This recipe for Spicy Ramen Noodles is a serious upgrade on the standard seasonings. It’s still every bit as fast and easy, making the most of basic pantry staples to create a memorable meal that everyone will love.
For a fast, comforting, and crave-worthy dinner, you can’t beat ramen noodles. There’s something about their chewy, satisfying texture that makes each bite even better than the last. Pair that with an irresistible savory sauce, and you have a clear winner on the menu. While packaged seasoning powder isn’t much to write home about, containing more salt than actual flavor, it’s a snap to put your own spin on the classic for a much better (and healthier!) dish.
Why You’ll Love this Spicy Noodle Recipe
There’s a lot to love about this effortless recipe. Even the pickiest eaters will devour their portion with gusto! If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the following perks:
- Affordable: As every young college student knows, ramen noodles are the most budget-friendly food you can buy. Any brand or flavor works here since you’ll toss the flavor packet to make your own sauce.
- Adaptable: Whether you’re a true heat-seeker and hot sauce fanatic, or just appreciate a touch of warmth, you can easily adjust the spice level to taste.
- Ready in 10 minutes or less: From start to finish, you can have a hearty meal on the table in just 10 minutes. That’s much faster than ordering takeout or picking up a prepared meal at the grocery store!
- No experience necessary. Novice cooks can turn out professional results with this foolproof formula, which makes it a great way to gain confidence and skills in the kitchen.
What You’ll Need
This Spicy Ramen Noodle recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients, which you probably have on hand already! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dry ramen noodles – You’ll need 3 packages of 3 ounces each, for 9 ounces of dry noodles in all. Any flavor is fine since you’ll discard the seasoning packet.
- Unsalted butter
- Olive oil
- Fresh ginger
- Scallions – Separate the green and white parts, to sauté the hardier white bottoms and reserve the delicate green tops for garnish.
- Crushed chili flakes
- Brown sugar – Just enough to balance out the heat, not make it overtly sweet.
- Soy Sauce – Use low-sodium or “lite” soy sauce to keep the salt levels in check.
- Mirin – Otherwise known as Japanese cooking sake, this is a seasoned rice wine with added salt and sugar. You can find it in the import section of most grocery stores.
- Fish Sauce – Add instant umami with just a small splash of fish sauce. It might smell strongly fishy, but don’t worry! It only tastes subtly savory when used in the right proportion.
- Sesame oil – Toasted sesame oil is best for the strongest and richest flavor.
- Chili garlic sauce – Anywhere from 1 to 3 teaspoons should do the trick; personally, I think 2 teaspoons is perfect, but spice preferences are subjective.
- Sriracha – I love the balanced sweetness and relatively mild warmth that sriracha is known for, but you can use any other hot sauce if you prefer a sharper bite.
How to Make Spicy Ramen Noodles
This kind of recipe is based upon intuitive cooking. There’s a good chance you can nail the recipe without even reading the instructions, but for best results, here’s the full rundown:
- Prepare the sauce while heating the water for the noodles to save time. All you need to do is whisk together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until incorporated.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, along with the olive oil, garlic, ginger, and white parts of the scallions. Cook on low for 3 minutes, until aromatic, then add the chili flakes.
- Cook the ramen according to the package directions and drain thoroughly. Add the noodles to the skillet, tossing with tongs to combine.
- Add the sauce mixture and toss until well incorporated. Cook on low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, until there’s no excess liquid remaining
- Remove from the heat and top with scallion greens. Enjoy hot!
Can I Use Other Kinds of Noodles?
No ramen? No problem! You can use pretty much any type of noodle you have on hand, including gluten-free alternatives if needed. Just be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package to make sure they’re perfectly al dente. A few suggestions for what I’ve found work best include:
- Bean threads
- Rice vermicelli
Tips and Variation Ideas
Consider this spicy noodles recipe your blank canvas to dress up or down to your heart’s content. The real beauty of this formula is that it’s impossible to go wrong. Here are some tips for success, and ideas on how to make it your own:
- Drain the noodles thoroughly. You don’t want to water down the dish with the excess cooking liquid. It’s also important to stop the cooking process quickly so the noodles don’t get overdone and become mushy.
- Start with less hot sauce and add to taste. A little bit of chili garlic sauce and sriracha can go a long way, so start with a small amount and dial it up as needed. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out!
- Dress it up with veggies for more flavor and nutrition. This is a perfect opportunity to mix in some wilted spinach to get your greens in. Try adding lightly bean sprouts, sliced bell peppers, snap peas, or asparagus to add veggie goodness with a satisfying crunchy contrast.
- Speaking of crunch, don’t forget that chopped peanuts make an excellent topper. Toast them lightly in a dry skillet if they’re not already roasted to really bring out their rich, nutty flavor.
- Make it vegan and/or vegetarian. Simply swap out the fish sauce for soy sauce, use more olive oil instead of butter, and you’re good to go!
- Pump up the protein. Crispy tofu is a perfect pairing, as is sautéed shrimp, chicken, beef strips, or any combination of those options.
What to Serve with Spicy Noodles
You can serve these spicy ramen noodles alongside vegetable stir-fries, soups, salads, or any protein you prefer. Classic accompaniments include hot and sour soup, wonton soup, miso soup, sauteed greens, and maple tofu. Pair it with a green tea shot for a fun date night treat, or a cool, refreshing mango lemonade to tame the heat.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
This is such a crowd-pleasing recipe that it’s unlikely you’ll have leftovers, but in case you want to prep ahead, it does keep well in the fridge. Store any extras in an airtight container for 5 – 7 days in the fridge. To reheat, add a small splash of water or vegetable broth to loosen up the noodles, and microwave at full power for 60 – 90 seconds, stirring well, until hot all the way through.
More Easy Dinner Ideas to Try
- Peanut Noodle Bowls with Tofu & Zucchini
- Cozy Birria Ramen
- Bucatini with Quick Meat Sauce
- Easy Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara
Spicy Ramen Noodles
Make instant ramen noodles more exciting with a hot and spicy sauce that comes together in minutes. Everyone will adore this quick-fix meal!
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Cook Time: 9 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2-4 servings
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian
- 3 packages ramen noodles (noodles only, toss the broth packets)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves (2-3 Tbsp) fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- Scallions, white and green parts chopped separately
- Generous pinch of crushed chili flakes
For the Sauce:
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce,
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1–3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce, depending on how much heat you want (I use 2)
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon sriracha, depending on how much heat you want
- Bring a pot of water to boil. While the water is heating, make the sauce by combining the sugar, soy sauce, mirin, fish sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce and sriracha in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
- Melt the butter. In a medium sized skillet over medium low heat melt the butter. Add the olive oil, garlic, ginger and white parts of the scallions. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add chili flakes.
- Cook your ramen noodles. You can do this according to the package directions. This usually takes about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and add them to the buttery garlic and ginger mixture, tossing the noodles with tongs.
- Add sauce mixture to the noodles and toss until well incorporated. Cook on low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until excess liquid has evaporated and the noodles have absorbed some of the spicy sauce.
- Turn off the heat and serve. Sprinkle scallion greens on top.
This recipe makes 2 servings if you are just eating two big bowls of noodles, or 3-4 servings if you are serving with something else.
Keywords: spicy noodles, hot and spicy noodles, spicy garlic noodles