When I think about this recipe, the first thing that comes to mind is comfort food. Asian flavors are so uniquely comforting to my husband and I. Sure, you could order a similar dish from your local takeout joint, but I promise this is leagues better than anything you’ll pick up curbside. Total bonus: after you mise en place the ingredients, the cook time is less than 10 minutes!
What you’ll need
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
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.
First, heat up 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. Next, add garlic and ginger, then cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant.
Add cooked 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.
Add remaining green onions to the noodles, then add 1-2 Tbsp of chili garlic crunch depending on how spicy you like it. One final toss and she’s ready to eat! Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
What are ramen noodles anyway?
Ramen noodles are a wheat noodle originating from China. They are thin, chewy, and perfect for quick stir fries! I buy fresh ramen noodles at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. Sun Noodle is my absolute favorite brand! Amazing texture, quick cook time, and inexpensive (10 oz is $2.99)!
Other noodles that will work
If you can’t get your hands on fresh ramen noodles, you can 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 chili onion crunch?
Omg, I’m so glad you asked! Okay, so Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch was 100% the inspiration for this recipe. We bought it a few weeks ago and have not been able to stop adding it to dishes. Everything from avocado toast (TRUST ME) to 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.
I add 2 Tbsp of the sauce directly to the ramen noodles in a hot pan (omg yum!), then spoon an extra little drizzle on top right before serving. But I like it hot! Cut back on the spice if you’re sensitive to heat.
Better than takeout
Perhaps what I love most about this recipe is that you eliminate the need for greasy, uninteresting takeout! But, just like with noodles from your favorite corner shop, these are exceptionally delicious when eaten cold. I may or may not be eating my leftovers for breakfast tomorrow…
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 Spicy Ramen Noodles, please let me know by leaving a rating and review below!
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For more Asian-inspired meals, check out the following recipes:
- (10 minute!) Blistered shisito 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
- 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!