Ready to ignite your taste buds and warm your soul? Say hello to this extraordinary Spicy Ramen recipe, which is so much more than just a bowl of noodles.
Imagine a symphony of flavors – spicy, umami, savory, and just a hint of sweetness – coming together in a harmonious blend that’s sure to make you go “Wow!”
With its Korean-inspired spices and rich, umami-laden broth, this isn’t just comfort food, it’s comfort food with a spicy kick!
So we decided to put a spicy twist on everyone’s favorite noodles… ramen!! The rich, spicy, soul-warming broth is a perfect canvas for spicy ground pork, aromatic vegetables, and tender chewy ramen.
It’s finally topped with soft-boiled eggs, bean sprouts and green onions for the perfect finishing touch. Trust me, this isn’t just another ramen recipe. This is going to be your ramen keeper!
Why We Love Spicy Ramen
- Flavor-Packed: This ramen doesn’t hold back on taste! With the kick from sambal oelek and the depth from gochujang, it’s a true flavor bomb!!
- Comfort Factor: There’s something incredibly comforting about a bowl of hot, flavorful soup.
- Customizable: Love meat? Pile on that spicy pork! Vegetarian? Swap out the protein and use vegetable broth. This recipe is so flexible.
- Quick & Easy: We’re talking about 30 minutes from start to finish. Perfect for weeknight dinners or when you need a speedy, satisfying meal.
- All-in-One Meal: Protein, carbs, and veggies – all in one bowl. It’s a complete, balanced meal that leaves you satisfied but not stuffed.
- Instagram-Worthy: Let’s be honest, we eat with our eyes too, and this dish is a stunner. The vibrant colors and textures make for a feast that’s photo-ready.
- Budget Friendly: Ramen noodles are very economical, and this recipe uses a lot of pantry staple ingredients.
What is Ramen?
Ramen is a popular Japanese soup made with special noodles, broth, and toppings like meat and vegetables. It originally came from China but became really famous in Japan, where different areas have their own versions.
They’re distinct from other noodles due to their alkaline nature, achieved by using kansui, a specific type of mineral water, or by adding sodium carbonate. This gives ramen its unique chewy texture and yellowish hue.
The soup usually has four main parts: a tasty liquid base, chewy noodles, stuff on top like meat or veggies, and some extra flavors mixed in.
Nowadays, people all around the world love ramen and make it in all sorts of ways, like the spicy version we’re cooking today.
What Noodles You Can Use in this Spicy Ramen
- Fresh Ramen Noodles: The gold standard for that authentic, chewy texture. They’re often available in Asian grocery stores or specialty markets.
- Dried Ramen Noodles: These are super convenient and still yield a good texture. Just ditch the seasoning packet!
- Instant Ramen: Today we are using instant ramen. They work perfectly here.
- Soba or Udon: If you want to stray a bit from tradition, these Japanese noodles can also work well with the spicy, flavorful broth.
- Rice Noodles: For a gluten-free option, you can use rice noodles, though the texture and flavor absorption will be different.
- Oil – Use any neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil.
- Ground Pork – You can also sub with ground chicken or turkey for a lighter touch.
- Sambal Oelek – This is your fire starter! If you can’t find it, a garlic-chili paste can be a suitable replacement, but nothing quite matches the punch of sambal.
- Korean Chili Flakes (Gochugaru) – These flakes add a smoky, fruity spice. If you’re in a pinch, regular chili flakes can work, but the flavor profile will be different.
- Soy Sauce – A must for any Asian flavor profile.
- Shiitake Mushrooms – These add a depth of umami flavor, but if you can’t find them, cremini or white mushrooms will do.
- Carrot and Shallot – These veggies add a subtle sweetness and texture.
- Chicken Stock – For a vegetarian option, vegetable stock works great.
- Chili Oil – Adds another layer of heat and complexity. Feel free to use our homemade Chili Oil recipe or your favorite brand.
- Rice Vinegar – This gives a slight tangy kick.
- Gochujang – This Korean red chili paste brings sweetness, umami, and heat. It’s a must!
- Brown Sugar – Just a hint balances out the heat and complements the savory elements.
- Ramen Noodles – Use any of your favorite ramen noodles without the seasoning packet.
