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Spicy Korean Ramen | Ready in under 20 Minutes - Zesty Limes

Spicy Korean Ramen | Ready in under 20 Minutes

This spicy Korean ramen, or Korean ramyeon recipe, transforms humble instant ramen noodles into a comforting, tasty ramen that’s packed with robust flavors. It combines slivers of pan-seared beef with a spicy gochujang sauce and al-dente-cooked ramen noodles to make for a savory and spicy ramen everyone will enjoy. The best part: you need only a handful of simple ingredients and it’s ready in under 20 minutes!

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What is Korean ramen?

Korean ramen is a popular and beloved dish in South Korea. It is a type of instant noodle soup that has gained worldwide recognition for its unique flavors and variations.

The typical Korean ramen package contains noodles, broth, seasoning packets, and toppings. And while a meal in a packet may have shuddering and thinking you’re in for a bland bowl of noodles, you’d be mistaken!

In this quick ramen recipe, we’ll only be using the instant noodles, so it doesn’t matter what else your noodles come with.

The Best Korean Ramen

Ramen is the perfect go-to quick and easy meal to make when you’re busy and time is short, but you need a delicious meal, like, now. Good news: this Korean ramen recipe ticks all those boxes and more! It’s simple and convenient but doesn’t taste like boring instant noodles with bland flavors.

I’m not ashamed to admit that, most of the time when I’m working, some kind of ramen is usually on the menu for a quick lunch. But I do like variety when it comes to food, so I’ve had to become creative with my ramyeon recipes.

This spicy ramen noodles is easily one of my favorites, because, you know, beef. And of course, that beloved Korean ingredient, gochujang. For me, the addition of this paste makes me eat my steaming bowl of Korean noodles, almost without breathing between mouthfuls!

More Korean Ramen Recipes Coming Soon

Why you’ll love this easy Korean Ramen

  • Delicious and flavorful
  • Comfort food
  • Easy to make
  • Customizable
  • Quick and convenient
  • Global popularity
  • Family-friendly meal

Ingredients and substitutions

Beef: Substitute the beef with chicken, tofu, shrimp, or vegetables, to change up your noodle soup flavors.

Pepper: I recommend using white pepper (for warmth) if you have it, though black pepper is good enough.

Sesame oil: You can use other cooking oils like vegetable oil or canola oil if you don’t have sesame oil on hand, but sesame oil adds a distinctive, authentic Asian-inspired flavor.

Gochujang sauce: Kimchi sauce is a good substitute for gochujang paste, but you can use a combination of red pepper flakes (for spiciness) and a sweetener like honey or sugar to create a similar flavor profile.

Water: You can use vegetable, beef, or chicken broth for added flavor instead of water.

The Best Toppings for Korean Ramen

Korean ramen is known for its versatility when it comes to toppings. You can customize your bowl of ramen however you want. Here are some popular toppings commonly used in Korean ramen:

  • Kimchi
  • Boiled egg
  • Seaweed sheets (Nori)
  • Sliced scallions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Bean sprouts
  • Corn
  • Sliced tofu
  • Mushrooms
  • Cooked chicken/deli meats/sausage
  • Cheese
  • Sesame oil
  • Chili oil or chili flakes
  • Chili garlic oil

The beauty of Korean ramen lies in its adaptability to personal taste preferences, so get creative with your choices and surprise yourself!

How to make Spicy Korean Ramen: Step by step

Step 1: Prepare and Sear the Beef Slivers
Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
Add the seasoned beef to the hot skillet and sear it until it’s browned and cooked to your preferred level of doneness.
Remove from the skillet and set it aside.

Step 2: Make the Sauce
In the same skillet, flash-fry half the scallions until fragrant.
Add the gochujang paste, and soy sauce, and cook for a minute to combine the flavors.
Add water (or broth if using) and the remaining scallions to create the base for your ramen broth, and bring to a boil. Reserve some scallions for garnish.
Add the noodles and cook until soft.

Step 3: Combine and Serve
Return the cooked beef to the skillet with the broth and stir to combine.
Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or spice to your preference.
Divide the cooked ramen noodles among serving bowls.
Ladle the beef and broth mixture over the noodles.
Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
Optionally, you can add toppings like boiled eggs or kimchi for a more filling noodle soup.

How to store and reheat Korean ramen

If you happen to end up with leftover ramen, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

To reheat Korean noodles, I find that the best way to reheat them is on the stovetop. Pour your ramen noodles and soup into a saucepan and heat over a medium temperature. You don’t want to overcook the ramen, but simply warm it up until heated through.

If you prefer using the microwave, do so in 20-second bursts until warmed through, stirring in between.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Customize the spice level: Adjust the amount of gochujang pasta to control the spiciness of your ramen. Start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive to spice, and add more gradually to taste.

Maintain a simmer: When simmering the broth with the beef and scallions, avoid boiling it vigorously. Simmering gently allows the flavors to meld without overcooking the ingredients.

Add vegetables: While scallions are commonly used, you can also include other vegetables like bok choy, spinach, or bean sprouts for extra texture and flavor.

Control the noodle texture: Take care not to overcook the ramen, because the noodles will become mushy and unappetizing. You want to aim for noodles that have a chewiness to them.

Korean Ramen Recipe

This spicy Korean ramen, or Korean ramyeon recipe, combines instant ramen noodles with slivers of pan-seared beef, and a spicy gochujang sauce, for a savory and spicy ramen everyone will enjoy. And it’s ready in under 20 minutes!
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Keyword: korean ramen, Korean ramyeon recipes
Servings: 2


  • 2 beef steaks sliced into thin slivers
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp gochujang paste or kimchi sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup scallions chopped
  • cups water or broth for extra flavor
  • 1 package instant ramen noodles
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  • Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat, and sear it until browned on both sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the scallions and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the gochujang paste, soy sauce, remaining scallions, and water (or broth). Stir to combine and bring it to a boil.
  • Add in the instant ramen noodles and gently simmer until the noodles are soft.
  • Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or spice to taste.
  • Divide the cooked ramen noodles among serving bowls.
  • Ladle the beef and broth mixture over the noodles.
  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.

If you’ve never attempted Korean food in your kitchen, this ramen recipe is the perfect simple dish to make! And I’m sure the whole family will love it (or even make it themselves!), guaranteed. Let me know how yours turns out.

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