Cold Sesame Soba Noodles ~ Savory Simple ~ www.savorysimple.netCold Sesame Soba Noodles

I’m kind of a nostalgia junkie. I love visiting sites such as this one and enjoying small trips down memory lane. I get this strange feeling in my chest when I see something I’d completely forgotten about. It’s hard to describe the feeling… a jolt? A rush of joy mixed with a touch of longing and a dash of sadness? I always find forgotten memories slightly sad. What else am I forgetting? Regardless, I love the feeling. A single image can bring back so many associated memories. A glimpse of an old toy will take me back to the room where I played with it. 30 years may have passed since I’ve tasted a particular candy but I remember exactly how it tasted the moment I see it. It’s amazing how our minds work, isn’t it?

I don’t live terribly far from my first childhood home. My parents still reside in the house where I lived from age 9 until college so I visit it regularly. But that first house… I want to peek inside so badly and see how it looks 25 years later. Sometimes when I’m in the neighborhood I’ll drive past it. There’s a tot lot right behind the house. I haven’t been there in years but there have been days when I’ve sat on the swings at the tot lot, marveling at the short distance between the playground and my old backyard. It’s a small hill, but when I was little it was like running the length of a football field. At the end of the football field was a massive weeping willow tree that I used to hide under. The tree is still there.

How small would that house look now if I walked through the halls, the kitchen, the bedrooms? I’m fascinated by the distorted perspective of my memories. I’ve only seen those walls through the eyes of a 9 year old. I know it would look tiny now but in my mind the inside of the house is so big. If I were to visit now the green shag carpet from my bedroom would probably be long gone as well as the yellow and white tiles from my playroom. I would love to see it but I don’t see how that’s possible. I would never knock on the front door. Do I write a letter? It seems like something so simple yet so unattainable. I’m not sure there’s any way to request entering a stranger’s home without sounding creepy. I guess I’ll just have to settle for distorted memories and an occasional visit to the tot lot on top of the not-so-big hill.

Cold Sesame Soba Noodles ~ Savory Simple ~


Cold Sesame Soba Noodles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1-2 servings
  • 3 ounces (1 bunch) soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil (or more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon light agave
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons pasta water
  1. Prepare soba noodles according to instructions. Drain, reserving about 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil, light agave, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and pasta water.
  3. Toss the soba noodles and sauce together. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds before serving.


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  • Marta

    I have the same thing with my old house. I want to see how it looks inside and go there each year, actually it’s in a neighbourhood so whenever I visit my parents I go there as well. I don’t know why, maybe because I had such a good time over there. Nice recipe :)

  • Gerry

    I often think about my childhood and hope that my kids are storing memories which we can talk about when they become grown ups. Thanks for sharing such a cool story :)

  • Heather

    I miss my childhood home so badly!! My parents don’t live there anymore and I think the neighborhood went downhill after all these years. Boo. I think it’s the same for everyone though because my mom’s first home as a little girl was in East St. Louis but when she told her brother last year where she was going he said NOOOO!! You can’t go there! Nostalgia. We crave it like that Nintendo Power Pad. WOW!!!

  • Marie

    Loved this story! And this is the perfect dish for that story for me – my mom made cold soba noodle salad all the time growing up! Love it so much!

  • Bev

    Me. Wants.

  • Tieghan

    Love asian noodle! I want these now!

  • Ali

    I would totally write them a letter! I remember growing up, we had the previous owners ask to come see the place years later, and it was so cool to hear their thoughts! :)

    These noodles sound completely comforting too. I love sesame noodles!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Maybe I will. After I posted this it occurred to me that I could send them some photos of me as a little kid inside the house so they’d know I’m not a psycho :)

  • Dorothy

    We went back to our first house once, and it was totally like that – everything seemed small, doll-sized. My memories were of huge doors! :) These noodles look SO good!

  • Valerie

    I begged my parents for a Sno-Cone machine (never got it though!). :D

    This pasta dish looks delicious!!

  • Jennifer

    Love the dish! It sounds amazing! Would be perfect for lunch!!

  • Sommer

    Oooo, as the weather start to warm up, I love cooling our meals down. Delicious!

  • Cassie

    I love this recipe! I could eat cold noodles any time of day!

  • Kiran


    I would love visiting the home I grew up in, but my uncle had it all renovated. It’s no longer the same :(

  • Anna

    I often wonder who lives in our first house… I have seen it many times but never tried to contact the owners. You made me wonder… :) Anyhow, your soba noodles dish looks amazing!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love soba noodles and that peanut sauce looks so good! Wish I had a big bowl for lunch!

