Chicken salad with soba noodles

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Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

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This chilled salad makes a perfect summer starter for six, or it would make a lunchtime Main course for three or four. Soba noodles, usually made from a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours, are a staple ingredient in many Japanese kitchens, served either cold in salads or in noodle soups. Green tea noodles, also Japanese and made from wheat flour and powdered green tea, make a stunning alternative.


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, skin on
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthways and de-seeded
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 200 g(6 ½ oz) soba noodles, cooked as below
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 12 mint leaves, finely shredded good quality soy sauce


Preheat oven to 220°C/450°F/Gas Mark 6. Lightly oil and season chicken breast on both sides and brown in a frying pan until golden on both sides. Place in oven and roast 15 minutes or until cooked. Leave to cool, then peel off skin if you want to - I like to keep it on. While they’re cooking, peel cucumber into ribbons with a potato peeler, then mix with lemon juice, sugar, salt and ginger and refrigerate.

To serve, mix noodles, spring onions and mint. Divide into six piles. Finely slice chicken and lay slices over the top of noodles. Lastly, put a pile of cucumber mixture on top and drizzle with a teaspoon or so of the soy sauce.

How to cook soba noodles

Half fill a deep saucepan with water, add a little salt and bring to the boil. Drop in all the noodles, leave 30 seconds, then stir well. Bring to the boil, then pour in half a cup of cold water (this ‘shocks’ the noodles). Return to the boil and add another half cup of cold water, then boil again. Test noodles to see if they’re ready – they should be a little al dente. Once cooked, drain and refresh under cold running water, then drain again and mix carefully with a few tablespoons of sesame oil to prevent them sticking. Keep in the fridge for no more than 2 days.