Gochujang Buttered Noodles: Ultimate Guide to Flavor & Freshness

We’re diving into a dish that marries the heartiness of comfort food with the bold flavors of Korean cuisine: gochujang buttered noodles. This dish is a testament to the magic that happens when you blend the rich, umami-packed gochujang paste with the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of butter, creating a flavor profile that’s both complex and utterly satisfying.


Crafting this harmonious dish requires a blend of specific ingredients known for their rich flavors and comforting qualities. Let’s dive into what you’ll need to bring this culinary delight to your table.

For the Gochujang Butter Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Noodles and Garnishes

  • 8 ounces spaghetti or your choice of noodles
  • Salt, for boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Required Tools and Equipment

To bring our gochujang buttered noodles recipe to life, it’s crucial to have the right tools and equipment on hand. Keeping everything organized will not only make the cooking process smoother but also ensure that the flavors blend perfectly, offering that comforting yet bold taste we’re aiming for. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Pot: Essential for boiling the spaghetti or noodles. A pot with enough depth will ensure the pasta has ample space to cook evenly.
  • Strainer or Colander: For draining the cooked noodles efficiently without losing any down the sink.
  • Skillet or Frying Pan: A good-quality skillet is crucial for sautéing the garlic, ginger, and for combining the gochujang butter sauce with the noodles. Non-stick is ideal to prevent any sticking and burning.
  • Mixing Bowl: Needed for whisking together the sauce ingredients. Opt for a medium size that gives you enough room to vigorously whisk without splashing.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key when it comes to balancing the bold flavors of gochujang, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Measuring cups and spoons will ensure you get the proportions just right.
  • Whisk or Fork: For emulsifying the sauce ingredients together into a cohesive mixture. A whisk is preferred, but a fork will do in a pinch.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: To stir the noodles as they’re being coated with the luscious gochujang butter sauce, ensuring each strand is evenly covered.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For preparing fresh ingredients like garlic and green onions. A sharp knife will make your prep work quick and safe.

Having these tools and equipment ready before you start cooking will streamline your process, making it a seamless and enjoyable experience. Remember, the right tools can elevate your cooking from good to great, especially when tackling dishes that involve a symphony of flavors like our gochujang buttered noodles.

Make-Ahead Instructions

As we dive into making our gochujang buttered noodles, it’s handy to know how to prep parts of this dish in advance. Making components ahead can save you precious time, especially on busy days when the craving for these spicy, buttery noodles hits. Here’s how you can get a head start on this tantalizing dish:

1. Prepare the Gochujang Butter Mixture:

  • Up to 3 days before, you can prepare the gochujang butter mixture. Simply follow the recipe to combine unsalted butter, gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and grated ginger in a bowl. Once mixed, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften, making it easier to combine with your noodles.

2. Cook the Noodles:

  • You can cook your spaghetti or noodles according to package instructions a day in advance. After draining, toss them in a tiny bit of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. Cool them down quickly by spreading them out on a wide plate or tray, then cover and refrigerate. When it’s time to make your dish, quickly reheat them in a skillet or in the microwave.

3. Prep the Garnishes:

  • Toasting the sesame seeds and chopping green onions can also be done ahead of time. Store the toasted sesame seeds in a small, sealed container at room temperature. Keep the chopped green onions in a separate airtight container in the fridge. These pre-prepped garnishes will be ready to sprinkle on top of your dish, adding that final touch of flavor and crunch without any last-minute fuss.

Using these make-ahead instructions, you’ll streamline the cooking process without sacrificing the freshness and bold flavors of the gochujang buttered noodles. This way, you can enjoy this mouthwatering meal with minimal effort, making it a perfect option for quick weeknight dinners or impressing guests with your knack for vibrant, comforting dishes.

Prep Work

To streamline our cooking process and save time, we’ll tackle the prep work first. This includes making the gochujang butter and preparing our vegetables.

