This soba noodle salad came to be when Shalane Flanagan—and her world-record holder mom—fell in love with homemade peanut sauce.
*Recipes Excerpted from Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky
Soba Noodle Salad
This recipe came to be when Shalane’s mom, Cheryl Treworgy, a former marathon world-record holder (yes, Shalane has good genes!), told us she was drizzling our Runner’s High Peanut Sauce (recipe below) on salads. At that moment, we knew we needed to create a salad worthy of our luscious sauce.
Kids and kids-at-heart will love this deconstructed Soba Noodle Salad, which allows everyone sitting around the table to build their own beautiful bowl of goodness. Start a “Soba Sunday” tradition and serve up a different array of colorful veggies every week. Try mixing in grated carrots, jicama, bean sprouts or edamame. Leftover grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or tempeh are also great.
1 Tbsp. fine sea salt
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1/4 small purple or white cabbage
1 package (8–9.5 oz.) soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (preferably shoyu or tamari)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro leaves
4 or 5 scallions, roots trimmed, white and green parts sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed, sliced thinly or small bowl of kimchi (both optional)
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cups Runner’s High Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat and add salt. Place broccoli and cabbage in the water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and immediately transfer to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking (and keep the veggies crisp). Once the vegetables are chilled, remove them from the water and set aside. Bring the same pot of water back up to a rolling boil and cook noodles according to the package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again thoroughly and transfer to a large salad bowl. Toss noodles with sesame oil and soy sauce. Thinly slice cabbage and bell pepper (use a mandoline if you have one). Arrange broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, and jalapeno or kimchi (if using) on a large platter alongside noodles. Place peanuts in a small bowl. Warm peanut sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Transfer to a medium bowl. Place platter in the center of the table and allow everyone to create their own soba noodle salads. Top with a generous serving of peanut sauce.
Runner’s High Peanut Sauce
When we began recipe development, one of Shalane’s first requests was for an alluring sauce to drizzle on top of seasonal veggies and rice for an easy post-run meal. She knew that store-bought sauces, although really convenient, are often loaded with sugar, cheap oils and preservatives. And so our Runner’s High Peanut Sauce was born.
This is a phenomenal sauce, so good you’ll be tempted to drink the leftovers—that is, if there are any. We recommend making a double batch so you can freeze extra in individual serving sizes for quick meals after a hard workout. While training with the Bowerman Track Club at high altitude in Park City, Utah, Shalane made a quadruple batch of this sauce to share with her teammates.
Yes, it’s slightly more work than opening a jar, but trust us, it’s well worth the effort. This sauce pairs heavenly with saut.ed vegetables and brown rice or our Soba Noodle Salad.
Makes 2⅓ cups
1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (preferably full fat)
1/2 cup unsalted creamy peanut butter (100 percent peanuts)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (preferably shoyu or tamari)
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar or other granulated sugar
1/2–1 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on spice preference
1 Tbsp. lime juice (about . lime)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and whisk until peanut butter melts. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in lime juice. Using an immersion (stick) blender, if you have one, blend the sauce until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the sauce to the container of a blender and process until the sauce is smooth. To serve, fill a bowl with cooked brown rice, add your favorite sautéed veggies, top generously with the sauce, and garnish with the peanuts. Transfer any leftover sauce to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Or freeze individual portions in a silicone muffin tray and then transfer to a gallon-size freezer bag.