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8 Spicy Ramen Recipe Ideas for The Season

spicy-ramen

Let’s face it, spicy ramen is one of those things that we all loved as children, and still love to this day! No matter what flavor of ramen you have, a little bit of heat always improves the taste. It’s one of the reasons why we created our immi spicy beef ramen!

We see you spice fiend. If you can’t get enough of spicy food, try our Spicy Beef ramen!

Spicy “Beef” Ramen

Hearty, rich, and spicy. A broth that takes your tastebuds on a trip across the world. Brimming with notes of Sichuan peppercorns, anise, and fennel. Spicy “Beef” Ramen

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Spicy “Beef” Ramen

Asian cuisine already has a wide variety of chilies, peppercorns, spices, and sauces that create some of the most deliciously spicy food in the world. Knowing that, we’ve decided to put together a list of spicy ramen recipe ideas that are sure to have you reaching for a cold drink and second helpings:

Gochujang Ramen 

gochujang-spicy-ramen

Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste that’s the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and spicy. 

It’s used as a condiment to be eaten alongside rice and meat dishes, an ingredient for soups and salads, and as a marinade for meat. 

It’s an ideal base flavor for ramen and in fact, Gochujang ramen is a popular dish in Korea and you can find various versions of it in and around Seoul. 

Recipe Tips

The great thing about gochujang ramen is that you can follow the recipe as it’s made in its local region, or you can put your own spin on it with varying spice levels and different flavors.

For example, you can make tonkotsu ramen with gochujang as the flavor base instead of miso. We would suggest making two versions, one with more broth and one with a thicker sauce. 

For the first one, add gochujang in place of soy sauce, miso, or any other flavor base. For the second one, cook the broth for longer until it reduces to about half the usual amount. Then, simply mix with the gochujang before adding the noodles, and enjoy with crispy fried onions on top. 

Kimchi Ramen

kimchi-spicy-ramen

Kimchi is known around the world for its tangy, spicy taste which has made it popular around the world (it’s super delicious, so no surprises there!). 

There are several regional types of kimchi you can use for ramen. However, our favorite is the fermented napa cabbage and radish kimchi that’s got a refreshing crunch with every bite.

Combine that with a bowl of ramen and we guarantee you’ll eventually start craving this super-flavorful dish all the time, just like we do!

Recipe Tips

Kimchi has a strong flavor and it’ll take over most other ingredients if you add it to a basic bowl of ramen. You can stir-fry the kimchi for 30 seconds to tone down some of the pungent notes if you’re not a fan of sharp tastes and aromas.

Additionally, if you want to enjoy a fuller and more well-rounded kimchi taste, use it as the flavor base instead of a condiment. 

To do that, stir-fry cabbage kimchi for 20 seconds to half a minute on high heat. Add chicken broth, turn the heat down and simmer for a further minute. Add the ramen and enjoy. For dry kimchi ramen, stir-fry the kimchi and immediately toss with the noodles. 

Mala Sauce Ramen

mala-spicy-ramen

Mala is a spicy, sharp seasoning made with Sichuan peppercorns, peanut oil, chili peppers, and several other spices. It makes a sauce that’s got a decent amount of heat and a rich peppery flavor that’s characteristic of the Sichuan peppercorns. 

The numbing sensation you get from the peppercorns is what makes this dish great. It lets you have more of the spicy goodness and enjoy the flavor of the dish without worrying about the spice level. 

Sichuan cuisine is one of our favorites and this sauce is a major reason for that. Not to mention, it’s super versatile and the condiments, such as Mala sauce, can be used to upgrade ramen noodles.

Recipe Tips

You can make ramen with Mala sauce by mixing it with the ramen tare. Use half the amount of flavor base such as miso or soy sauce and half of thick Mala sauce. You can even sprinkle Mala seasoning on top of the tare to transform that into a flavorful Mala sauce. 

Another way to do this is to pour Mala sauce on top or a prepped ramen bowl, just like you would do with chili oil and other condiments. 

Adding Mala sauce during the cooking process lets the flavor seep into the rest of the ingredients. Pouring it on top lets you taste the Mala first, for a spicier result.

We think you should try plenty of both!

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Sambal Oelek Ramen

sambal-spicy-ramen

Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian flavor base and condiment in the form of a paste. It’s made of fermented shrimp paste, various chilies, garlic, lime juice, and other spices. 

