Gochujang Buttered Noodles Recipe (2024)

By Eric Kim

Updated Dec. 12, 2023

Gochujang Buttered Noodles Recipe (1)

Total Time
25 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Read community notes

These garlicky, buttery noodles are perfect for when you need a stellar pantry meal lickety-split. A packet of fresh or even instant ramen speeds up the meal prep and is ideal when cooking for one (see Tip). Honey and sherry vinegar round out gochujang’s deep heat into a mellowness that’s at once sweet, savory and tangy. The brick-red butter sauce, emulsified with a splash of the pasta cooking water, coats spaghetti here, but you can use whatever noodles you like.

Featured in: Gochujang Is So Much More Than a Condiment

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Yield:4 servings

  • 1pound spaghetti or other long pasta
  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12garlic cloves, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼cup gochujang paste (not sauce; see Tip)
  • ¼cup honey
  • ¼cup sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
  • Finely chopped cilantro or thinly sliced scallions (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

693 calories; 20 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 111 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 22 grams sugars; 18 grams protein; 654 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Gochujang Buttered Noodles Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the spaghetti and return to its pot.

  2. While the pasta cooks, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-low. Add the garlic and season generously with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to soften but not brown, 1 to 3 minutes.

  3. Step


    Stir in the gochujang, honey and vinegar, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reduces significantly, 3 to 4 minutes; when you drag a spatula across the bottom of the pan, it should leave behind a trail that stays put for about 3 seconds. Remove from the heat.

  4. Step


    Transfer the sauce to the pot with the spaghetti and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Vigorously stir until the butter melts. Add splashes of the pasta cooking water, as needed, to thin out the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top with the cilantro or scallions (if using) and serve immediately.


  • Be sure to purchase plain gochujang paste, not gochujang sauce, which often includes additives like vinegar and sugar. To easily measure out gochujang, swipe the inside of a measuring cup with a little neutral oil, which will get it to slip right out.
  • To make a single serving, follow the recipe using 4 to 5 ounces fresh or instant ramen noodles; 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter (1 tablespoon to fry the garlic and ½ tablespoon for the sauce at the end); 3 garlic cloves; 1 heaping tablespoon gochujang; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or rice vinegar. Decrease the cook times throughout by 1 to 2 minutes.



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Cooking Notes

Annie B

Many thanks for including instructions for a single serving. The onesies of the world salute you, Eric!


It’s midnight and I’m a couple drinks in. Because I just got home from a trip I had everything except the Gochujang paste (had to substitute Gochujang sauce, which I know, it says get the paste!). Regardless, it was delicious. I used stale limpy cilantro but I would have preferred scallions, or fresh cilantro. I used somen noodles and they were perfect. Chopped some nuts for crunch/protein and it was a hit. Smashed it.


Spicy, sweet, delicious, and easy. The one (unintentional) change is we planned to make a full batch of sauce and save half; we promptly forgot and mixed in the half pound of pasta directly. We actually liked the double sauce because the sauce was so good. Added the pasta to the pan with sauce instead of the opposite. Also not sure it’s a main dish unaccompanied unless it’s midnight and you’re a couple drinks in in which case get after it.


If you want to see Eric Kim make this recipe with ramen noodles instead of spaghetti go to this youtube video and scroll to 10:35. If you want to have even more fun, watch the entire video for four other great ramen noodle inspirations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pFTJN1tF8A

Max Alexander, Rome, MasterChef Italia

Make the sauce in a skillet. Transfer the cooked pasta directly from the water into the skillet with tongs; the clinging water will thin the sauce about right. If not, add a bit more. This is how we do it in Italy, where colanders gather dust in the back of the cupboard.

Jesse & Jen In MSP

Frankly, 1/4 c (i.e. 4 tbsp) honey was too much for us. The heat was great, and it was perfectly savory, but just had too much sweetness. We will go with 2 or even 1 tbsp next time.Green onions as a topper gave the perfect fresh / allium crunch.Ultimately it was a very tasty recipe, we would just turn down the sweet.


Added a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and a dash of sesame oil once the noodles were plated. Delish!


