just wanted to say I’ve been following your blog for the past year or so, and pass it on to all my friends who love to cook!! Love love love everything I’ve made so far, and am always inspired when browsing through past post’s photos…Next up, on my to-do list is morning glory granola!

    Thank you for sharing your recipes, photos and experiences!
    Best of luck with your move!

    • says

      Hi Jen, so glad to hear that you have been enjoying my recipes! Thank you for sharing my website with your friends, too. That means a lot. Enjoy the morning glory oats!

  19. Katie says

    This is so delicious! I followed it exactly except that I added edamame. I bet the flavors will be even better tomorrow!

  20. Ella says

    WOW. Oh my gosh. Kate… this is actually my new favorite food. I’m not even kidding. DANG! I had never tried soba noodles before and they are soooo good! That peanut sauce though! LORDY! I want to swim in it pleaseandthankyou. There is no way I will ever not have some ungodly quantity of this slaw in my fridge/mouth ever again. You are a goddess. The world thanks you.

  21. Charlotte says

    Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Used more cabbage, with a mix of green and red, and a few more brussel sprouts. Fed loads of us and still enough for lunch.

    Thank you!

  22. Olivia says

    I’ve made this dish twice now. It makes a ton of slaw, which is fine with me because it is delicious! The combination of crunchy slaw with the noodles is wonderfully satisfying. The peanut sauce is perfect. I loved the simplicity of the fork photo.

    • says

      Hey Olivia, thank you for commenting! I polished off that whole bowl of slaw by myself. It is a lot! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe.

  23. Julia says

    Amazing! I made this last night and enjoyed left-overs today for lunch. My family (including a 4 year-old) loved it. Thank you for such delicious and healthy recipes.

  24. says

    I think this is the first time I’ve actually bought a cabbage–I had absolutely no concept of how much food it would be once shredded! I ended up only using half of the 2.5-lb head because I’d already filled my largest Tupperware container. But I wish I’d had room to make more, because this slaw is completely delicious. I was seriously licking the sauce off the whisk. Thanks for this great recipe!

    • says

      Haha, I’ve done that so many times. You can wrap the other half with saran wrap and it will keep for several days like that. So glad you enjoyed the slaw!

  25. Sara says

    I made this last night. It was a huge hit. I’m impressed with myself when I make the effort to eat any vegetables – so I’ll admit I doubled the dressing. That said, I have no doubt for those who don’t act like children that this would be just as, if not more, delicious made exactly as the directions say. It was wonderful and a keeper for sure!

  26. says

    Tried this recipe last night and it was AMAZING! My hubby and I couldn’t get enough. We will be making it again soon. Thank you for sharing! :)

  27. says

    Made this to take to the office for lunch today and wow – new favorite right here! It also works if you prep the night before.

  28. says

    Oh my goodness, I made this slaw for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING. No exaggeration – it was so, so good! (The manfriend enjoyed it as well!) I only used half a cabbage and there are so many leftovers – looking forward to taking them to the office for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe – this one is definitely a keeper!

  29. says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely flavourful with a nice amount of crunch. I love your site and can’t wait to try the other recipes. Hooray for fresh foods!

  30. Stina says

    Hello Kate! My name is Stina and I come from Sweden. I have made this slaw several times and it is my absolute favourite. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  31. patricia says

    I just discovered your blog a few days ago and made this recipe tonight. OMG! It was all I could do to keep myself from going back for 3rds. I cut the peanut butter to 1/3rd cup to reduce calories and I don’t think the recipe suffered. Thanks. I’m a fan!

    • says

      Hi Patricia! Welcome to my blog, I’m glad you found it. Delighted to hear that you fell for this slaw! I could probably live off of it.

  32. Penelope says

    I made this slaw (with radishes instead of brussel sprouts) to go with a roasted five-spice pork belly – ohemgeezus this was good!!! I added twice the amount of sesame oil and soy sauce, it tasted so divine. Many leftovers. So happy.

  33. Mindy says

    Hi Kate! I made this recipe last night and it was a HUGE hit! Even my roommate who isn’t crazy about peanut sauces said it was amazing. Thanks for a great recipe! I’m enjoying the leftovers for lunch right now :)

  34. Chelsea says

    This is a great recipe! I have made a few peanut sauces with soba noodles, and this is my favorite. I didn’t have sesame oil, so I used a harissa oil instead- added some great heat. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • says

      Thanks, Chelsea! I’m so glad you enjoyed the slaw. I’ve never heard of harissa oil, but I love spicy stuff, so I’ll have to track some down!

  35. says

    Kate, this recipe was a huge success in my house tonight! I love that it made so much because now I get to look forward to leftovers tomorrow night. It was also great because my boyfiriend who is usually not a fan of meatless meals absolutely loved it. I thinned out the dressing a bit with some water in the food processor becuase it was a tad thick, could have been the peanut butter I used because it was homemade. Everything about it was perfect. I usually avoid cooking with peanut butter sauces but this mas made me want to experiment more with it. :-)

  36. Erika says

    Just made this and am serving it for dinner except I can’t stop sneaking bites from the serving bowl. My sauce was also too thick (I used natural peanut butter) and I added an extra tablespoon each of soy sauce and rice vinegar to thin it. Also I put the hot pasta (I don’t like soba so just used whole wheat linguine) in w the vegetables to soften the cabbage a little. Such a good meal.

  37. Dani says

    Made this tonight and it was great! So far, this if the fourth dish I’ve made from you and I have yet to be disappointed! I find myself scrolling through your recipes throughout the day, trying to select which one is next. I love cooking but recently went through a cooking slump. Part of it was a new job, but mostly I wasn’t satisfied with the recipes I was finding. I finally realized it was because the recipes were often trying to replace or recreate meat, and that is not what (good) vegetarian food is about! It is so wonderful to eat food actually created by a fellow veggie. Mmmm… keep them rolling! My boyfriend is pretty pleased too :) Thank you!

    • says

      Dani, thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes. :) I don’t like meat substitutes, either, so you’re definitely in the right place!

  38. Greti says

    So much to love about this recipe. It not only tastes great but looks beautiful in a serving bowl. Thanks for sharing your recipes! I just found your blog from Pinterest and am excited to try more of your recipes.

  39. Chelsa says

    It is incredibly embarrassing to admit how much of this I ate…before I served it!!!
    At first I thought the dressing was a bit strong on the sesame, but after mixing it with the salad ingredients it was really perfect. I didn’t have sprouts so left those out, but I love them so next time I will buy them for this. Also I just sliced up a sweet onion instead of the scallions, since that’s what I have and I love lots of onions.
    HUGE winner. Going to my parents for a 4th of July cookout and even though it’s only a few days away, I will prb make this again that soon because it’s THAT good.
    Thanks again for your hard work and amazing recipes!

    • says

      Haha, well I don’t blame you for eating lots of this slaw! I can’t control myself around it. So glad you’re enjoying it!

  40. Ashwin says

    Another winner of a salad dish! I’ve tried many versions of Asian slaws, but yours was the best I’ve made yet. Seriously good stuff, must have eaten 5 cups of this stuff for dinner :)

  41. says

    This slaw is amazing! I am new to your blog, but your healthy lunch compilation is a huge inspiration as I go back to work tomorrow after 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom. While I am not a vegetarian, this salad is probably one of the best arguments I’ve ever heard for being one. I will probably make a batch of this every week. SO good. Thank you!

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