Preparing the Gochujang Butter

Let’s start with our star flavor enhancer – the gochujang butter. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Using a medium bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter with the gochujang paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Stir everything together until the mixture is homogenous and vibrant in color. The spicy, umami-rich scent should be evident, teasing the flavors to come. Set this aside, or if preparing ahead of time, refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook. This gochujang butter will not only coat our noodles but will also infuse them with a depth of flavor that pairs perfectly with the vegetables.

Prepping Vegetables

Next up, let’s prepare our vegetables to ensure everything cooks evenly and quickly. Here’s what we need:

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of spinach, roughly chopped

Start by peeling and julienning the carrot into thin strips, which will allow it to cook quickly and blend well with the noodles and other ingredients. Next, core and thinly slice the red bell pepper, adding a sweet crunch and a vibrant color to the dish. Thinly slice the green onions, separating the white and green parts as we’ll use them at different cooking stages to build layers of flavor. Lastly, roughly chop the spinach; this will wilt into the noodles, adding a pop of color and a nutritional boost.

Having these vegetables prepped and ready to go not only makes the cooking process smoother but also ensures that each bite of the gochujang buttered noodles is a perfect harmony of flavors and textures.

Cooking Instructions

Now that we’ve prepped our ingredients, let’s dive into how to bring this delicious fusion dish to life, starting with the noodles and then the flavorful gochujang butter sauce.

Cooking the Noodles

First, we’ll need to cook the noodles until they are just right. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous pinch of salt to elevate the noodles’ flavor.
  2. Add your choice of noodles to the boiling water. We recommend using either spaghetti or udon noodles for this recipe, depending on your preference for texture.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, usually between 7 to 10 minutes, until they are al dente. It’s crucial they’re not too soft; we want them to have a slight bite.
  4. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them in a colander and then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process immediately. This ensures they don’t become too soft.
  5. Toss the noodles lightly with a drizzle of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside while we prepare the gochujang butter sauce.

Making the Gochujang Butter Sauce

Let’s move on to the star of the dish, the gochujang butter sauce:

  1. In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. The butter should sizzle slightly without browning too quickly.
  2. As the butter melts, add 2 tablespoons of gochujang paste to the pan. Gochujang is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment that’s key to our dish’s flavor profile.
  3. Stir the gochujang and butter together until they are well combined and the mixture starts to bubble gently. The aroma should be irresistible!
  4. Reduce the heat slightly and add in the prepared vegetables. We’re talking about those carrots, bell peppers, green onions, and spinach we prepared earlier. Stir-fry them in the gochujang butter mixture until they are just tender, which should take around 3-5 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the cooked noodles to the pan. Toss everything together gently, ensuring the noodles are evenly coated with the gochujang butter sauce and the vegetables are distributed throughout. If the mixture seems too thick, add a splash of pasta water to loosen it up.
  6. Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Assembling the Gochujang Buttered Noodles

Now that we have our gochujang butter sauce and noodles ready, it’s time to bring it all together. This part is where the magic happens, transforming simple ingredients into a delightful and aromatic dish.

Mixing the Sauce and Noodles

First, ensure your noodles are drained well, but still warm, to help the sauce cling to them more effectively. Pour the freshly made gochujang butter sauce over the noodles in a large mixing bowl. Using tongs or large forks, gently toss the noodles until they are evenly coated in the sauce. The warmth of the noodles will melt the sauce further, allowing it to envelop every strand in its spicy, umami-rich goodness.

As you mix, you’ll notice the vibrant red hue of the gochujang melding with the creaminess of the butter, creating a visually stunning dish. The aromas of garlic, green onions, and the unique earthiness of gochujang will start to fill your kitchen, making it hard to wait even a minute longer to dive in.

Adding Toppings and Garnish

Once your noodles are beautifully coated in the gochujang butter sauce, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Sprinkle generous amounts of sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and thin strips of nori or a seaweed of your choice over the top. These toppings add not just a crunch but also layers of flavor—refreshing, nutty, and with a hint of the sea.

For those who enjoy a bit of extra heat and texture, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper or a dollop of additional gochujang on the side allows everyone to customize their plate to their liking.

