This Korean spicy noodles recipe makes stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon and fried eggs. While the Japanese fried udon noodle dish, yaki udon, has a soy based sauce, this Korean-style yaki udon heats things up with kimchi, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang and Korean chilli flakes, gochugaru. We add fried eggs for this Weekend Eggs recipe.
If you’re a lover of Japanese udon noodles but prefer the spice of Korean food, you’re going to love this Korean spicy noodles recipe for stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon, pork, and fried eggs. It’s a dish for pork lovers as much as lovers of noodles and spice. Although if bacon and ground pork is too much pork, omit one. This versatile noodle dish also works with seafood, chicken, pork, or vegetables.
For spice lovers, the heat from this Korean-style yaki udon comes courtesy of spicy kimchi (fermented cabbage), the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang, and the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru. Although I have to confess that this is what this Southeast Asian resident would call gently spiced. I bump up the spice levels even more than our recipe calls for… soft fried eggs on top complete this week’s Weekend Eggs recipe for us.
As with the Japanese okonomiyaki recipe that we shared last week, the eggs aren’t the star of this dish – although with the okonomiyaki recipe, eggs are essential to holding the Japanese savoury pancake together. You could certainly make this Korean spicy noodles recipe without eggs, however, for me, fried eggs with soft runny yolks that ooze into the noodles when broken, really make this dish. Soft boiled eggs would also work.
Which is why this Korean spicy noodles recipe is this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our series of recipes on quintessential egg dishes from around the world, which we launched with Grantourismo way back in 2010 with our year-long global grand tour focused on slow, local and experiential travel.
On that trip, we settled into places for two weeks at a time to get an insight into how locals lived, and in each place we explored the local food, engaged with local cooks and chefs, and learnt to make local specialties. We shared those in Weekend Eggs and another long-running series, The Dish, for which Terence shared the recipes of quintessential dishes he learnt to cook in each place.
Now before I tell you more about this Korean spicy noodles recipe, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
Another option is to use our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, or gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.
You could also shop our Grantourismo store on Society6 for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about this Korean spicy noodles recipe.
Korean Spicy Noodles Recipe for Stir-Fried Udon with Kimchi, Bacon and Fried Eggs
This Korean spicy noodles recipe, like so many recipes of the last two years, comes from a place of yearning and nostalgia, of missing the delicious flavours, dishes and experiences of the culinary destinations we used to get to savour as food and travel writers, and the food we used to cook and eat in places we’ve lived around the world, as well as our home, Australia.
So until we get to travel again and can bring you new tastes and recipes, we’re going to have to ask you to forgive our reminiscing about memorable dishes, meals and cuisines from our past. Because for us, the stories, whether the backstory or history, are important to what we do: sharing recipes for dishes we’re connected to in the hope you develop a connection and cook the dishes and share them, too.
Our Korean connection dates way back to the Nineties, when we lived in Potts Point in inner-city Sydney for five years before we moved abroad to work in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Back in those days, Potts Point was home to Japanese and Korean communities that made the Japanese and Korean business travellers feel at home.
Korean and Japanese restaurants – high-end Japanese, Korean barbecue joints, boisterous izakayas, take-aways, and karaoke spots – dotted the backstreets and laneways of Potts Point and surrounding neighbourhoods, though for noodle bars we had to head to Kent Street in the city centre. Don’t ask me why.
For many years throughout the late Eighties and Nineties, I either worked full-time and studied part-time at night, or I studied full-time and worked part-time in the evening and weekends, teaching film and writing. Terence did the same.
Mid-week, both of us exhausted, we’d either meet up for a late meal or pick-up take-away on the way home, and my go-to take-home meals were typically either Thai pad Thai, Japanese yakisoba or Korean japchae.
On Friday and Saturday nights we’d host dinner-parties at home or head out to eat with friends and our favourite local neighbourhood Korean restaurant was a regular spot. I often dream of recreating the Korean dishes we used to order regularly.