I would follow Eric kim to the ends of the earth. Made this between terrifying tornado storms in the mid-south tonight. Just the right amount of concentration needed to be a welcome distraction. supremely comforting.


This was easy and delicious. If anyone is wondering if it can be made vegan, I substituted maple syrup for honey and Earth Balance for butter and it was perfect.

Joel P

Super tasty and easy to make. It's got a good amount of heat but adjust gochujang up or down to your preference. As-is was perfect for me, a bit too spicy for my wife. We had it with sliced scallions, as suggested, and after a few bites I chopped up some roasted salted peanuts and threw those on and it really added something so I'd strongly recommend it.


I added some mukimame (shelled edamame) to the pasta water at the end of the noodles cooking to add some protein. Also, some matchstick carrots along with the scallions to add crunch. Yum.


If I'm going to use some pasta water to enrich the sauce, why not cook the pasta in a smaller amount of water in a skillet, so the pasta starch is more concentrated in the water?


This is such a fabulous twist! I personally recommend using bucatini and leaving the sauce thicker (no pasta water). I added sesame seeds and a small drizzle of sesame oil with scallions. WOWIE! So. Good.


I'm amazed at the lack of notes describing modifications to this recipe. Unusual for our crowd (and I'm one that enjoys/appreciates/learns from reading all of the comments and ideas) and a true tribute to Eric Kim. Looks like this recipe just works and I can't wait to try it!

Laura G.

The pasta is more likely to be sticky/gluey if it doesn't have a lot of water to roam around in.


Just made this with one change; I didn’t have honey and used equal amount of mirin. I added some tofu and frozen broccoli. This recipe is further proof Eric Kim can do no wrong. Easy, spicy, tangy - kind of an amazing Asian barbecue kind of thing. The butter made it just ever so slightly creamy. We’ll add this to our usual rotation.


The knife cut “squiggly” noodles from Trader Joe’s were perfect for this! Bless you, Eric, for the single serving instructions!


Thanks to the commenters who suggested cutting back on honey. Topped with two jammy eggs and finished with sesame oil instead of the additional butter - delicious. Don’t skip the scallions!


This is definitely a do over. For proteins, I sauteed mushrooms with olive oil. Melted one stick of butter, sauteed the garlic then added 1 lb of shrimp. Removed the half cooked shrimp then poured in the honey, gocuchang and sherry vinegar mixture till reduced. Put shrimp back in and let if finish cooking before adding the pasta.


Loved this! Agree with the reviewers who suggested to double up on the sauce and add something crunchy. I ended up with crunchy spicy garlic which was WOW. Def in my rotation now!


I made this tonight. I added shallots along with the garlic and threw in spinach at the end. The dish was good but not mind-blowing. I much prefer the Caramelized Shallot pasta recipe from The NY Times Cooking. That recipe is incredible.


Thanks for the single serving directions. I couldn't decide between scallions and cilantro, so I topped the noodles with both. For my palate, the cilantro was the clear winner. It added a whole new taste to the dish, whereas I could barely taste the scallions through the heat of the gochujang.

Kevin F

I also recommend doubling the sauce! We just made it and we felt like it could have used a deeper flavor. The flavor that was there was absolutely awesome. We’re big fans of gochujang from a different NYT recipe (shrimp), and it’s our go to additive for some flavorful heat.


It came out perfectly, but I don't know. I just found it to be sort of OK. Maybe if you grow up with gochujang in your life, then this is pure comfort food. But for us, not so much. It's fine. It was easy. We ate it. Won't make it again.


So good! It was dying for a runny egg on top, and it made a fabulous addition. Amped up the richness of an already deliciously rich dish.


I enjoyed this! Added some crispy tofu I cooked up, some microgreens, sesame oil and a sprinkling of gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt)! Yummy! One of my kids didn't like and one thought it was just okay. Kids!


We add ground chicken and increase the liquid to 1/3 because of the added ingredient. Serve with a small salad with a ginger dressing and it’s a great, easy meal in the week.


Add peanuts!


I used noodles from a ramen bowl and prepared a small batch as a side for two with the Pork Gochujang Burgers. Both dishes were really good and easy to prepare on a week night.


