These creamy gochujang noodles were inspired by the most insanely delicious stir-fried chicken ramen noodles I had at a Korean restaurant one summer day.
I was sitting on a patio with a cold beer in a tall glass, and I ordered these noodles from a photo on the menu. When they arrived, I was thrilled. They were spicy, and creamy, and perfect, and they cured my hangover like nobody’s business.
Maybe the cold beer had something to do with that too…
My homemade version of these Korean-inspired spicy noodles makes for a perfect easy dinner for one. Especially on those lazy evenings when you just want to curl up with some bad TV shows and stuff your face with spicy noodles. I’m not the only one who’s into that, right?
Note: If you want to learn about authentic Korean cooking, I recommend checking out Maangchi and Kimchimari. Both of these women have an incredible wealth of information and inspiration to share and I’ve learned a ton from them.
What Kind Of Noodles Are We Talking?
The original inspiration for these creamy gochujang noodles was actually a ramen dish. However, I find it can be tricky to find ramen noodles in regular grocery stores. You can definitely buy instant noodle packets and leave the seasoning out (instant ramen seasoning makes a great easy chip dip FYI), or you can use any number of noodles you may have available to you. You can use spaghetti, sure. What’s even better, is to make your spaghetti more ramen-like by adding baking soda to the cooking water. I learned that trick from this article from Serious Eats.
The noodles I tend to go for are translucent, glassy sweet potato noodles. They’re gluten-free, they cook in about 6 minutes, and they’re available in many grocery stores nowadays. I love their bouncy texture. Whichever you go with, you’re going to cook the noodles according to package directions.
What Is Gochujang?
I had never heard of gochujang until about 2014 but in recent years it has become the “it” ingredient across North America. Korean food is rightfully surging in popularity these days, and Gochujang is a key player. It’s a fermented red chilli and bean paste and it’s used most commonly in the popular Bibimbap, which is an amazing rice dish served in a stone bowl. Nowadays you’ll likely see gochujang popping up on restaurant menus – Korean and otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Gochujang mayo being served with yam fries at my local pub. (I’d breathe a sigh of relief that the chipotle mayo trend is finally over).
Gochujang typically comes in a bright red plastic rectangular tub, but you can also find it in smaller glass jars. If you see it, get it. It lasts forever and it’s a great thing to add to the spicy condiment section of your fridge.
This simple noodle dish is so quick and easy. It’s spicy with gochujang, creamy with cream cheese, vinegary with rice vinegar, and fresh with thinly sliced green onions. You can easily load it up with protein by adding chicken breast, ground pork, or black beans. It’s a great recipe for a single serving, and if you have sauce ingredients like sesame oil and fish sauce on hand, it’s nearly instant.
What goes well with these Creamy Gochujang Noodles?
You really don’t need a side dish with these creamy gochujang noodles, as bringing too many dishes into bed with you can get messy. But, if you wanted something refreshing to make you feel better about yourself, these sweet sambal green beans or this smashed cucumber salad is just the thing.
Prefer video? Jump down to just below the recipe card to watch.
I hope you like my noodles! Let me know how it goes for you by tagging me on Instagram or commenting here. Happy dinner making!
Creamy Gochujang Noodles
- 80 grams dried sweet potato noodles, or your noodle of choice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
- sliced green onions, to garnish
- steamed broccoli (optional)
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions
- While the noodles are cooking, mix the garlic, gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and fish sauce together in a small bowl
- Drain the noodles and put them back into the hot pot with the cream cheese
- Add the gochujang mixture and stir until the creamcheese melts and you have a creamy sauce nicely coating the noodles
- Add a splash of hot water to loosen the sauce if needed
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion
- Serve with steamed broccoli or other green veg if desired
- This sauce is thick! You may need to thin out the sauce after it’s all tossed together! Keep some noodle cooking water handy and add enough to get the right consistency.
Oh my goodness… So over the top, delicious with the perfect spice! Easy to prepare and awesome to eat!
Hahah over the top is right! So glad you liked them Judy!
Hello ! Can you substitute the cream cheese for anything else ? 🙂
Hi Tricia! Another commenter just shared that she was going to try it with tahini. I think that’s a great idea (I LOVE tahini) but I haven’t experimented with it yet. I’ll report back when I do though!
My first time with Gochujang, and well it packs a punch. This had a lot of flavor and was creamy and satisfying. I think next time I will replace cream cheese with tahini, still getting that creamy texture but giving it that nut butter tasted as well and help tamper the heat.
Hi Karla, I LOVE the tahini idea! I’m definitely going to experiment with that and add it to the post if it works out! Let me know how yours goes too. Thanks so much!
Made this a few times already – going to cook it for my son’s girlfriend tomorrow. Is there an easy way to add meat(pork) for them?
That’s so great to hear! Yes. I would lightly season and stir-fry the meat in the pan first, cooking it all the way through. Then remove it from the pan before building your sauce and adding the noodles. Then just add the meat back in and toss it all together to combine.
Delicious!!! I subbed 1 tbsp of tahini for the 3 tbsps of cream cheese. It was perfect. I also added chopped cucumber and sliced avocado as extra toppings. Thanks for the recipe (and video)! 🙂
Amazing! I’m going to try the tahini version next time and I’ll add it into the post. Thanks for the tip!
Amazing – how can something so simple be so tasty! I replaced the noodles with kelp noodles (soaked 5 min with baking soda and lemon juice) to reduce the calories. Fabulous emergency/lazy recipe. Maybe with a fried egg or piece of fish next time. This one is a keeper!!
I know right? The simplest things are so often the best. I’m so glad you like it! And YESSSS PLEASE to a fried egg.
Super good! Just made this last night. I also used tahini because I had it on hand. I tried with kelp noodles and then with rice noodles. Good heat and all but I feel like it’s missing something? I cannot place my finger on it but I did have to add a little salt to bring out the flavors more. Did I possibly do something wrong? Thanks for this recipe! Perfect for these 10 degree days in Wyoming 🙂
Great recipe….I pretty much followed it to the T….
I did add cilantro (a lot) at the end with the green onions and sesame seed( and Paula is right, you cannot have to many sesame seeds) !!!!
Woohoo! So glad you liked it!
Yum! I LOVE glassy sweet potato starch noodles (aka cellophane aka dangmyeon)! I didn’t have cream cheese but I subbed for some sour cream and it still gave a nice thick creaminess. A whole clove of minced raw garlic was a bit much for me – next time, I might try to cook the garlic a bit in the sauce and toss back in the noodles or just use less of it! Finally – and this honestly may have been because I used sour cream, although cream cheese also has a bit of a tang – I felt that something was missing. I added a touch of honey to balance the flavors and give it that classic Korean sweetness, and it was perfect!