Better Than Takeout Spicy Ramen Noodles
There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of spicy ramen noodles! This recipe is not only quick — it cooks in less than 10 minutes! — but has a bold flavor you will find yourself craving. Cook fresh ramen noodles (we buy ours in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods), then toss with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, fish sauce, scallions, and Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch.
Yes, you can use any spicy chili oil you love most, we just always have the Trader Joe’s one on hand! Everything gets combined in one skillet for an easy, flavorful weeknight lunch or dinner. So skip the Chinese takeout and instead make this easy ramen noodle recipe at home tonight!
Grab the following ingredients:
- fresh ramen noodles (recommended substitutions below!) – thin, chewy wheat noodles, perfect for stir frying
- scallions – these add a gentle onion flavor to the entire dish
- garlic – lots of garlic is used in this recipe to give a warm flavor
- ginger paste or fresh ginger – light, bright, and zesty flavor that is both sweet and warm
- soy sauce – to season and add a salty flavor
- mirin – bright acidity to contrast the fish sauce and soy sauce
- fish sauce – for an underlying umami flavor
- chili onion crunch or other spicy chili garlic sauce – a crunchy, spicy chili paste used in Asian recipes to add texture, flavor, and heat
- sesame seeds – adds a slight crunch and a bit of sesame flavor
A drizzle of toasted sesame oil would be fantastic, too!
If you want to try and make homemade ramen noodles at home, this recipe looks solid!
How To Make Spicy Ramen Noodles
The cooking time for this recipe is less than 10 minutes, so it helps if your ramen noodles are cooked and drained before you begin.
- Cook the aromatics. Heat a light, neutral oil (canola, vegetable, or grapeseed) in a large wok or skillet over high heat. When very hot, add the white part of the scallions (thinly sliced) and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger paste, then cook 1 minute more, until fragrant.
- Toss ramen noodles with sauce. Add the cooked, drained ramen noodles to the wok or skillet, then pour wet ingredients on top — soy sauce, mirin, and fish sauce. Toss to combine and thoroughly coat.
- Finish, then serve. Add remaining sliced green onions to the noodles, then add 1-2 Tbsp of chili garlic crunch, depending on preferred level of spice. Give it one final toss, then garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Spicy ramen noodles can be enjoyed hot, room temperature, or cold — perfect when you want to eat leftovers straight out of the fridge for second dinner! We’ve all been there.
What Are Ramen Noodles?
Ramen noodles are a wheat noodle originating from China. They are thin, chewy, and perfect for quick stir fries! We buy fresh ramen noodles at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. Sun Noodle is our absolute favorite brand! Amazing texture, quick cook time, and inexpensive (10 oz is $2.99)! If you have a local Asian grocery store nearby, you will likely have many more options.
Variations on Ramen Noodles
If you can’t find fresh ramen noodles, substitute fresh or dry ‘chow mein’ noodles (labeled ‘Chinese egg noodles’), soba, or udon. Most of these are regularly available in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store.
What Is Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch?
Omg, so glad you asked! Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch was 100% the inspiration for this recipe. Well, that and our love for stir fried noodles, such as lo mein. Anyway, we love chili onion crunch and find ourselves adding it to everything from avocado toast (trust us!!) or scrambled eggs, to chili bourbon salmon, pan seared halibut, and sticky rice with soy sauce eggs. This sauce can do no wrong! If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby or want to try a variation, any Asian chili sauce will do.
Add 2 Tbsp of the sauce directly to cooked ramen noodles in a hot pan, then spoon an extra little drizzle on top right before serving. If you are sensitive to heat, cut back on the spice.
FAQs About Spicy Ramen Noodles
- Can I use instant ramen noodles instead? If you can’t find fresh ramen noodles, sure, you could use an instant ramen! Discard the flavor packet, then cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, and toss into the sauce as directed below.
