Asian Zucchini Noodle Salad

Some vegetables can be harder to digest when they are raw, like cauliflower or zucchini. So, if you are not used to eating raw zucchini, take it easy the first time, and don't eat more than a regular portion.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 3 to 4 zucchinis (1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced and roughly chopped red cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced then cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped, leaves and tender stems (about 1/2 cup)


  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark roasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

*Seasoned rice vinegar is rice vinegar that has been seasoned with salt, pepper, and sugar. If you have plain rice vinegar, you'll need to add seasoning and sugar to it.


1 Spiralize zucchini noodles: Using a spiralizer or other spiral vegetable slicing tool, use the zucchini to make the zucchini noodles following manufacturer's directions. You should have 5 to 6 cups of "zoodles". Place in a colander set over a bowl and toss with salt. Let the noodles drain a bit of their excess moisture while you prep the other vegetables.

Many of the noodles are quite long, so you'll want to cut them up a bit with scissors to make them easier to toss with the other vegetables.

2 Combine zucchini noodles with cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, onions, cilantro in a large bowl.

3 Make dressing: Whisk together in a medium bowl the seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, dark sesame oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes.

4 Pour the dressing over the zucchini noodles and vegetables and gently toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

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  • elsie

    I love this recipe and have made it several times. I added some cooked rice stick noodles and served with bbq’d chicken thighs. A big hit on Canada Day.

  • Amber

    Delicious! My husband hates zoodles and he loved it too. :)


  • Kacey Jo

    I julienned the veggies by hand making it more like a slaw, otherwise followed the recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for to go with seared albacore! Thanks!


  • Les

    Great recipe! Although I think you missed a great opportunity here. Not only can you spiralize the zucchini, you can also spiralize the carrots, peppers and cabbage too!

  • Donna Cobb

    I’m ignorant of the rules. Is it appropriate to save this recipe in an app for collecting favorites? Would not be for re-publication; just personal use.

  • PeggyShane

    Could not find dark roasted sesame oil, just bought plain. Making tomorrow for Valentines day potluck at work…I hope it will still be good!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Peggy, the dark sesame oil is important for the salad’s flavor. If you can’t find it, I would toast some sesame seeds and add them to the salad.

  • Ellen

    If you cut halfway lengthwise through the zucchini befor spiralizing, they will be the perfect length and easy to toss.

  • Gwen

    This is a great salad. I made it exactly as directed. It was a big hit at a staff barbeque. Make-ahead tip : prep all veggies, but don’t salt the zoodles until an hour before serving

  • K Martin

    Can this be made with yellow squash? Looks great!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kim, I haven’t tried making it with yellow squash, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • Cindy Skarin

    Had one huge zucchini that was just picked and I used most of what was called for but did add spiralized beets. Did not have sesame oil or cilantro and it came out wonderful. Very pretty to look at too! Very easy and good!

  • Judy Reed

    Another hit with zoodles! Thanks, Elise.

  • Kathy Haisley

    It was delicious and I get a kick out of my spiralizer too! I zoodled the zucchini and dropped them into cool water with a bit of salt for 10 minutes, then rinsed and drained them and kept them in the fridge till dinner, then I chopped them a bit and put the dressing on. It didn’t need anything but zucchini! Delicious!

  • Leisureguy

    Zucchini noodles have a lot more tensile strength than I expected: they don’t break apart, and the mass of long noodles tends to stay intertwined in a ball. When I next make the recipe (since I liked it a lot), I think I’ll use scissors to cut the noodles to a shorter length before mixing. The long noodles did not toss well with the other vegetables, tending to stay knotted in a ball.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Leisureguy! Great point that I completely forgot to mention. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll add the note to the recipe! I always cut the zoodles with scissors, otherwise they’re just too long.

      I’m so glad you made it and liked it!

  • Helen McKay

    Just made this with couple of leftover zucchini I was trying to use. I didn’t have a spiral gadget but a peeler that produces long shreds – just as good. Very colorful and tasty salad, easy to make. Nice twist!

  • MonicaP

    YUM .. perfect recipe as I recently purchased a spiralizer!