What’s savory, spicy, and requires only six ingredients? These spicy Chinese noodles made with hot chili oil for authentic flavor. Gluten-free option included.
If there’s one food group I can’t live without, it’s noodles. Pho, ramen, udon, flat rice noodles, vermicelli, glass noodles, lo mein noodles, egg noodles… you name it, I’m obsessed.
That’s why it’s no surprise I’ve become hooked on these spicy Chinese noodles for their taste and simplicity. When I say this recipe is super simple to make, I’m talking only six ingredients and three steps: pick your preferred noodles, make the sauce, and chop up some herbs for garnishing. That’s it.
I tried this particular version of spicy noodles for the first time while visiting my mom in China. The flavor was so addictive and satisfying, I immediately asked for the recipe. As it turned out, she made the noodles with this homemade two-ingredient hot chili oil I have up on the blog—it’s a staple condiment for Chinese and Sichuan cuisine.
Why Hot Chili Oil Is Key for These Spicy Chinese Noodles
Hot chili oil is the condiment that really gives these spicy Chinese noodles their “X factor.” There’s really no replacement to achieve this same flavor.
While I highly recommend whipping up a quick batch of homemade hot chili oil ahead of time for this recipe, if that’s not possible, you can find hot chili oil at most grocery stores and Asian markets.
Either way, you decide to do it, you’ll now have this tasty Asian condiment on hand for the next time you want to whip up a spicy noodle dish. For example, have you tried dan dan noodles? They’re like the cousin of this dish: spicy, Sichuan cuisine-style, and usually served with thin noodles, ground pork, and veggies.
Also, chili oil enhances a stir-fry, roasted veggies, toasted nuts, and even pizza or pasta, so it’s unlikely to be one of those long forgotten condiments in your fridge.
Before we dive in to the recipe, here are some quick notes about the steps.
Step One: Choose Your Noodle
The most challenging part of this recipe is deciding which type of Asian noodles you want to use. There are so many options, you may need to make this recipe more than once!
My personal pick for this recipe are knife-sliced noodles, sometimes called ribbon noodles. They’re a flat, wide noodle, the opposite of a wheat Udon noodle. A quick trip to an Asian market will present you with all kinds of noodle choices, so don’t be shy to pick one that suits you.
There is also a grain-free noodle option for this recipe: spiralized zucchini noodles. Using zucchini instead of a wheat noodle makes this recipe ideal for anyone avoiding wheat or gluten. Please note that to make this recipe entirely gluten- or wheat-free, you’ll also need to substitute wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos as a 100% gluten-free soy sauce substitute.
Step Two: The Noodle Sauce
A noodle dish is nothing without a mouthwatering sauce.
Soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hot chili oil with pepper solids are all you need to whip up the sauce. Adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer peppers from the chili oil to the sauce. Be generous with the chili oil, as it’s the crucial ingredient to this recipe.
Step Three: The Garnish
Chop up some fresh cilantro and green onions to top with, and you’re ready to start slurping. As a side note, this isn’t a dish you’ll serve piping hot, but more at room temperature. These noodles are also delicious chilled.
If you want to add some veggies and protein to the noodles, feel free. Bok choy, broccoli, and bell peppers would be awesome vegetable additions and would sneak some extra nutrients in. As for the protein, nothing suits more than this drunken chicken, which uses the same hot chili oil.
Spicy Chinese Noodles
The easiest and most irresistible spicy Chinese noodles you’ll ever make.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main, Vegetarian, Vegan
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 10 ounces (4 servings) knife-cut ribbon noodles (I used Shanghai Broad Noodles)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (you may substitute for wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free option)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hot chili oil with pepper solids
- 1 stem green onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Cook noodles in boiling water in a large pot according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili oil. Make sure to scoop up some pepper solids from the bottom of the chili oil. Mix well.
- Chop up green onion and cilantro.
- Once the noodles are cooked, rinsed and drained, place them in a large bowl, pour the sauce over the noodles, and throw the chopped green onion and cilantro on top. Mix until the noodles are evenly coated by the sauce. Divide the dish into four portions and slurp away!
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 329
- Sugar: 2.1g
- Sodium: 676mg
- Fat: 8.5g
- Carbohydrates: 52.1g
- Protein: 11.1g
- Cholesterol: 59.5mg