So while Terence continues with his Japanese comfort food series, I’m going to start a random Korean recipe series, starting with this Korean spicy noodles recipe.
Tips to Making this Korean Spicy Noodles Recipe for Stir-Fried Udon with Kimchi, Bacon and Fried Eggs
Just a few tips to making this Korean spicy noodles recipe as it’s super easy and comes together quickly. Let’s start with the spice.
You’ll need spicy Korean kimchi fermented cabbage, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang, and the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru. We can buy these from our local supermarket, but otherwise try a good specialist Asian market or grocery store or, as you can see from our links, Amazon has all in stock.
We use fresh udon noodles and are lucky to have access to a few different types, including locally made noodles in a no-name packet, as well as two types of vacuum-packed fresh udon noodles from Japan and Korea.
For udon noodle soups, the instructions on both the Japanese and Korean udon noodles advise boiling the noodles first, however, for fried udon noodle dishes they both recommend frying the udon noodles directly from the packets.
That’s what we do to great success. I cut the packets open with scissors and empty the udon noodles straight into the wok. I stir-fry them very gently until the noodles separate, and then I stir-fry the noodles more vigorously as I would any stir-fried noodle dish, until the udon noodles are hot, have softened a little, and are completely coated in the spicy porky sauce.
I have never had any issues with fresh udon noodles going mushy, as I’ve spotted being reported in the comments sections of some food blogs and recipe sites. I think this is because those recipes call for the noodles to be soaked in water or boiled first, before you make the soup or sauce.
That’s why I recommend making the sauce first and then the Korean-style bacon and pork ragu, before you deal with the noodles so they’re not sitting around after being boiled or soaked. Because you can always turn the heat down to low and leave the spicy ground pork ragu to simmer. It’s going to taste even better and richer the longer you leave it.
If you can’t source fresh udon noodles, you’re going to have to use dried udon noodles and will need to follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s packet: they usually call for the noodles to be boiled or soaked for a minute or two. I still recommend that you do this at the same stage I suggest adding the noodles to the wok.
Our Korean spicy noodles recipe will make you two very generous bowls of noodles – or two smaller bowls if you prefer, with leftovers. And I assure you that the leftover noodles won’t go mushy when re-heated – based on personal experience.
While I love fried eggs with soft runny yolks with these noodles, so the yolks ooze into the noodles, soft-boiled eggs are also delish. See Terence’s guide to boiling perfect eggs.
Don’t skip the garnishes, especially a little sprinkle of sesame seeds to add crunch and texture. Enjoy!
Korean Spicy Noodles Recipe for Stir-Fried Udon with Kimchi, Bacon and Fried Eggs
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp gochujang Korean chilli paste
- 1 tbsp gochugaru Korean chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 50 g onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 50 g scallions or spring onions finely sliced
- 4 rashers of smoky bacon sliced into strips
- 200 g pork mince
- 200 g spicy kimchi
- 400 g fresh udon noodles
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp Japanese furikake seasoning or sesame seeds
- 2 tsp scallions or spring onions finely sliced
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the sesame oil, gochujang Korean chilli paste, gochugaru Korean chilli flakes, dark soy sauce, and brown sugar, vigorously stir until well-combined and set aside.
- In a large flat-bottomed wok on medium-high, heat the cooking oil, then fry the diced onion for a few minutes until soft then add the garlic and fry until fragrant.
- Add the bacon and pork mince, combine well, and fry, stirring frequently until the mince is cooked and beginning to brown.
- Add the scallions and kimchi, stir to incorporate, fry until the kimchi has wilted, then add the spicy sauce and stir in until it well combined.
- Finally, add the noodles to the wok, combine, stir-frying until they’re separated from each other and are fully coated in the spicy pork sauce.
- Distribute the noodles between bowls, fry two eggs, placing one on top of each mound of noodles, then sprinkle on the sliced scallions and sesame seeds or furikake and serve immediately.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Korean spicy noodles recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.