While I am a big fan of vegan sandwiches, it's always nice to take the tastebuds for a spin and mix up the lunchtime routine. This kimchi salad comes together in less time than it takes to grab a sandwich and it is jam-packed with tongue-tingling Korean flavours and contrasting textures.
This recipe was originally post on October 7, 2016 and updated with a revised recipe, process images and ingredient substitutions on October 9, 2022.
It's no secret I love kimchi - I make huge batches of my homemade vegan kimchi every month. I know, it's a lot, but I am a big fan. Like, really big.
Why This Recipe Works
This spicy kimchi salad is one of my favourite ways to use it. Chilli, garlic, tahini and ginger balance perfectly with acidic kimchi and soft noodles. Some things just work, you know?
Ingredients & Substitutions
Kimchi. Kimchi is the backbone of this vegan salad. I use my homemade variety but you can use store-bought, just make sure it's vegan.
Noodles. Soft, silky noodles add contrast to our bowl. I love Soba noodles but you can use Hokkien or Udon. Rice noodles will also work for a gluten-fee version.
For Soba noodles, I use around 270g (9½ oz) but for heavier noodles like Hokkien or Udon, I use 400g (14oz).
Tahini sauce. Adding another textural element to this kimchi salad, tahini sauce is creamy and wonderful. You can also try peanut butter or almond butter.
Spring onions, cabbage and carrots. These veggies work so well in this noodle dish - they are finely sliced to provide crunch but don't dominate the texture. For cabbage, I just use what I have around. You could swap out any of these veggies for others you have handy or prefer. Try thinly sliced cucumber or zucchini, edamame beans, massaged and finely sliced kale, sliced radish...it's your salad, baby.
Soy sauce. Providing salt and umami, swap soy for tamari if you need your kimchi salad gluten-free.
Rice wine vinegar. The lightest of the vinegars, rice wine vinegar is common in Asian cooking. If you don't have any on hand, apple cider vinegar will work or verjuice, although it will be a touch sweeter.
Gochujang paste. You can find this spicy Korean paste at Asian grocers, online and at some supermarkets in the Asian food section. I add a small spoon to the salad dressing to add more depth and heat but if you don't have it, use sriracha or a couple of spoons of kimchi juice.
How to Make An Epic Kimchi Salad
You'll find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step 1. Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.
Step 2. Chop and combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 3. Throw your soba noodles into boiling water and cook to the packet instructions - usually around 4 minutes. If you are using another type of noodle, cook to the packet instructions. Carefully drain them and run them under cold water until the noodles are cold. Shake them well to get rid of as much water as you can.
Step 4. Add the noodles to the bowl with the chopped veggies and pour over as much dressing as you like. Toss to combined well and serve with a good sprinkling of raw seeds.
Step 5. Serve yourself a giant bowl. You've earned it.
This salad is gluten-free adaptable. Soba noodles are often not gluten-free, they are made with buckwheat and wheat flour. Check the packet always. Swap to rice noodles for a gluten-free salad and use gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos.
Totally. If you’re making this ahead of time, toss everything together except the chopped vegetables and kimchi. Those are crunchiest when added just before serving
More Quick Recipes For You to Try
Want more plant-based goodness?
Kimchi Salad with Noodles
For the Dressing
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- ½ tablespoon ginger finely grated
- 1½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup or raw sugar
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon Gojuchang paste optional, or sriracha paste
- 2 tablespoon water
For the Bowl
- 270 grams Soba noodles or 400g Hokkien or Udon
- 1 carrot (large) peeled and cut julienne
- 2-3 spring onions scallion, finely sliced on an angle
- 2½ cups cabbage washed and finely sliced
- ⅔ cup kimchi, chopped
- ½ cup mixed seeds pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
- Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.
- Chop and combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Throw your soba noodles into boiling water over medium heat and cook to the packet instructions - usually around 4 minutes. If you are using another type of noodle, cook to the packet instructions. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully drain noodles. Run them under cold water until the they are cold. Shake them well to get rid of as much water as you can.
- Add the noodles to the bowl with the chopped veggies and pour over as much dressing as you like. Toss to combined well and serve with a good sprinkling of raw seeds.