Spicy Soba Noodles

Nutty buckwheat noodles. A sharp, vinegary dressing. Obsessively spicy. Mouth-wateringly addictive. Make Spicy Soba Noodles all summer long!

Once summer weather hits, it’s time for Spicy Soba Noodles!!

There are so many reasons to love this Asian-inspired cold noodle salad: an umami-rich dressing that’s equal parts tangy and spicy. Just enough crunchy veg and aromatic cilantro to keep things light and fresh. That slick coating of sesame oil. Easy on the budget. Easy to put together.

Naturally vegan, these noodles make a great side for BBQs and picnics. No mayo means these noodles can sit at a buffet table without worry.

For individual noodle bowls, add protein of choice: grilled chicken, shredded rotisserie chicken, roasted salmon, or even soft-boiled eggs. These proteins transform a side of noodles into a hearty, packable lunch option.

Spicy Soba Noodles are especially good for potlucks. It’s the Asian-inspired side that tastes good with everything — burgers, hot dogs, galbi, pork belly bulgogi — everything!

This cold noodle salad will be your go-to summer meal or the dish you bring to potlucks all summer long.


Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles. Different from Korean buckwheat noodles (Naeng Myeon), these are thin and cook quickly. They are rinsed with cold water to prevent stickiness or guminess.

Soba noodles can be eaten hot or cold. But soba noodles taste especially good cold. They keep their shape and texture well. Plus, that nutty, earthy flavor! They stand up to tangy, sharp dressings necessary for a truly spectacular cold noodle salad.

The star ingredient in the dressing is Sambal Oelek — a fresh, garlicky chili paste from Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s not a thick paste like Gochujang or a smooth, easy-to-squeeze-condiment like Sriracha. Instead it’s runny and pourable but also somewhat chunky. It’s got great flavor and spicy heat. I always keep a jar in my fridge.

How to Make Spicy Soba Noodles:

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Be sure not to overcook the noodles! Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour over the soba noodles. Toss with tongs.

Add herbs and sliced sugar snap peas. Toss again. Serve and enjoy!

Spicy Soba Noodles

Nutty buckwheat noodles. An umami-rich dressing that's equal parts tangy and spicy. And just enough aromatics and crunchy veg to keep things light and fresh.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American, Asian, Fusion Food
Keyword: Noodles, Soba, Spicy
Servings: 6 as a side
Author: The Subversive Table


  • soba noodles (4 bundles)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion chopped


  • 2 Tbsp sambal olek (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • 1 inch ginger minced


  • Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
    cooked soba noodles drained and rinsed in colander
  • In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together.
    dressing for soba noodle salad in bowl
  • Pour dressing over the soba noodles. Mix well with tongs.
    soba noodles in bowl with tongs
  • Add veggies and herbs. Mix well with tongs. Serve and enjoy!
    soba noodles with vegetables in bowl and tongs

What to serve alongside Spicy Soba Noodles:

Asian Pork Riblets

hands holding dark plate with asian pork riblets

Dubu Jorim aka Spicy Braised Tofu

dubu jorim in shallow bowl with kimchi and rice on the side
Asian Slaw
asian slaw with hand pouring dressing into bowl

Asian Glazed Salmon

top down shot of plate of asian glazed salmon and rice with fork and rice in corner
15 minutes, All Recipes, Asian Inspired, Dinner with Friends, Potluck, Salad, Side, Weeknight Meals
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[…] (roasted and shredded) to accommodate friends who couldn’t eat raw fish.  I also made Soba Noodles and a quick Pineapple Jalapeno […]

The Twin Cooking Project (The Twin Cooking Project)
The Twin Cooking Project (The Twin Cooking Project)
1 year ago

This made me subscribe to your blog. Such an excellent recipe for soba noodles. Loved it.

Ling Chee Jong
Ling Chee Jong
1 year ago

Hi Lis,

I was using your receipe and wanted to point out that maybe you should indicate the 4 bundles in the receipe itself. We are having it again at the cottage! It’s a winner.