- Soft-Boiled Eggs or Mayak Eggs – These add a creamy texture that balances out the spiciness.
- Bean Sprouts & Scallions – For that fresh crunch and a pop of color.
Spicy Ramen Recipe
1. For Spicy Pork Topping: Heat 1 Tbsp oil and cook ground pork until no longer pink. Stir in sambal oelek, gochugaru, and soy sauce and cook for a minute or two or until ground pork is cooked. Plate it out.
2. Cook Ramen Soup Base: In the same pot with another tablespoon of oil, sauté shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and shallots for a couple of minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic for a minute. Add in chicken stock. Mix in sambal oelek, chili oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gochujang, gochugaru, and brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Cook Ramen and Assemble: Add ramen noodles to the simmering broth and cook until tender.
Ladle soup into bowls, add spicy pork, and finish with soft-boiled eggs, bean sprouts, and scallions. Drizzle additional chili oil if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- Broth boost: If you have time, simmer your broth longer. All the flavors get enhanced as it cooks.
- Don’t use the seasoning packet: Discard those packets as there will be plenty of flavors happening here without the MSG and preservatives.
- Spice control: Adjust the amount of sambal oelek and gochugaru to your heat tolerance. You can always add more later!
- Taste as you go: The seasonings can be quite potent, so it’s always a good idea to taste the broth as you cook and adjust the spices accordingly.
- To make perfect soft-boiled eggs: Cook for 6-7 minutes in boiling water and immediately place them in ice water bath to stop them from cooking further.
- Egg excellence: For picture-perfect soft-boiled eggs, marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce and few aromatics. Just follow our Mayak Eggs recipe.
- Extra texture: Sesame seeds, or even a sprinkle of toasted nori can add a burst of flavor and texture.
1. Use other meat: Swap pork with ground chicken or ground turkey for lighter version. You can use pre cooked shredded chicken or even shrimp for this recipe.
2. For vegetarian: Skip the meat. You can replace meat with pan-fried tofu or tempeh and substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.
3. Spice adjustments: Use all the chili elements as much as you want. You can always start with a little and adjust as you go. Alternately, use more for hotter soup.
4. Make it creamy: Add a little coconut milk into the broth.
You can keep the leftover soup and toppings separately in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stove over medium heat with a splash of extra water or chicken broth until hot throughout. We do not recommend freezing.
And there you have it, folks, a Spicy Ramen recipe that’s as flexible as it is flavorful, complete with pro tips and an array of variations to suit any palate.
Whether you’re a spice aficionado or a ramen rookie, this bowl promises a delicious meal for everybody.
Spicy Ramen, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Spicy Pork Topping
- 2 Tbsp oil, divided
- 1 pound ground pork (or sub with ground chicken or turkey)
- 2 Tbsp sambal oelek
- 1 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2.5oz shiitake Mushrooms (or sub with button mushrooms)
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 shallot, diced or sliced
- 1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp sambal oelek
- 2 Tbsp chili oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp gochujang
- 1 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3 packets ramen noodles ( discard seasoning)
- soft boiled eggs or Mayak Eggs
- bean sprouts
- green parts of scallions
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add in ground pork and cook, using a wooden spatula to break up the meat, until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add sambal oelek, Korean chili flakes, soy sauce and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until pork is cooked through and starting to caramelizing. Plate it out.
- In the same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp oil and sauté shiitake mushrooms, carrots and shallots for a couple of minutes on medium high flame. Add in ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add in chicken stock. Season the stock with sambal oelek, soy sauce, chili oil, rice vinegar, gochujang, Korean chili flakes, and brown sugar.
- Lower the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add ramen noodles and cook for 3 minutes, or until they are cooked to your preferred tenderness.
- Serve the spicy ramen soup in a bowl. Add in cooked ground pork. Top it with soft boiled egg halves, bean sprouts and the green parts of scallions. Serve immediately. (You can drizzle some chili oil for an extra spicy kick)
1. All hot sauces and chili pastes like gochujang, gochugaru, chili oil are easily available in Asian grocery stores. You can also order online.
2. To make perfect soft-boiled eggs: Cook for 6-7 minutes in boiling water and immediately place them in ice water bath to stop them from cooking further.
3. You can keep the leftover soup and toppings separately in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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