Lovely lunch noodles – whip up fast and flavorful veggie noodles for a tasty weekday lunch

Are you looking for a quick and hassle-free vegetarian lunch option? Well, noodles to the rescue! Check out these three delicious noodle recipes that are ready in no time whenever you yearn for a yummy homemade lunch.

The name and idea for the delicious bánh mi noodles come from the Vietnamese bánh mi baguette. The Sobremesa bowl and Colour chopsticks are from HAY and Seireeni fabric by Marimekko serves as a tablecloth.

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO noodles than the instant varieties with chicken or shrimp flavors found in flashy packaging. With the right balance of influences and flavors, you can easily recreate the beloved dishes of Asian restaurants in the home kitchen, without dedicating hours to midday meal prep.

These noodle recipes are not meant to be identical replicas of the originals. Instead, the idea is that you can find the ingredients easily in your local store and don’t have to spend too much time sweating in the kitchen – and of course, that the result is a tasty dish that adds a touch of delight to your daily routine!

The ingredients for the meals are easy to find in your local grocery. The orange Omar bowl is made by Raawii and the small Bronto plate is from Hem's collection. Design House Stockholm's Sand Secrets pot is perfect for serving soy sauce.

The cold noodles are inspired by a cold noodle soup (mul naengmyeon), a dish popular in Korea on hot summer days. The broth, which is an irresistibly harmonious blend of sweet and savory, is served with cucumber and noodles – with ice cubes drifting in the bowl! Cold noodles make a perfect meal for the days of the fading warmth of summer. The recipe is flexible: you can leave the egg and mustard out if you want to make the dish all vegan. You can also use any crunchy vegetables or add your preferred protein for a truly personalized culinary creation.

Cold noodles make a perfect meal for the days of the fading warmth of summer.

Bánh mi noodles got their name and idea from the Vietnamese bánh mi baguette that was born as a result of colonization. This hearty sandwich (filled with French pâté, Vietnamese herbs, and pickled vegetables, among others) is extremely popular, and no wonder! You can turn the bread into a trendy, delicious easy-to-make bowl by using rice noodles instead of baguette, seasoned tofu instead of pâté, a generous amount of herbs, and definitely something pickled – in this case, carrots.

Garnish the table setting with bamboo tablets. The long Fein spoon by ferm LIVING is ideal for serving spices

Give Chinese dan dan noodles a try during your lunchtime adventures. While the traditional version features pork, sesame seed paste, Sichuan pepper, homemade chili oil, and pickled vegetables, our take on this recipe simplifies the ingredient hunt with easily available items from your local store. The minced meat is replaced with Pulled Oats. The result is a salty, sticky, sweet, and oh-so-tasty noodle dish that also goes perfectly with steamed spinach or pickled carrots, for which you will find a recipe below.

PS. At the end of each recipe, you'll find practical tips for things you can do in advance, whether it's the evening before or over the weekend. Preparation – your gateway to an easy and enjoyable home-cooked lunch!

Recipes for noodle dishes:

You can prepare the cold noodles in advance: boil the eggs, chop the vegetables, and cook the broth. Serve the noodles from Design House Stockholm's Sand plate and pair the food with green tea, served from 1616 / arita japan's CMA tea cup.

Cold noodles

Ingredients for four servings:
250 g soba noodles
1 cucumber
1 bunch of radishes
Handful of crisp lettuce (iceberg, romaine) / person
2 spring onions with stems
4 boiled eggs
Ice cubes
Toasted sesame seeds
(Nori seaweed)

500 ml water
1.5 tsp salt
50 ml rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp mustard (Dijon-style, not sweet)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, grated

Boil the eggs. Prepare the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet, rinse with cold water, drain and portion into 4 bowls. Add the ingredients of the broth into a mixing bowl and stir until the broth is smooth and all the ingredients are dissolved. Taste the broth and adjust the balance of flavours, if necessary. Thinly slice the cucumber, radishes, lettuce and spring onions.

