Instant ramen hacks are turning into something of a series here at TFD, with my Korean-inspired Spicy Gochujang Ramen Noodles the latest recipe reel to go viral over on Instagram. After all, there’s lots to love about the nuanced intensity of fiery flavours foiled by a touch of nutty creaminess.
This non-recipe recipe (hence “hack”) is as effortless as you’d expect of your favourite packet of instant ramen. However, it relies crucially on a couple of key steps and staple pantry ingredients.
The stars of the show are Gochujang (a Korean fermented red pepper chilli paste) and Gochugaru (crushed red pepper flakes). While you can sub the Gochugaru for crushed red chilli flakes, the final flavour of the base chilli oil would be subtly different. Peanut butter might appear to be an odd choice of add-in, but it comes tried, tested and exuberantly-recommended for the nutty creaminess it adds, deftly balancing out the flavours of this decievingly-simple dish.
How To Make These Spicy Gochujang Ramen Noodles
Cook your noodles of choice: I often use Nongshim’s classic ramyun (Korean-style instant noodles), but you could very well use any noodles of your choice! In fact, I’ve made this recipe just as successfully with udon noodles (with this rendition crossing 18 million views on Instagram, here)
- Mix together a chilli-garlic sauce as a base: To a heat-proof bowl, add lot of garlic, finely chopped spring onions, sesame seeds and gochugaru . Feel free to adjust any / all of these ingredients as per preference, adding more or less as per your taste. You could also swap out the gochugaru for crushed red chilli flakes if this is what you have at hand (although do not that it would affect the final flavour).
- Pour hot sesame oil on top and let the chilli oil sizzle with the intensity of flavours and warmth infused by the spices.
- Whisk in the remaining ingredients (each is key in balancing the sauce with shades of heat foiled by a creamy undertone).
- Gochujang (fermented Korean red pepper paste)
- Smooth peanut butter
- Rice vinegar
- Light soy sauce
- Lime juice
- Brown sugar
- Mix in your noodles: finally, mix in your ramen noodles along with a splash of the noodle cooking water to loosen up the noodles.
- Garnish, garnish, garnish: serve hot, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and spring onions on top for pretty measure!
Spicy Korean-Inspired Gochujang Ramen Noodles
- 1 packet instant ramen noodles
- 2-3 tsp finely-minced garlic
- 1 tsp gochugaru (can sub crushed red chilli flakes)
- ½-1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1-2 tbsp chopped spring onions
- 1½ tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp gochujang/ red chilli paste
- 1½ tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Cook ramen noodles/ noodles of choice according to package instructions. Drain and set aside, reserving some of the noodle water.
- Add the garlic, gochugaru, sesame seeds and spring onions to a heat-proof bowl.
- Gently heat the sesame oil and and once hot, pour it over the the chilli-garlic mixture. Let it sizzle for a few minutes , then whisk in the remaining ingredients (gochujang, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce lime juice and brown sugar).
- Taste and adjust according to preference, for instance adding more lime juice for a zing. You could even add a dollop of your favourite hot sauce to amp up the heat.
- Now mix in the noodles along with a splash of the noodle cooking water. Toss until evenly combined and serve with more spring onions for garnish.
Enjoyed These Spicy Noodles?
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