I had the best of intentions yesterday.

Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil I howsweeteats.com

I tell you this now, while it’s still yesterday, and I’m finishing a kit-kat that my husband brought home from the derby – just for me – and all my clean unfolded laundry (hello worst chore ever next to unloading the dishwasher) is in a mountain by my side. Weird, I know. I don’t want to know where the kit-kat came from either.

But I had the best of intentions – I did – deal with the mountain of laundry that has been making it’s mountainess ways since LAST Monday and clean up like four different rooms in the house and clean off my dresser which is holding a million things I can no longer see due to a cloud of dust and get rid of the suitcases and bags still hanging out in our room from four weeks ago and prep a few meals for the week and cut up another gigantic bowl of fruit to be consumed in 48 hours or less.

Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil I howsweeteats.com

But I got sidetracked by a million things, none of which are important but seemed extremely important at the moment, like watching Walk the Line for the second time in a week and then being sucked in by Now and Then and getting sucked into the instagram vortex for an hour or so and also shopping for swimwear online (before the kit-kat, obviously).  And before I knew it, it was like 9PM and I was on the couch in the same place I’d been for most of the day eating a cold bowl of these soba noodle leftovers.

They are super good cold. Also, add some peanuts on top. Ridiculous.

Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil I howsweeteats.com

I feel like it’s been for-ev-er since I shared a chicken recipe and it kinda has. I guess it’s only been a few weeks, but before that it was nearly two months. We still happen to roast a chicken every week and make all sorts of regulars with it, but I’m done with my boring chicken funk now that the sun is shining and the frostbite has thawed.


This little salad here – if we can call it that with these noodles and such – is ridiculously FRESH and tastes like a big old plate of summer. Or late spring. It’s crunchy and tangy and sweet and salty. I’ll eat salads every darn day if they look like this.

The chili oil makes me completely flip my lid. I have a teensy bit left in the fridge and have to stop myself from drinking it with a straw. Well, okay. Not really. But I do have to stop myself from putting it on everything that crosses my lips. It’s pure perfection.

Only thing that’s missing here – maybe – are some cool chunks of creamy ripe avocado if you want to serve this cold. Which you probably should. But! After you eat it slightly warm the first day, because that’s delicious too.

I’ll just let you decide.

Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil I howsweeteats.com


Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil

Yield: serves about 4

Total Time: 35 minutes


chili oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 star anise pods
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup vegetable oil

soba salad
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces soba noodles
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro leaves


chili oil
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Cook until the garlic and green onions begin to brown, then remove from heat and let cool completely. This can be stored in the fridge and made a few days ahead of time.

Season the chicken with the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on all sides. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the soba noodles as directed. When finished cooking, rinse the noodles under cold water and add them to a large bowl. Toss with the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil. Add in the chicken, cucumber, radish and cilantro, tossing well. Serve with drizzles of the chili oil. This is also delicious once it sits in the fridge for a few hours.

[slightly adapted from bon appetit]

Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil I howsweeteats.com

pretty food wins.

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52 Responses to “Soba Noodle Salad with Caramelized Chicken and Chili Oil.”

  1. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — May 5, 2014 @ 6:46 am

    1. Unloading the dishwasher is the WORST. Sometimes I make my hubby do it. but then he puts everything in the wrong spot, and I can’t find anything. UGH. Soba noodles with caramelized chicken? YES PLEASE. Drooling. Craving. Eating. Pinning!


  2. #
    Trisha (Stew or a Story) — May 5, 2014 @ 6:54 am

    I’m just accepted the fact that I live a life of cold wrinkle clothes pulled from the enormous pile of clean clothes sitting in my room. When will I learn? Never, because I’d rather watch t.v. or cook, or eat a big bowl of these noodles. So fresh!


  3. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — May 5, 2014 @ 7:08 am

    Yum! I need to make this to take for weekday lunches. Also, I hate laundry with a passion. It is my least favorite chore (after normal grocery shopping). Love the addition of star anise in the chili oil!


  4. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — May 5, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    I find taking down the clothes the worst job. Argh! the folding!

