These saucy gochujang noodles are the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. This is also the perfect dish for quick weeknight dinners because it all comes together in less than 30 minutes!
I personally love simple noodle dishes. They’re not only filling and easy to throw together on a weeknight, but they’re also very flavorful if paired with the right sauce. That’s what make these gochujang noodles so amazing. The sauce is a combination of gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, black vinegar, and sesame oil. Together, they create the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and savory flavors.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a spicy fermented chili paste that is used in a lot of Korean dishes. It is a little spicy mixed with umami and sweet flavors, and it pairs really well with other strong flavors. I’ve used it in the past like in my Korean inspired braised short ribs, and I’m always surprised at how well it pairs with heavy flavors. There’s something about it that makes it perfect for seasoning heavy, carb-y food. I thought it would be perfect for the sauce in this recipe because I thought it would pair really well with the soy sauce and black vinegar.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Spaghetti – I used spaghetti for this recipe because it was the noodles I had in my kitchen. You can use any kind of noodles for this recipe. Good options are angel hair, Chinese egg noodles, and ramen noodles.
- Garlic and shallots – Adds some flavor to the ingredients. You can substitute shallots with sweet yellow onions.
- Green onions – Adds some freshness and flavor to the dish. If you don’t like green onions or cannot find them, you can leave them out.
- Persian cucumbers – I personally love using Persian cucumbers because I prefer their flavor to other cucumbers. You can use any kind of cucumbers for this recipe.
- Sesame seeds (optional) – Adds some earthy flavors to the dish and makes it look pretty!
- Lemon juice (optional) – Adding a squeeze of lemon juice really brightens up the dish. You can also use lime juice.
- Soy sauce – Use any kind of soy sauce you can find. A good substitute for soy sauce is tamari.
- Black vinegar – I tested this recipe with both black vinegar and rice wine vinegar, and the black vinegar yielded better flavor. However, if you don’t have black vinegar, both distilled white vinegar and rice wine vinegar are good substitutes.
- Sesame oil – Adds a smoky flavor to the sauce.
- Granulated sugar – Sugar helps balance out the strong umami flavors in the sauce.
- Gochujang – Adds spicy, sweet and umami flavors to the dish.
Making my saucy gochujang noodles
First, cook your pasta and set aside 1/4 cup of pasta water. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add the minced garlic and shallot and cook for 20-30 seconds until they start to brown. Add the sauce, cooked spaghetti, and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water. Mix until the spaghetti is coated in the sauce. Add more water if the sauce is not watery enough for you. Remove from the heat. Serve with green onions, Persian cucumbers, sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
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Saucy Gochujang Noodles
- Cook the spaghetti and set aside 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add the minced garlic and shallot and cook for 20-30 seconds until they start to brown.
- Add the sauce from step 2, cooked spaghetti, and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water. Mix until the spaghetti is coated in the sauce. Add more water if the sauce is not watery enough for you. Remove from the heat.
- Serve with green onions, Persian cucumbers, sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lemon juice.