Soba and Zucchini Noodle Salad


This soba salad offers bracing heat that's most welcome on a hot day when the coldest beers are at hand. Tender buckwheat noodles and crispy strands of zucchini "noodles" soak up a pleasantly piquant dressing laced with both gochugaru and gochujang for a double hit of spicy Korean peppers mellowed by a touch of brown sugar. Perfect served chilled or at room temperature, it's an easy make-ahead dish for summer entertaining.

Soba and Zucchini Salad with Gochujang Dressing
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 8 ounces uncooked soba noodles

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (see Note)

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large garlic clove, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 3 cups zucchini spirals (about 10 ounces) (from 2 small [6-ounce] zucchini)

  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from 1 small [2-pound] head cabbage)

  • ½ cup matchstick-cut carrots

  • 1 small yellow bell pepper (about 7 ounces), cut into thin strips


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Add noodles, and cook according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water until noodles are cool. Drain well.

  2. Whisk together gochujang, vinegar, gochugaru, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt, and garlic in a large bowl. Add noodles, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper; toss well to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

Salad can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Be sure to use real gochujang paste—the miso-thick, glossy-shiny paste sold in tubs in Asian markets. Gochujang sauce, sold in many grocery stores, is thinner and milder and doesn't have as deep a flavor.

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