It’s one of the best condiments for lending flavor to noodle or rice dishes. Our favorite version is the Sambal Badjak, which is a spicier, peppery sambal that’s fried after it’s ground. This lends it a nuttier, deeper flavor that lasts much longer than the sharp hit of regular sambal. 

Ramen is the ideal host dish for sambal oelek because noodles take on salty flavors very well. Plus, you can add more or less depending on how strong you like your flavors to be.

Recipe Tips

One awesome way to make sambal ramen is to cook the sambal beforehand in an aromatic oil such as ginger and garlic-infused peanut oil. 

Simply fry the sauce in a tablespoon of oil until it takes on a caramel color. Then, either toss it into a bowl of dry ramen or stir it into chicken broth right before you add the ramen. 

For an even more shrimp/seafood-inspired ramen bowl, mix in a tablespoon of sambal paste into our delicious Tom Yum flavor immi ramen, sprinkle some fresh lime juice on top and enjoy!

Nuoc Cham Ramen

nuoc-cham-spicy-ramen

Although it’s traditionally used as a dipping sauce in its native Vietnam, the tangy, sour, and spicy Nuoc Cham makes a great base for noodles.

Although different Vietnamese regions have slight variations in the recipe, there are two versions of the sauce. One is the classic dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lemon juice, chopped chili, and sugar. The other has lime juice, palm sugar, garlic, and rice wine vinegar.

Both versions make great additions to ramen broth. You can store nuoc cham for later meals as well, just like you would with any other dipping sauce. The vinegar and citrus juice prevents it from going bad. 

Recipe Tips

Although you can add nuoc cham to the broth, we’d suggest making a bowl of dry ramen and dipping each mouthful into the sauce before eating. 

It’s thin enough to not stick to the noodles in a large amount and strong enough to coat the noodles in its tangy, sweet and spicy flavor. 

Chuka Tare Ramen

chuka-spicy-ramen

Chuka Tare is a Japanese spicy sauce or flavor base for ramen. It’s not one of the main flavors but it definitely deserves a spot on this list because of its refreshingly spicy flavor (courtesy of the green onion and ginger root). 

The red chili bean paste in chuka tare lends a silky consistency to the broth, while the ginger adds a bit of sweetness to the otherwise savory mix. 

Recipe Tips

Traditional Chuka tare calls for hot chilies. Alternatively, you can use Thai bird’s eye chili for a more earthy heat that goes well with chicken flavored ramen. You should stick to the red chilies for beef and other flavors. 

Also, instead of the sesame oil, you can use a Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese seven spice) oil, or other chili oil recipes (link to chili oil recipe article)

Spicy Mi Goreng Ramen

mi-goreng-spicy-ramen

Mi Goreng is an Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish that we absolutely love for its mix of taste and strong aroma.

It’s different from other noodle dishes in that the noodles are mixed more closely with the ingredients and condiments. This lets them absorb more flavor and retain more heat from the chilies. 

What we love about mi goreng is that the technique allows for so much exploration with the dish. You can have your own choice of protein and oil, you can choose between onions and shallots, and even decide your veggie combination. It’s a culinary sandbox that we think everyone should try at home

Recipe Tips

Here’s a full recipe for mi goreng ramen made with delicious immi ramen and containing the perfect blend of savory and spicy ingredients. 

To make the texture even more interesting, top the ramen with some crispy fried onions and garlic slivers. 

Nam Jim Jaew Ramen

nam-jim-spicy-ramen

Although Nam Jim Jaew is technically a Thai dipping sauce, we’ve found that it works just as great with ramen.

It has a distinct smoky tinge as well as some sweet-sour notes that will delight your taste buds with every mouthful. 

If you’re looking for a truly multipurpose sauce that you can dip your ramen in, add to the broth, make the tare with, or even use in stir-fried noodles, this is it.

Recipe Tips

Because this sauce has a ton of finely chopped chilies, herbs, and spices, it’s best when spooned on top of cooked ramen. 

Also, you can take a standard nam jim jaew recipe and use your own choice of citrus juice, such as lemon, tangerine, sweet lime, and even regular orange juice.

For even better results, substitute half the amount of red chili flakes with dried Sichuan pepper flakes. This will lower the spice a bit while adding another layer of flavor.