A photo posted by Elly Curshen  (@ellypear) on


The perfect picnic food is basically things that are not going to go sad and limp if they have to sit in a hot car for a while (leafy salads especially), or dry out and go crusty if left in the sunshine (I’m looking at you, sandwiches). You want bold flavours and sturdy textures! This cold noodle salad is quick and easy to make, plus you can add in or leave out whatever you like. It also happens to be vegan, keeps in the fridge for up to two days and makes a great packed lunch.

SUMMER SOBA NOODLE SALAD - Serves 6-8 generous portions

150g soba noodles, uncooked

150g red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cooked corn on the cob, kernels sliced off (or approx 130g canned corn)

2 peppers (red, orange or yellow), cored and sliced

1/2 cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and cut into 1/2 cm-thick slices

125g cherry tomatoes, halved

150g Chinese leaf cabbage, shredded

2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped

2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped

3 spring onions, finely sliced

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks

75g fine green beans

50g broccoli, finely chopped

A big pinch of sea salt flakes


For The Dressing:
2 tbsp peanut butter (any kind)

4 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp veg/sunflower/rapeseed oil

2 tbsp Sriracha

2 tbsp sesame oil

To Garnish:
Salt and pepper

4 tbsp peanuts/cashews/mixture of both, toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped

Lime wedges

2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped

2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped

Extra Sriracha (to taste)



1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain well.

2. Tip into a large Tupperware box and add a little sesame oil to stop them from sticking.

3. Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake really well.

4. Tip all the salad ingredients in with the noodles and pour half the dressing over the top.

5. Toss everything together really well using (very clean) hands. Taste and season.

6. Pack the rest of the dressing in a small jar, seal the nuts, lime wedges and chopped herbs in little freezer bags or pots and use to garnish when serving.


Elly’s extras:

a. You can order mini Sriracha bottles online from pocket-sriracha.com – perfect for those who can’t leave home without it.

b. Falcon Enamelware (the iconic white with a blue trim) is ideal for picnics, as it’s lightweight and won’t break.

c. I’ve used a massive range of veg, but feel free to substitute your favourites – just keep it crunchy and fresh.


Continued below...

What's next? Try Elly Pear's baba ganoush