These Korean-style spicy noodles are super simple to make and taste absolutely delicious! They have lots of fresh vegetables, a slightly spicy gochujang stir fry sauce, and chewy udon noodles.
If you love Korean-spiced foods and noodle stir-fries, then this Korean-style spicy noodles recipe might be exactly what you need! All the ingredients are very easy to find in any Asian grocery store and cooking this dish is super simple.
Another great thing is that many of the Asian or Korean ingredients can be stored for a long time in your refrigerator or pantry. So you only need to get them once to be able to whip up stir-fries like this!
Plus, you can use any leftover vegetables that are sitting in your refrigerator to make this spicy udon noodle stir fry. This recipe is a total winner for making a quick and delicious dinner!
Spicy Noodles Ingredients
To make these Korean-style spicy noodles, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Udon noodles: Udon noodles should be easy to find in any Asian grocery store. You can buy them pre-cooked (either frozen or vacuum-packaged) or uncooked. I recommend using the pre-cooked udon noodles as dry udon noodles don’t become as thick and chewy. But if you can’t find them, feel free to use dry udon noodles and cook them according to the package instructions.
- Aromatics: Garlic and onion are great flavor boosters, so never forget to use them when you make stir fries!
- Vegetables: For this spicy noodle stir fry recipe, I used green cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, baby bok choy, and green onions. I love this combination of vegetables for this dish, but feel free to make adjustments if you don’t like one of these vegetables.
- Gochujang stir fry sauce: For the gochujang stir fry sauce, you’ll need gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes), (dark) soy sauce, mirin, honey, sesame oil, and black pepper. Make sure to pay attention to the heat level of the gochujang and gochugaru you buy as they range from mild to very hot.
- Roasted seaweed strips (optional): Garnishing the final dish with roasted seaweed strips is totally optional (I actually forgot to use them when I took the pictures), but I think they really add to the flavor of this dish. You can either buy them pre-cut or just cut roasted seaweed sheets into strips yourself. But if you can’t find them, feel free to just skip them.
- Sesame seeds (optional): Additionally, I love to garnish this udon noodle stir fry with sesame seeds. So if you have sesame seeds on hand, feel free to use them.
How to make Korean-style spicy noodles
Making these Korean-style spicy noodles is super easy! Just follow these steps:
- Soak the udon noodles in water: Before you start, add the frozen or vacuum-packaged udon noodles to a bowl with some hot water. Let the noodles soak until they are easy to detangle. Then drain and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce: Next, add all sauce ingredients to a small bowl and stir until they are combined.
- Sauté the vegetables: Preheat some vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. First, sauté the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Then add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy stems. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Now add the green onions, udon noodles, gochujang stir fry sauce, and bok choy leaves. Toss until everything is combined and the udon noodles have softened.
- Garnish and serve: Garnish with roasted seaweed strips and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
Keep the following things in mind when you make these Korean-style spicy noodles.
- Prepare all ingredients before you start to cook. This applies to all stir fry recipes. As the cooking part itself doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s a lot more stress-free when you prepare all ingredients before cooking.
- Adjust the heat level. How spicy these stir-fried udon noodles turn out really depends on the heat level of the gochujang and gochugaru you use. So pay attention to the packaging and use something that best fits your heat preferences. I like to use mild gochugaru and medium-hot gochujang.
- If you forgot to soak the frozen udon noodles in hot water, cook them in boiling water. This method is really useful if you want to thaw the frozen udon noodles very quickly. Just make sure that you don’t cook the noodles fully as they will be stir-fried with the vegetables and sauce.
- Don’t use the udon noodles straight from the package. Always let the udon noodles soak and detangle in water before using them. Otherwise, they take a lot of time in the pan which means that your vegetables are probably going to be overcooked. And they break very easily and are hard to detangle when you add them straight to the pan. So always let them soak in water or boil them for 1-3 minutes.
There are many ways to adjust this recipe to your personal preferences. Here are some ideas for you.
- Meat: If you aren’t vegetarian, you can add add your favorite meat to these udon noodles! I love to use chicken breast or boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Fried eggs: Another way to add some extra protein is topping the noodles with a fried egg! This is one of my favorite ways to add some extra protein and flavor. Nothing beats a runny egg yolk on spicy udon noodles!
- Noodles: If you don’t like udon noodles, you can use another type of noodle for this recipe. Just make sure that the noodles aren’t too thin as they might not work as well in this recipe.
- Vegetables: I absolutely love the combination of vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to make changes! There is no need to use something you don’t like. Just substitute the vegetables as needed.
- Side dishes: If you want to add more to your meal, you can serve side dishes with these spicy stir-fried noodles. Kimchi and pickled radishes are seriously delicious side dishes that you can buy in most Asian grocery stores. Or maybe you want to make a quick miso soup or some cucumber kimchi. Just serve this dish as you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, nothing really tastes like gochujang. So if you want to try this recipe, I highly recommend buying it in an Asian grocery store or online. It really is a basic ingredient in Korean cooking, so you should be able to find it.
Yes, you can! Just replace the honey with brown sugar and make sure that the gochujang is vegan.
Yes, but there are a few things that need to be replaced. Make sure you use gluten-free noodles, tamari instead of soy sauce, and gluten-free gochujang.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat them in a microwave or in a pan on your stovetop. You can add a small amount of water if needed.
More quick and delicious stir fry recipes
Stir-fry recipes are great for making a quick and delicious dinner! Here are some of my favorite recipes.
Korean-Style Spicy Noodles
- 2 7-ounce packets pre-cooked udon noodles frozen or vacuumed
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable oil
- ½ yellow onion sliced
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage
- 1 carrot sliced
- 3 mushrooms sliced
- 1 baby bok choy stems and leaves separated, chopped
- 2 green onions white parts halved lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces
- roasted seaweed strips and sesame seeds (optional) for garnish
Gochujang Stir Fry Sauce
- 3 tablespoons gochujang heat level to taste
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru mild
- 3 tablespoons (dark) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- black pepper
- Before you start, thaw the frozen udon noodles in a bowl of hot water. Do the same with vacuum-packaged udon noodles and warm water to detangle them. Then drain and set aside.
- Next, prepare the sauce by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Now preheat some oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until the onion turns translucent. Then add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy stems. Sauté until they start to soften.
- Add the green onions, udon noodles, stir fry sauce, and bok choy leaves. Toss until everything is covered in sauce and the udon noodles have softened.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and seaweed strips (optional) and enjoy!