Pour the broth over the noodles and add some ice cubes into each bowl. Put the cucumbers, radishes, lettuce and eggs in the bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can also garnish the dishes with thinly sliced nori, which is the type of seaweed used in sushi. Serve right away.

In advance: boil the eggs and prepare the broth. Store them in the fridge. Toast some sesame seeds. You can also chop the vegetables and store them in a container with a lid if you wish.

Bánh mi noodles are topped with coriander, lime, mint and spring onion. Serve the dish from HAY's Sobremesa bowl.

Bánh mi noodles

Ingredients for four servings:
250 g rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
350 g plain tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
150 ml (vegan) mayonnaise
2–3 tbsp sriracha

Pickled carrots:
2–3 carrots
100 ml vinegar
50 ml sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp salt

For serving: spring onion, fresh mint and cilantro, lime wedges

First, prepare the carrots. Peel and thinly slice the carrots and put them in a jar with a lid. Mix the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and pour over the carrots. You can store the carrots in the fridge for about 2 weeks, so you can easily prepare them in advance.

Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet and rinse. Add 2 tbsp pickle brine, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Mix. Portion the noodles into bowls.

Mix the mayonnaise and sriracha.

Dice the tofu, fry it in a pan with a splash of oil until crispy, and add the soy and hoisin sauces. If necessary, add a splash of water and fry until the sauce sticks to the tofu and the tofu is nice and brown.

Portion the tofu into the bowls next to the noodles. Season with a generous amount of fresh mint and cilantro as well as chopped spring onion and lime wedges. Serve right away with the mayonnaise.

In advance: pickle the carrots, prepare the sauce, and fry the tofu, which can be reheated right before serving.

Dandan noodles can be made from either Pulled Oats or Härkis mince, depending on your taste preferences. Vaidava Ceramics' Earth bowl is made from clay.

Vegetarian dan dan noodles

Ingredients for four servings:
250 g wheat noodles
1 packet (250 g) Pulled Oats or Härkis fava-bean mince
1 tbsp oil
3–4 cloves of garlic
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated

100 ml peanut butter
2 tbsp roasted onion
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Chili oil to taste
(Noodle cooking water)

For serving: crushed peanuts and finely chopped spring onion

Finely chop the spring onion and crush the peanuts. Mix the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl. Finely chop the peeled garlic cloves, grate the ginger and fry them in a pan with Pulled Oats and oil until crispy.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet and save 100 ml of the cooking water for the sauce. Drain the noodles. Add cooking water to the sauce until it is thin enough. Add 1/3 of the sauce onto the Pulled Oats in the pan and mix.

Portion the noodles, sauce and Pulled Oats into bowls and mix vigorously. Sprinkle the noodles with crushed peanuts and finely chopped spring onion. Serve right away.

In advance: prepare the sauce and fry the Pulled Oats. Reheat before serving.

Eva Solo's Green Tool mandolin slicer features a sturdy handle that ensures a comfortable and ergonomic grip while cutting fruit and vegetables into thin slices.

+ Slice of life

Slicing and chopping is often the most tedious and time-consuming part of everyday cooking – particularly when it comes to vegetables. But not to worry, Eva Solo’s mandolin slicer gets the job done incredibly quickly! Perfectly thin and crunchy vegetables are a pleasure to eat. When using a mandoline, just keep your head in the game and your fingers will be in no danger!

Get inspired

The Vegetarian Cookbook
Omar bowl
Vaidava Ceramics
Earth bowl
Design House Stockholm
Sand Secrets pot
Spring Copenhagen
Laine vase
1616 / arita japan
CMA tea cup
Inner circle teapot
Sobremesa serving bowl
Seireeni fabric
Design House Stockholm
Sand plate
Colour chopsticks
Fein spoon
Suvi Kesäläinen

Design Stories contributor Suvi Kesäläinen is a photographer, who loves to create dishes that are not only delicious but also fast and easy to make. She’s passionate about the best seasonal ingredients, local food, and intriguing culinary trends.

See also:

New tableware at Finnish Design Shop >

Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen

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