Welcome to The Storied Recipe! We received this super quick & easy Thai Spicy Ramen Noodle recipe from my podcast guest, Suwanee Lennon. Suwanee grew up in leprosy camp in Thailand, where a package of ramen noodles was a rare treat. I invite you to listen to her episode while you make her healthy hot and spicy noodles!
When Suwanee was placed into the care of her adoptive parents, they had lived in a leprosy camp for several years, gated off from society. Without the ability to leave the camp to work, her parents had a very limited income and found food wherever they could. At times, they gathered dung beetles for food. Instant ramen noodles were a rare treat.
Now that Suwanee is economically secure, she still loves Ramen the way they made it in and makes this spicy ramen soup full of Thai flavors and healthy greens for her kids and family.
Listen to Suwanee's Story
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This spicy ramen noodle recipe is flexible - make it how *you* like. But here are Suwanee's recommendations
Ramen Packages: Suwanee recommends Mama's Instant Noodles as they're made in Thailand and already have a spicy flavor packet.
If you choose not to use Mama's there's lots of other ways to create that spicy broth. Add
- Thai chili flakes (start with 1 tsp, these are REALLY spicy)
- Sriracha sauce (again, begin with 1 teaspoon at a time)
- Korean chili paste
- Typical chili powder found in American grocery stores.
- As you move through these suggestions, you move further away from the Thai flavors of Suwanee's dish
- Check out 79 Ramen Toppings: From Instant Noodles to Gourmet Bowl for lots more ideas!
Hard boil - or soft boil - them first.
- Soft boil for 4-5 minutes. The runny yolks will compliment the flavors of the soup.
- If you prefer hard boiled, boil up to 10 minutes.
- Save time by boiling the eggs in the water you'll add to the ramen.
Greens, Herbs, and Alliums
Bring this noodle dish to the next level (of health AND flavor) with these suggestions from Suwanee
- Leeks andfresh green onions
- Baby bok choy
- Spinach (or baby spinach)
Ramen Broth Flavor Enhancers
For amounts, see recipe or simply start with a small amount and go from there
- Fish sauce
- Lime juice
Other Things to Add
So, so many things. For a full list of things to add to ramen, check out 79 Ramen Toppings: From Instant Noodles to Gourmet Bowls. You'll need spicy, sweet, sour, and salty or umami notes.
But here are just a few
- Sesame Oil: A dash of this aromatic oil adds depth to the flavors.
- Rice Vinegar: A splash of rice vinegar introduces a balanced tang.
- Brown Sugar: A touch of sweetness to balance the spiciness.
- Bell Peppers: Sliced bell peppers not only add color but also a satisfying crunch.
- Fresh Garlic: Minced garlic for a fragrant kick.
- Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle these over your noodles for a nutty texture.
- Boil the noodles
- Prepare the broth
- Prepare favorite veggies
- Add flavor and spice
- Noodle fusion - Fold in the raw ramen noodles
- Garnish and serve
If you can't find all the ingredients or want to customize the dish, don't fret! Here are some substitution ideas:
- Vegetarian Twist: Swap chicken broth for vegetable broth and omit fish sauce for a vegetarian version.
- Protein Power: Add some tender skirt steak or double your hard/soft boiled eggs
- Nutty Kick: Substitute peanut butter for a unique and nutty flavor profile
You can easily switch up the dish to match your preferences:
- Less Spicy Option: Decrease spicy seasoning packet, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for a milder version.
- Crunchy Elements: Experiment with matchstick carrots, bamboo shoots, or bean sprouts for added texture.
- Sauce pot
- Ramen bowls to present your creation.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can make the eggs in advance (especially if they are hard boiled) and store them up to 3 days in the fridge.
Once you cook the noodles, I highly recommend eating them immediately. The dried ramen will soak up more and more broth until they become overly soggy.
Shop at your local Asian market (I LOVE H Mart!!!) for the freshest and hugest selection of produce, sauces, spices, and vinegars at the best prices - by far. I find something new and delicious to try every time I visit!!
Q: Is there a difference between instant noodles and ramen noodles?
While the two are used interchangeably in the United States these days, including in this recipe, ramen noodles are technically made fresh. This is an excellent resource explaining the difference between fresh ramen noodles and instant.
Q: Is there a way to make the dish less spicy?
Certainly! Simply reduce the amount of chili garlic sauce, red pepper flakes, or any other spicy ingredients. You're in control of the heat level.
Q: Can I make the recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can opt for gluten-free noodles like millet and brown rice noodles or other alternatives.