Spicy Kimchi Ramen

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This kimchi ramen is packed with spicy flavor, slurpable noodles, tofu and edamame. It’s easy to make and super satisfying. Guaranteed to warm you up when you need it!

I used to visit a Korean place of lunch regularly, and while other patrons were pretty sparse during the warmer months, the place was downright packed during the winter.

I never really got it, I mean, I love Korean food pretty much all year long. But then I started developing recipes for a living and really paying attention to trends and I realized that everyone gravitated towards Korean food during the winter because it’s so great for warming you up, particularly those dishes that are served hot and packed with spices!

While I can’t promise that this kimchi ramen is anywhere near authentic, I can say that it’s great for chilly evenings. It combines two of the most warming foods I know: spicy kimchi and piping hot ramen noodle soup!

Having said all that, I first made this soup in July, so if you’re reading this when its warm out don’t let that be a hindrance. This soup is delicious any day of the year!

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How it’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Noodle Soup Recipes
  • Spicy Kimchi Ramen

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Ramen noodles. Look for these in the international foods section of your supermarket. If you can’t find them, substitute another type of dried noodle like soba noodles or udon noodles. The soup wont be ramen, but it will be a delicious kimchi noodle soup.
  • Peanut oil.
  • Tofu. The recipe calls for super firm tofu, but you can use extra firm or firm tofu, as long as you press it first.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Kimchi. Be careful, because many brands of commercially sold kimchi aren’t vegan. They often contain ingredients like fish sauce and shrimp paste. I used my homemade vegan kimchi to make this recipe. If you’re using store-bought, check the ingredients. Mother in Law’s brand makes a vegan kimchi that I’ve used in the past and enjoyed.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Gochujang. Gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean red pepper paste. Some supermarkets sell it in the international foods aisle. If you can’t find it there, try an Asian market.
  • Toasted sesame oil. This is another item you can get in the international aisle.
  • Salt.
  • Edamame. Look for shelled frozen edamame so you don’t have to spend a ton of time shelling it yourself!
  • Scallions.
  • Sesame Seeds.

How it’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Cook your noodles according to the package directions. Drain them into a colander when they’re done.
  • Pan-fry your tofu while the noodles cook. Heat some oil in a skillet and add diced tofu. Cook it for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice.

Tip: If you’re pressed for time you can skip the tofu pan-frying step and simply add your tofu to the soup raw. It won’t have the same crispy texture, but it’ll still be delicious.

  • Heat the rest of your oil in a large pot, then add sliced onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften.
  • Add minced garlic and cook it for just about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.
  • Add roughly chopped kimchi to the pot. Make sure you drain your kimchi of any excess juice, but set that juice aside because you’ll be using it in a minute! For now, sauté the kimchi for a couple of minutes with the garlic and onion.
  • Add your broth and gochujang to the pot, along with that reserved kimchi juice. Bring everything to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer until the kimchi has softened up a bit.
  • Take your soup off of the burner when it’s done and season it with some toasted sesame oil and salt, if you think it’s needed.
  • Divide the noodles, tofu and edamame into bowls, then ladle the kimchi soup over everything.
  • Sprinkle your kimchi ramen bowls with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, then dig in!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover kimchi ramen will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Store each of the components separately if you can. If not, the soup will keep just as long, but the noodles might get a bit soggy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Sure! Use vegan gluten-free ramen noodles. If these aren’t available, try substituting rice noodles. Also check to ensure that the kimchi and gochujang you’re using are gluten-free.

Is this kimchi ramen spicy?

It is! How spicy will depend on how hot your kimchi is and how much gochujang you use. If you prefer a milder soup, use mild kimchi and skip the gochujang.

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