- Can I use something other than spicy chili oil to flavor the sauce? Absolutely! While the recipe was developed around the flavor of chili onion crunch, you could use any spicy Asian sauce or chili garlic sauce that you can find or already love.
- How can I bulk up the meal? Try serving this with our Cast Iron Sesame Ribeye, a soy and ginger marinated skirt steak, or baked teriykai chicken.
- What side dishes would you serve with this? Blistered shishito peppers are our go-to, but stir fried vegetables would be fantastic! Think broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and water chestnuts, yum! You could also add soy sauce eggs directly to the noodles for added umami and richness.
- Can this be made in advance? Yes, absolutely! These stir fried noodles can be enjoyed hot, room temperature, or cold, so feel free to make them up to 5 days in advance (though they never, ever last that long in our house — we usually eat the entire batch same day, they are that good!).
- How do you reheat leftover noodles? To reheat noodles, either microwave 1-2 minutes until warm or (our preferred method!) place the noodles in a small saucepan or skillet, then add a splash of water and reheat over medium heat. You can also stir in additional chili oil to help loosen the noodles up again!
As part of my Date Night In series, I’m offering up a few wine suggestions to serve alongside. Of note is that a cold, crisp, light beer or sake would likely make a great pairing! But I’m a wine kinda gal, so vino it is.
Red wine: crisp, light-bodied reds, such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, or even a bubbly Lambrusco!
Rosé: I worked with Wolffer Estate a few years ago and the whole task was to pair rosé with spicy ethnic foods. The fruitiness is such a great match for heat. It works!
White wine: A medium-dry wine with a noticeably crisp acidity works well with both the soy sauce and the heat from the chili sauce; Chenin Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay (the only kind I really enjoy), or Vouvray.
If you make our Spicy Ramen Noodle recipe, please let us know by leaving a rating and review below! Honestly think these noodles are going to become a weeknight staple — you just can’t beat the bold, spicy flavor or the quick cook time!
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For more Asian-inspired meals, check out the following recipes:
- (10 minute!) Blistered shishito peppers with soy and garlic
- Thai turkey meatballs with coconut curry sauce
- Whole30 Asian stuffed peppers
- Kani salad
- Miso-marinated salmon bowls
- Marinated soy sauce eggs (shoyu tamago)
Spicy Ramen Noodles Recipe
- 10 oz fresh ramen noodles cooked and drained
- 3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- bunch scallions, thinly sliced, whites and green parts divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp ginger paste or 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sesame seds
- 2 Tbsp chili onion crunch
- Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat, then add canola oil. When hot add thinly sliced whites of scallions (about ⅓ cup) and sauté, stirring often, 1 minute. Add minced garlic and ginger paste (or fresh ginger) and cook 1 minute more.
- To the pan, add cooked ramen noodles, soy sauce, mirin, and fish sauce, then toss to thoroughly coat. Add remaining thinly sliced scallions (the green part!), reserving just a few for garnish, and 1-2 Tbsp of chili sauce (depending on how spicy you like it). Give one final toss, then divide equally into bowls. Top each serving with sesame seeds, more scallions, and a drizzle of chili garlic sauce if wanted. Serve immediately, though these are just as delicious room temperature or even cold!
- Ramen noodles: if you cannot find fresh ramen (wheat) noodles (I buy mine at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section, Sun Noodle is my absolute favorite!), you can substitute fresh or dry ‘chow mein’ noodles sometimes labeled ‘Chinese egg noodles,’ soba, or udon.
- If you can’t find Chili Onion Crunch from Trader Joe’s, use any spicy chili garlic sauce, most often found in the Asian section of grocery stores or at an Asian market if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby! Alternatively, sriracha or Gochujang can be substituted in moderation.
- Ginger paste: if you do not have ginger paste, you can of course use fresh ginger! Take a 1-inch piece of ginger, peel it, then mince finely or grate on a microplane.
- Mirin: a good substitute for mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) is rice vinegar. It helps to counter the soy and fish sauces!