Spicy Sunflower Noodles


Recipe Intro From lisathompson

There is nothing I love to eat more than a bowl of saucy noodles, whether it's spaghetti with tomato sauce, tangy vietnamese-style rice noodles, or takeout lo-mein. Noodles are simply the perfect food. I will never say no to a creamy, nut-based sauce (hello, peanut sauce and tahini dressing!) and learned roasted sunflower seeds can be a source of umami in vegetarian and vegan dishes in a test kitchen years ago. Here, spicy roasted sunflower seeds turn into the base of our sauce as well as provide a crunchy topping. Blend into a smooth puree with some flavor boosters like miso, rice vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, and sriracha and you're well on your way to creating an amazing sauce that makes extra! Use it throughout the week to add a richness to your lunches or perk up roasted veggies. To really drive home the sunflower theme, I like to use sunflower sprouts, and sunflower oil to showcase how amazing this flower is and how versatile it can be. Need to keep this dish gluten-free? Use buckwheat soba noodles, gluten-free miso, and tamari.

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 10mins
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card

For the Spicy Sunflower Seeds


  • 1 1/2 cups raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Quick-Pickled Daikon


  • 1 small daikon radish, carrot, or cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon furikake

For the Spicy Sunflower Sauce


  • 1 cup spicy sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or sambal olek
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup

To Serve


  • 1 pound udon or soba noodles, fresh or dried
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cooked to desired doneness
  • Spicy sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts, radish sprouts, or microgreens
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Furikake

Roast the Sunflower Seeds


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

  • Step 2

    Toss sunflower seeds with sunflower oil, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt on a small baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Make the Quick-Pickled Daikon

  • Step 1

    Meanwhile, toss sliced daikon with sliced scallions, rice vinegar, sugar, and furikake seasoning to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Spicy Sunflower Sauce

  • Step 1

    Add 1 cup spicy sunflower seeds to a high-speed blender with water, rice vinegar, miso, soy sauce, sriracha, and sugar. Puree on high until very smooth and a thick but pourable consistency. Set aside until ready to use.

Cook the Noodles

  • Step 1

    Cook udon or soba noodles according to package directions, then drain well. Toss noodles about 3/4 cup spicy sunflower sauce, then serve into bowls. Noodles can be served hot or at room temperature.


  • Step 1

    Arrange chilled daikon, hard-boiled egg, sprouts, a sprinkle of spicy sunflower seeds, and sliced scallions over noodles. Season egg and garnish bowl with extra furikake seasoning. Drizzle with extra sauce, if desired.