It isn't midnight and I'm 0 drinks in, but it is Tuesday and the rest of the family is out for the evening which means there's no one to complain about a spicy dinner. Quick, easy, absolutely delicious. I used cilantro and next time will serve witj shrimp to make a complete meal. For me tonight, just a bowl of noodles was completely perfect.

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Gochujang Buttered Noodles Recipe (2024)


How to use gochujang in instant noodles? ›

In a small bowl, mix the gochujang and soy sauce using a fork until you get a smooth sauce. Cook the ramen or udon according to package instructions. Turn the heat off about 1-2 minutes before it's fully cooked, then drain and rinse with cold water.

How much gochujang to use in ramen? ›

Great question! This ramen is of medium heat as written, with two Tablespoons of hot gochujang and one Tablespoon of hot chili oil. For milder spice (but still tons of flavor), use only one to two Tablespoons of mild gochujang and omit the hot chili oil.

What is the buttered noodles community? ›

Buttered noodles is Abed's food of choice, the one dish he never gets tired of. He eats it on a regular basis and proudly states it to be his favorite. The simple culinary delight is made up of egg noodles and cooked by boiling it in water and flavoring it with butter.

What is the best way to use gochujang? ›

This spicy paste is salty, savory and slightly sweet, and can be used in many ways including in soups, stews, marinades and sauces. Traditional Korean dishes that include gochujang are bibimbap, a mixed rice dish, tteokbokki, a spicy rice cake street food, and Jeyuk Bokkeum, a spicy marinated pork stir-fry.

Should I add butter to instant noodles? ›

Butter is a fat, and as the old Chef's saying goes "Fat is Flavor". Realistically adding butter to your ramen noodles adds fat and body to the broth that helps carry flavors and umami, creating a rounder, more mouth-watering sensation overall.

Can you use gochujang by itself? ›

On its own, gochujang is quite pungent, so it's usually mixed with other ingredients to balance its intensity.

What do Koreans put in their ramen? ›

The final result is a fusion recipe mainly inspired by kimchi ramen. The broth features ingredients like soy sauce, mirin, garlic, gochujang paste, and Korean chili pepper flakes. It's then filled with vegetables like scallions, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms.

Does gochujang need to be refrigerated? ›

Before opening, gochujang and gochujang sauce do not need to be refrigerated. Once opened, a lot of people recommend keeping the sauce and the paste in the fridge to help them retain freshness.

How do you thicken butter noodles? ›

As we mentioned, flour and cornstarch are the most popular ingredients used to thicken butter sauce for pasta. After you've heated your butter and water combo in your skillet, turn your heat down so nothing scorches as you work in the dry ingredients. Then slowly whisk in your flour or cornstarch.

Is it OK to put butter in noodles? ›

Buttered noodles are simple to make with your favorite pasta, butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper for a quick and easy, kid-friendly dish. Fresh herbs and a little lemon juice could be added to amp up the flavor. Perfect to serve either as-is or alongside steak, chicken, or meatballs.

What is the pink spinny thing in ramen? ›

Narutomaki, a type of cured fish cake, is a popular ramen topping with a distinctive pink swirl.

Who invented butter noodles? ›

The origin of buttered noodles is disputed. Everywhere from China to Rome to Germany claims to have invented the simple dish. What we do know for certain is that buttered noodles embody the simple everyday comforts so many seem to enjoy—no matter their cuisine or culture.

What is the milky ramen called? ›


Tonkotsu shokunin often fortify their already rich broth with pork or chicken fat. A popular sub-category of tonkotsu ramen is hakata ramen which, too, originated in f*ckuoka. This super milky-white, extra-rich tonkotsu is often served with thin, hard noodles and minimal toppings.

Can I add gochujang to Shin Ramyun? ›

Cook your Shin Ramyun noodle of choice following the packet instructions. Step 2. Whilst the ramyun is cooking, add gochujang and stir through.

How to improve Korean instant noodles? ›

1. Simple way! Eggs (crack it on top of the ramyun while it's hot), slice of cheese (the best part is when it melts on the hot noodles), scallion (chopped for garnish). Optional: add Tteok (rice cake) and Mandu (dumplings).


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