Jaengban Guksu (Korean-style Soba Noodles with Spicy Dressing)

September 28, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

This is a perfect throw-together dish and customizable using your favorite vegetables. —Rach Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

First, the dressing: It's a lovely coral color, creamy, and it lives up to the "spicy" title. I'd like to try it with a variety of vegetables, or use it as the binding sauce for bibimbap. I made the salad with only one bundle of noodles, romaine lettuce, and a fridge-cleaning variety of vegetables—butternut squash, a potato, carrots—precooked; and peppers, onions, and an odd ear of corn. The apple lightens, freshens, and brightens everything else. Altogether a pleasure, and a new door opened to future variations. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the noodles:
  • 2 bundles soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
  • 3 cups assorted greens (baby spinach, baby kale, spring mix, chopped romaine, etc.; whatever your preference)
  • 2 cups chopped variety of vegetables (carrots, red onion, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, all work well here)
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 apple, grated
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  1. Cook the noodles in boiling water according to package instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Reserving a handful of greens, add the noodles, greens, vegetables, and apple to a large bowl.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients until well-combined. Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Scatter the reserved greens onto a platter and then pile the seasoned noodles and vegetables on top. Serve immediately.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Grace Lee
    Grace Lee
  • Fille de la Foret
    Fille de la Foret
  • Audrius Sapola
    Audrius Sapola
  • Mama Brunnochio
    Mama Brunnochio

16 Reviews

Taylor S. March 1, 2021
I was a little disappointed by the sauce - it sounded great but was a bit one dimensional with the only flavor really being spice. I tried to add a little soy sauce to tone it down and add some depth but ended up eating half my plate and tossing the rest.
NXL October 16, 2020
This was at the edge of my spiciness preference, yet lacking in flavor. I added salt. It's also annoyingly difficult to eat, which I always find to be the case with spaghetti-shaped noodles in pasta salads. Love soba noodles, though...
hookmountaingrowers June 10, 2020
This was very tasty and a healthy vegetarian option. I tripled the recipe (served 4 people) and used about 11 ounces of soba (dry). It was more time consuming though than I expected because I decided the cook the veggies. All in all, pleased with this and will likely make again.
Mr. B. May 15, 2020
I loved how quick and easy this dish was to prepare. It allows flexibility with the veggies, so you could have it once a week but never quite have the same dish twice. I can't wait to use this sauce in other dishes and eat my leftovers for breakfast!
Solveig March 20, 2020
The sauce was delicious and I will use it for other dishes.
Olivia R. April 27, 2019
I made this and it was really good! Also good with a little soy sauce :)
Grace L. January 21, 2019
made this tonight, it was delicious! during the summer i am going to try and using grated watermelon with sliced watermelon rind!
Kim March 19, 2018
Made this for dinner. My Korean boyfriend liked it a lot.. I love to cook and he enjoys my food, that said, I’ve wanted to learn Korean recipes because he craves it. This was easy, delicious and has inspired me to find more Korean recipes. thank you for this wonderful recipe!
Rach K. March 22, 2018
Great to hear!
Fille D. February 18, 2018
Is this served cold as a noodle salad? If so, can it also be served warm as a main course?
Rach K. March 22, 2018
Yes, it's served cold. I feel like it would be weird to serve it warm and I'm not sure how that would work since you need to rinse the soba noodles until they're cold... but they can be a cold main dish! It's a great main dish in the summer.
Audrius S. July 6, 2017
Looks good and easy, so I will save it and give it a go one day.
Mama B. July 13, 2016
I was craving these noodles and was in search of especially the dressing recipe. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!
Michele F. July 13, 2016
This is a bit annoying. I just read here how to cook soba noodles and it explained about washing them first, cold baths, aggressive rubbing to get rid of starch etc. And yet no reference to those details in this recipe. Why not?
Rach K. July 13, 2016
Hi, this is my recipe. I never do any of that when I make soba noodles. Like I say above, I just cook my noodles and then rinse under cold water. But if you want to go all out and do the aggressive rubbing or whatever, it's up to you.

(I don't understand why it's annoying that I explain my own process and Food52 has a different process. I don't think they necessarily have to agree.)
susan G. June 3, 2016
The sauce was just what I wanted for a bibimbap-style dinner tonight.