  • Rachel

    The noodles look gorgeous. I’m not usually a huge pasta fan unless it’s mac n cheese so that’s saying something ;) My parents are actually in the process of looking for a new house – it’ll be so weird for it to not really be ‘my’ house anymore. I’ve heard of people knocking on doors and asking to take a quick visit into their childhood homes, though I’m not sure I could do it!

  • Kate

    These look like a perfect dish; quick, light and fast…perfect flavor. Great recipe! Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Wenderly

    What a lovely post! It’s my first visit here, love your site! I too live close to my childhood home and my parents still live in the house that we moved to when I was in 2nd grade. I often drive by my childhood home and fantasize about walking those halls again. I wonder if we’ll still be living in our current home when my teen & tween are all grown up? Think I’ll take this opportunity to remind them to savor little nook & cranny now. While they still can. Nice to * meet* you!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind words!

  • Monet

    Such a beautiful and true reflection! Journeying back in time is often an emotional experience for me. My childhood home looks so different than what I had stored in my mind! Thank you for sharing your thoughts…and this lovely bowl of pasta. It’s just beautiful.

  • Kirsten

    Cold soba noodles make me remember when I lived in Japan, and how it was a seasonal dish that everyone seemed to eat at the same time. When I moved to northern Virginia it was great to see huge displays of soba noodle bundles and bottles of seasoning appear right was I was starting to crave it. I even had the bamboo mat and plate to eat them off of, though I think that got lost in a move.

    Thanks for the memory!

  • Aimee

    Your photos are incredible. I just want to reach through my computer screen!!!

  • Chung-Ah

    I wish I could go visit my childhood home in New York. I once looked at it from google maps and it was so weird because everything looked the same, and it’s been over 10 yrs!

    Anyway, these noodles – amazing. I may just have to make this for dinner tonight.

  • Barbara

    What a great meal, quick, easy, and delicious.

  • Georgia

    Slllurrrrpp! These look so tasty – I’d love a big bowl of ’em for dinner!

  • Lora

    Your noodles look fantastic, Jen. I was thinking of them all day.:)You know one family that lived in our house over 30 years ago did come by here a few years back. She did knock on the door and asked if she could come inside. She looked around and told stories about how the house used to look when she was a young girl. She came out back with us and told us stories about the trees that used to planted there. It was a very nostalgic moment for her. She ended up writing us a really sweet thank you note afterwards thanking us for letting her see her childhood home as it is today. As I’ve been cleaning out my dad’s home these weeks, so many memories have come flooding back. Your post was very sweet to read.

  • Jennifer

    Oh my goodness, I love that site! I could spend too much time looking through it. It reminds me off all the stuff I had when I was young too. So fun to look back and remember those things and the memories associated with them. These soba noodles looks delicious too!

  • Kate

    I love that site!! I can’t believe AOL chats are supposedly archaic… whatev!! Pass me a bowl of that deliciousness while I continue to browse around memory lane. :-D

  • Carol

    Every time I visit my parents in upstate New York, I drive by my childhood home, and think of all the lovely memories. Love your post, Jen – and also the soba noodles! Your photography is amazing!

  • Bianca

    I’m very nostalgic too. And it’s true that going back to a place as an adult is so much different from what I remember from being there as a kid.
    PS – I want these noodles for lunch.

  • ashley – baker by nature

    So swooning over these noodles, Jen!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I am very nostalgic too. It can make me very upset easily, as I miss the past and dread what the future holds all at once. What’s funny is that there are only a handful of things from the past I would want back but sometimes I’d be willing to take all the bad too just to have those few good things again.

  • Laura

    Sometimes I think the distorted memories are better, or at least more fun. My brother lives in my childhood home and it kind of messes with your memories, you know? Because I am so familiar with it now.

  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    This sounds insanely delicious and comforting!

  • Honey What’s Cooking

    love sesame noodles.. looks delicious! I love your site

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    Oh, I am familiar with that happy yet sad nostalgic feeling *sigh*.
    Anyway :) Love this dish, looks absolutely delicious.

  • Joseph Espinal

    One of the things that make us remember of our old house is the good food that we miss eating so much. The taste is somehow unforgettable especially if prepared by familiar hands. There is nothing better than eating at home with loved ones.

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Both soba and sesame seeds have great nutrition. This is just wonderful! Very interesting to live close to your childhood home. I’d be intrigued to see inside too! I won’t feel offended if someone comes to me and said my house is his/her childhood home. :)

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    I lived in so many places growing up, all in the same town. Recently I’ve been having dreams where I wander the houses. It’s neat.

    These noodles look sooo good!

  • Jennifer

    Ok, so I had to google “tot lot” to figure out where that term came from (I could assume what it was but never heard that name), and an Urban Dictionary definition said that if someone uses this term they live in, or are from MD ;). P.S. Those noodles look delicious and I am definitely making them tomorrow!