This Pan-Seared Salmon Soba Noodle Salad features moist medium-cooked salmon fillets with crispy skin over soba noodles and vegetables. Served with a ginger dressing, this delicious and healthy salad can be a full meal ready in under 30 minutes.
We have this salmon soba noodle salad for dinner quite often lately. It’s quick, easy and we always feel amazed at how tasty it is every time we eat it. The salmon is soft and moist on the inside while crispy on the outside, the soba noodles are nutty and the ginger soy-based dressing is bright with a warm note.
We usually have all the ingredients to make this dish on hand. We make it a rule in the house that we need to eat salmon at least once a week for a healthy dose of omega-3.
For the remaining ingredients, we always have ginger, lemon and leafy greens in our fridge and dried soba noodles, soy sauce, and honey in our pantry. Our favorite vegetable to use in this salmon soba noodle salad is spinach, but baby bok choy or choy sum is also a great choice.
It would work best if you use salmon fillets that are about 1-inch thick. If they are too thick, like over 1 1/2-inch thick, it will take longer to cook them and some parts may be dry and overcooked while some parts are still undercooked.
Soba noodles, also called buckwheat noodles, are thin noodles made from buckwheat flour. You can find dried soba noodles at all Asian grocery stores as well as a lot of Western grocery stores nowadays. I always try to choose dried soba noodles from Japanese brands.
How to Cook Salmon Soba Noodle Salad
The cooking process can be broken down into 2 main steps and they require just 20-25 minutes in total from start to finish.
Preparing the vegetables, noodles, and dressing
You should cut the veggies into 2 1/2-inch long sections and then blanch in boiling water quickly. After blanching, you can place the veggies into cold water to stop the cooking, and then drain and gently squeeze out some excess water.
For the soba noodles, just cook them according to package instructions or until they are soft to your liking. Cooking time can vary from brands but it usually doesn’t take long, just 2-4 minutes. Then rinse them under cold water very thoroughly to remove sliminess and stickiness.
While the noodles are cooking, you can quickly whip up the dressing by mixing soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, and grated ginger. You can use more or less ginger depending on how much heat you want.
Searing the Salmon
Although searing the salmon fillets is the last step, you should remove them from the fridge right from the beginning. While you cook the veggies and noodles, the salmon will have some time to sit on the counter and come closer to room temperature. That way, they will cook faster and more evenly.
To make sure the skin will crisp up nicely, pat dry the salmon and wait for the pan to get hot enough. The Kitchn has an article with all the tips for perfectly seared salmon.
Many sources say it’s better to use a cast-iron or stainless steel pan to sear salmon. I’ve been using my Scanpan nonstick skillet and the skin is as crispy as potato chips.
I also like the top to be crispy, so with a 1-inch thick salmon fillet (or slightly thicker), I cook it skin side down for about 3-4 minutes and then the other side for another 1-2 minutes. The salmon will be cooked to medium and moist inside.
I know in all the photos, I have the salmon plated with skin side down. However, if you want the skin to retain its crispiness for as long as possible, plate the salmon skin side up :).
More delicious and healthy salmon recipes you may want to try:
Pan-Seared Salmon Soba Noodle Salad
- 2 salmon fillets (about 6-8 oz each and up to 1 1/2-inch thick)
- 6-8 oz spinach (or baby bok choy, yu choy sum)
- 6 oz dried soba noodles
- cooking oil
For the Dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons hot water
- 3/4 teaspoons grated ginger
- Remove salmon fillets from the fridge to come closer to room temperature.
- Cut spinach (or baby bok choy, yu choy sum) into 2 1/2-inch long sections. Blanch in boiling water quickly until vegetables are cooked to your liking. Transfer vegetables to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Then drain and gently squeeze out some excess water. Set aside
- Cook dried soba noodles according to package instructions. Then rinse under cold water thoroughly to remove sliminess and stickiness. Drain and set aside.
- Mix together all ingredients to make the dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking. Add some black pepper to taste. Set aside
- Place a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add some oil to coat the bottom. Pat dry the salmon fillets and place them skin side down on the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes to let the skin turn golden and crisp up. Then season the top with some salt and pepper, flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Adjust heat as needed and aim for medium-cooked salmon.
- Place soba noodles, vegetables and salmon in serving bowls/plates. Serve immediately with the ginger dressing.