Finally, if you have them on hand, a few pieces of sautéed vegetables or pan-fried tofu can transform this dish into an even more substantial meal. The beauty of gochujang buttered noodles is in its versatility and the way it welcomes additions, making it a perfect canvas for your favorite flavors.

Our gochujang buttered noodles are ready to serve. The complexity of flavors, the comforting warmth of the dish, and the vibrant colors make it not just a meal but an experience. Let’s dig in and enjoy the fruits of our labor, one delicious bite at a time.

Serving Suggestions

After tossing your noodles in the rich, spicy gochujang butter sauce and admiring the vibrant hues and inviting aroma, it’s almost time to dive in. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve these delectable gochujang buttered noodles to ensure every bite is as satisfying as it is flavorful.

  • Garnish Galore: Don’t hold back on garnishes. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, a handful of thinly sliced green onions, and a few strips of nori not only add a burst of color but also layer in texture and taste, intertwining with the warmth of the noodles.
  • Side of Crunch: For a contrasting texture, consider serving these noodles with a side of quick-pickled cucumbers or radishes. Their crunch and acidity will balance the deep, savory notes of the gochujang butter sauce impeccably.
  • Protein Pairings: If you’re looking to add protein to this dish, grilled chicken, beef, or tofu make excellent companions. They can be marinated in a bit of soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil before cooking to complement the flavors of the noodles.
  • Soup on the Side: To round out the meal, a light, broth-based soup such as miso or a clear vegetable soup can cleanse the palate between bites of the rich, umami-packed noodles.
  • The Perfect Drink: The robust flavors of this dish pair wonderfully with a glass of crisp white wine or a cold, light beer. For a non-alcoholic option, a chilled barley tea or a sparkling lemonade cuts through the richness smoothly.

By incorporating one or a combination of these serving suggestions, you can transform the gochujang buttered noodles into a well-rounded meal that’s not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visual delight. Whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a special occasion, these noodles are sure to impress.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Proper storage and reheating are crucial for enjoying our gochujang buttered noodles even after the initial meal. The tangy and spicy flavors can develop further, making leftovers just as delightful.

Storing the Gochujang Buttered Noodles

To ensure the noodles retain their best texture and flavor, follow these steps:

  1. Allow the Noodles to Cool: Before storing, let the noodles cool to room temperature. Hot food can cause condensation inside the container, making the noodles soggy.
  2. Choose the Right Container: Use an airtight container to keep the noodles fresh. This prevents them from absorbing other flavors from the fridge and also maintains moisture.
  3. Refrigerate Quickly: Once cooled, immediately transfer the noodles to the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 3 to 5 days for best quality.
  4. Keep Toppings Separate: If possible, store toppings like green onions and sesame seeds separately. This keeps them crisp and prevents them from becoming soft in the moist environment of the noodles.

Reheating Gochujang Buttered Noodles

To recapture the dish’s freshly cooked appeal, reheating carefully is key:

  1. Microwave with Care: For quick reheating, sprinkle a few drops of water over the noodles to prevent them from drying out, cover them loosely, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until heated through.
  2. Stovetop Method: For an even better texture, reheat the noodles over low heat in a pan. You may need to add a small amount of water or broth to help loosen them up and prevent sticking. Stir gently until evenly warmed.
  3. Add Fresh Toppings: After reheating, refresh the dish by adding a sprinkle of fresh toppings like green onions, sesame seeds, or a drizzle of extra gochujang, if desired. This little step can make the dish feel like it’s just been cooked.


We’ve journeyed through the savory world of gochujang buttered noodles together, from whipping up this delightful dish to ensuring it remains just as tantalizing as leftovers. Remember the joy doesn’t end after the first serving; with our tips on storage and reheating, you’re all set to relive the delicious experience. Whether you’re enjoying it fresh or as a reheated treat, the fusion of Korean flavors with the comforting texture of noodles is sure to bring a smile to your face. Here’s to many more meals that are as enjoyable and flavorful as this one. Let’s keep exploring and savoring the world of fusion cuisine together!

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