This Vegan Edamame Pesto is so easy to make and pairs beautifully with soba noodles to make a delicious salad absolutely brimming with plant-based goodness!
My recipe for this Vegan Edamame Pesto was featured in the UK national newspaper The Guardian as it was one of the winning entries to their pesto recipe competition. You can read the article here. Dale Berning Sawa said “the combination of lemon juice and soy gives it a wonderfully satisfying ponzu kick”, and because of all the delicious Japanese flavours in here, I decided it would be great served with soba noodles.
Soba noodles, which are made of buckwheat, are naturally gluten-free and vegan. They’re a staple of the traditional Japanese diet, often used to make noodle soups such as Kitsune Soba, or eaten cold with a soy-based dipping sauce. I like to use these Clearspring soba noodles (they’re made from 100% buckwheat and gluten-free), which you can find in most supermarkets.
Here are some gorgeous, hand-made soba noodles I saw hanging outside a restaurant in Japan:
They have a deliciously nutty flavour and chewy texture, and being full of protein and fibre, they’re naturally very healthy too.
You can add whatever vegetables you want – I went for peppery radishes and sweet, crunchy red peppers, but you can also add purple cabbage, pickled ginger, spring onions, raw, thinly sliced sugar-snap peas, carrots, cucumber, avocado, anything really! You could also even add fruits – mango, or even pomegranate could be nice!
The Vegan Edamame Pesto itself is really quick and easy to make – all you need to do is throw some cooked edamame beans, fresh basil and basic seasoning into a blender and you’re good to go! To make it more Japanese, you could replace the lemon juice with yuzu juice or ume-shiso seasoning. You can find edamame in the frozen aisles of most supermarkets. This version below is one I actually adapted slightly from my feature in The Guardian – I removed the almonds as I felt the edamame added enough sweet, nutty flavour, making the almonds slightly gratuitous. But of course, if you want some extra protein, you could add almonds, or even pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. I also removed the olive oil as it gets creamy enough blended with a little water, and added basil, as I discovered its fresh aroma really compliments the rich, creamy edamame.
If you have any leftover pesto, it also doubles as a great dip for crackers or vegetable crudités.
As this edamame pesto and soba noodle salad is best eaten cold (as mentioned earlier, soba noodles are often served cold in Japan), it also makes a perfect make-ahead packed lunch!
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 portions soba noodles (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- Sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
- Sugar-snap peas, thinly sliced
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Avocado, diced
- 150g (5oz) edamame
- 30g (1oz) fresh basil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (or sub yuzu juice or ume-shiso seasoning)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- Salt, to taste
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon wasabi
- Fresh basil
- Black sesame seeds
- Pickled ginger
- Spring onions
- Cook the soba noodles according to instructions on packet
- Drain and rinse with cold water
- Cook the edamame according to instructions on the packet
- Add edamame to a blender/food processor with all the other ingredients for the pesto and whizz until smooth, adding little splashes of water until you achieve your desired consistency
- Taste and adjust salt as necessary
- Mix edamame pesto with the soba noodles
- Add desired vegetables and toppings and serve
- *For extra protein, you could add pine nuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc