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Cold Soba Noodle Gochujang Salad With Quick Pickled Carrots and Salty Watermelon

This cold soba noodle salad with pickled carrots and salty watermelon is perfect for warmer days: spicy, salty-sweet, crunchy and unbelievably delicious!

I don’t know about you guys, but noodle bowls make me happy. Like REALLY happy!

We had three beautiful, soul-warming, mood-boosting days of sunshine and a little taste of summer here in Berlin and this Cold Soba Noodle Gochujang Salad With Quick Pickled Carrots and Salty Watermelon was like the icing on the proverbial summer happiness cake.

I realize that what I have chosen to call this noodle bowl is a total mouthful, but I really want to impress upon you, esteemed reader, the measure of delicious that is packed into this delightful dish!

The soba noodles are tossed in a mix of sesame oil, spicy gochujang paste and soy sauce, sweet watermelon gets a makeover with salt and a splash of lemon juice and the carrots take a dip in a rice vinegar bath with salt and sugar for a speedy quick (can you tell I’ve been reading Junie B. Jones to my five year old?) pickle. Add in some garlic spinach and all the other crunchy fixins and you really have a next level bowl of joy.

I know what I’ll be eating all this summer!

xoxo Donata


Serves 2

Quick Pickled Carrots:

1 medium carrot

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

rice vinegar

Salty Watermelon:

10,5 oz (300 g) seedless watermelon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp lemon juice

Garlic Spinach:

2 packed cups (70 g) fresh spinach leaves

1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Noodle Base:

9 oz (250 g) soba noodles

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp gochujang paste

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds


1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup shelled edamame


Peel and cut the carrot into matchsticks. Place into a small bowl. Pour the rice vinegar over the carrots so they are completely covered. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the carrots and mix through gently to combine. Make sure the carrots are submerged. Set aside.

Cut the watermelon into cubes. Place in a bowl with the lemon juice and salt. Toss to coat thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 tabslepoon olive oil, the sesame oil, gochujang paste, lemon juice and soy sauce into a paste.

Prepare soba noodles according to the package instructions until just done. Drain and set aside too cool.

When cool, add to the bowl with the gochujang paste. Toss thoroughly until well coated. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add grated or finely chopped garlic. Sauté until soft and fragrant. Add spinach leaves. Sauté briefly, the turn off heat and leave to wilt.

Add sesame seeds to the noodle base, retaining about 1/2 tablespoon as garnish. Toss to distribute evenly.

Drain the pickled carrots and the watermelon.

Divide the soba noodles into two bowls. Garnish each bowl with the carrots, watermelon, spinach, red cabbage, edamame, scallions and the remaining sesame seeds.

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