    Yum this is spring like salad that will brighten my day. The flavors are so authentic but I am really loving the chicken here. So much better than poached


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 5, 2014 @ 7:23 am

    Looks like absolute perfection! You know I’d never turn down a salad and this one looks fabulous. I can identify with your hatred for laundry – chopping up fruit and cooking beautiful food trumps folding and hanging clothes any day!


  6. #
    Baby June — May 5, 2014 @ 7:34 am

    That looks delish! I adore soba noodles, the addition of chili oil sounds fabulous.


  7. #
    Lisa @ Simple Pairings — May 5, 2014 @ 7:54 am

    Love chili oil, too! So much flavor – and so concentrated. Just a few drops can turn a boring meal into something exciting! This salad looks great.


  8. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 5, 2014 @ 8:00 am

    The chili oil must be awesome in this. I can almost smell it from here! And I love radishes. Need to buy them more. Thanks for the reminder. Perfect salad – pinned!


  9. #
    Leah — May 5, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    This looks awesome! I’m the queen of finishing up laundry and losing motivation to fold it. And Now and Then – what a great throw-back! I haven’t thought about that movie in forever – I want to go watch it stat! Last night, I got sucked into the Charleston reality show, Southern Charm, and watched like 3 episodes in a row. Argh…sometimes it just happens :)


  10. #
    Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — May 5, 2014 @ 8:47 am

    Sounds kinda of like my Sunday – very relaxing! I love this salad because of the simplicity and this gorgeous of it. Looks amazing!


  11. #
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy — May 5, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    That chilli oil sounds so good. I shall definitely be giving this a go :)


  12. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — May 5, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

    I ALSO have a gigantic pile (two actually) of clean laundry waiting to be folded. i hate it more than any other chore. My dishwasher (and sink drying rack) are also overflowing. I tend to stack stuff in precarious positions until it just gets ridiculous. Worst ever. This noodle salad, however, sounds like the best ever. I love cold soba noodles. This is definitely on my list to try!


  13. #
    Nicole — May 5, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    I’m loving these asian inspired recipes! The oil looks seriously amazing. I bet it would be incredible if you rubbed it all over a chicken before you roasted it in the oven.


  14. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — May 5, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only once who loathes putting away laundry. The sad part? I don’t even wash the clothes usually, my husband does. All I have to do is fold them and put them away. Yeah…he usually ends up putting them away too. I’m a fantastic wife, aren’t I?


  15. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — May 5, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

    I hate those good intention days… ie every day off I have.
    I usually realize that my husband is supposed to be home in, like, 30 min and then I scramble to throw things around so it looks like I’ve been cleaning and OH YEAH take off my pj’s and put on a real shirt…then he walks through the door. Whew.
    And my husband totally has the job of doing the laundry. He says he likes it. Go right on ahead then. Its all yours. He even separates it and folds it all, start to finish. Ugh.


  16. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — May 5, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

    This recipe looks so fresh and crunchy and tasty and good! I l like soba noodles and perfect lunch snack!


  17. #
    Amanda — May 5, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    Wonderful salad, love everything you put in it.


  18. #
    Lisag — May 5, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

    Yes this looks so refreshing! Hot or cold; even for breakfast.


  19. #
    Denise @ Sweet Peas and Saffron — May 5, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    I’m pretty sure my clean laundry almost always lives in the laundry basket until it is worn and then transferred to the dirty laundry basket ;). I love soba noodles, and this salad looks like the perfect, fresh dinner!


  20. #
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project — May 5, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

    I haven’t soba noodles in so long! I love all kinds of noodles and this looks incredibly delicious!


  21. #
    Katie A. — May 5, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    I weirdly don’t mind folding. It’s mindless and you can do it while watching TV…but I loathe putting them away! Hanging clothes on hangers and/or stuffing things in already overstuffed drawers (separate issue) is the worst!


  22. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — May 5, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

    This looks SO good! And…today, someone at work was selling candy for their daughter’s softball team. I bought a Kit-Kat. A king-size Kit-Kat. And ate it all.


  23. #
    Mile Rubio — May 5, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    I AM HUNGRY NOW!!! This looks amazing I can not imagine how it taste!!!
    Great plate.



  24. #
    Amy — May 6, 2014 @ 12:51 am

    No dishwasher in our house! Unless you count me that is :(
    Oh well, at least my other half will usually give me a back rub afterwards and is easily coerced (read: cookie) into drying up.
    These soba noodles look super awesome and will be great for both the washer and the dryer..that reminds me – I have a mountain of laundry that needs to be done…


  25. #
    In a Trendy Town — May 6, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    We love colorful recipes, nice photos, congratulations!



  26. #
    Medeja — May 6, 2014 @ 6:59 am

    Mmm.. Yummy! This could become one of my favorite salads :)


  27. #
    Emily @ Zen & Spice — May 6, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    I keep seeing radishes at the store and I’ve been wanting to buy them— this will be the perfect recipe to use them up!


  28. #
    Jim — May 6, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    Glad I am not the only one with piles of laundry, suitcases, and dust-laden clutter. This looks great.

    I also just realized that I am the only Male commenter…….


  29. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — May 6, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    Sounds like my Sunday; had the best intentions and got nothing done. Not even a great salad. I love the look of this!


  30. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — May 6, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one with a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded. I don’t mind washing clothes, but I hate folding the clothes. Love this noodle bowl!


  31. #
    Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift — May 6, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

    Well ok, this is clearly going to happen before the week is up. The radish part especially intrigues me. I’ve never had radishes because my mom was allergic, so she never served them…and I was never inspired to try them in any dishes. Until now. Clearly. As evidenced by the drool on my monitor…


  32. #
    DessertForTwo — May 7, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    This is all I need in life.


  33. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — May 7, 2014 @ 8:42 am

    Soba , soba , soba…. I guess i should try this stuff… yours looks amazing


  34. #
    Therese Weber — May 7, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! I’m going to have to test it out sometime soon!


  35. #
    Larry — May 7, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    I’ll take two, please. with a boba tea, too. UGH


  36. #
    Mary Jo — May 7, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

    Yummy! Oh why oh why am I reading this just before dinner :) Jessica, this looks not only delicious but your photos are beautiful!

    xo Mary Jo


  37. #
    Megan — May 8, 2014 @ 12:04 am

    Ugh…Laundry and dishes. Yep, worst chore ever. I think it’s because they are never done. I mean really, we are always wearing clothes, well in theory we are always wearing clothes and therefore just making more laundry. Dishes, see it’s that eating thing that piles those up. Not stopping the eating thing just to stay away from dishes. It’s the highlight of my day.


  38. #
    Susan G — May 8, 2014 @ 12:09 am

    I can totally relate. In fact, I am avoiding a pile of unfolded laundry, and a full dishwasher RIGHT NOW.


  39. #
    bev @ bevcooks — May 8, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    Oh my gawwwwd those radishes kill me.

    (I bet no one has ever said that before.)


  40. #
    Tanvee — May 26, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

    This salad was AMAZING! It tasted wonderful warm, and like a million times better cold. Thank you for such a simple yet amazing recipe! :)


  41. #
    Kate — June 4, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    So.so.so.good. I love this! I made it for dinner and it was a big hit. The chili oil takes it over the top. Next time I make this (because there WILL be a next time), I will definitely add more radishes. Yum yum.


  42. #
    Ghazal — June 26, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

    Just made this last night and it was AMAZING! Would it be as good if you used beef instead of chicken?


  43. #
    Hannah — July 5, 2014 @ 12:31 am

    I’ve literally made this once a week since you posted this recipe. It’s amazing! Hands down one of my favourite dinner recipes ever.


  44. #
    Janine — July 29, 2014 @ 8:46 am

    I tried making this last night. It was delicious and the chili oil made the dish that much more special :)


  45. #
    betsy — January 9, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

    this recipe would be great with zoodles “zucchini noodles” . great paleo recipes http://www.urbanpl8.com



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