Eating healthy, homemade meals doesn’t have to be a boring experience. There are plenty of different ways that you can create fun, delicious meals that are packed with flavor.
One such dish is spicy chili oil noodles. This dish is absolutely bursting with heat and flavor. It can be a great snack by itself or serve as a delicious, warming side dish to accompany a protein or veggies.
In this article, we will look at how to make these flavorful, spicy noodles and how to turn them into a nutritious, healthy meal for the whole family.
What Are Spicy Chili Oil Noodles?
In short, spicy chili oil noodles are noodles that are tossed in spicy chili oil. With the recipe that we will discuss in this article, the chili oil is homemade.
The best thing about using homemade chili oil is that you are in total control of the level of spice that the oil has. This is a control that you don’t have with store-bought chili oil.
If you really like spice, these noodles can be extremely spicy, if your tolerance is lower, you can make a more mild oil for your noodles.
If you have younger family members that can’t handle too much spice yet, you can make two batches. One that is kid-friendly, and one that is hotter for grown-ups.
The oily sauce that is used to coat your noodles can be made in a pan in as little as 5 minutes. This makes these noodles the ideal quick lunch or snack item.
It also makes it a great addition to protein and veggies to create a delicious, warming meal. It is a super lazy recipe that can be added to create a delicious, healthy, balanced meal.
One of the best things about these spicy chili oil noodles is that you can use any kind of noodle that you want.
Whether you have a favorite noodle such as udon, or you just want to use up the noodles that you have sitting in your pantry, there’s nothing you can’t make these spicy noodles with.
Delicious Spicy Chili Oil Noodles
To make these spicy chili oil noodles, you will need a few basic ingredients. The best thing about these noodles is that most of the ingredients are likely to already be staples of your pantry.
The main ingredient that you need is obviously noodles. You can use any kind of noodle that you like or have on hand.
Simply cook the noodles according to the package directions while you prepare the sauce.
For the chili oil sauce itself, you will need a neutral-tasting oil that will allow the chili flavor to take over, coconut sugar, garlic cloves, rice vinegar, tamari, and chili flakes.
You can also add scallions and sesame seeds to garnish the noodles but these are entirely optional.
It is possible to substitute the coconut sugar for white or brown sugar if you prefer (see also “Is Coconut Sugar Paleo?“). You can also substitute the rice vinegar for lemon juice or white vinegar if necessary.
The tamari can also be substituted for regular soy sauce as they are very similar.
The first thing you need to do to make these delicious noodles is to heat your neutral-tasting oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil has heated up, add the chili flakes.
It is important to make sure that the oil is not too hot as this can cause the chili flakes to burn and the oil to spit. Keeping the heat reduced to medium will help avoid this.
Lightly toast the chili flakes in the oil and add in the garlic and scallions if you are using them. Saute the garlic and onions for about a minute to lightly cook them and make them soft.
Once the garlic and optional onions have been lightly cooked, reduce the heat to low and add the tamari, sugar, and rice vinegar.
Mix all the ingredients until they are well combined. At this point, you should cook your noodles according to the package instructions. This will allow the noodles and sauce to be ready at the same time.
Keep stirring the sauce regularly while the noodles cook. Once the noodles are ready, drain them and add them to the sauce.
Toss the noodles and the sauce together in the pan until all the noodles are evenly coated with the chili oil sauce. Season the noodles with salt to taste.
Remove the pan from the heat and serve the noodles immediately. You can top the noodles with extra scallions or sesame seeds to make them look even more appealing. You can also add mix-ins to customize your noodles.
Best Noodles For Chili Oil Noodles
As we mentioned above, you can use any noodles that you prefer or have in your pantry to make these delicious spicy chili oil noodles.
However, there are some types of noodles that work extra well with this chili oil sauce that will help improve your experience of this dish.
Pad thai noodles and wide rice noodles are great options to accompany this chili oil sauce.
The noodles don’t possess a flavor of their own which makes them perfect for soaking up all the flavors of the chili oil sauce. Rice noodles are a great way to make this dish gluten-free.
Dried or fresh ramen noodles are another great option for this dish. Using the noodles from a packet of instant ramen is a great choice.
The noodles cook really quickly and are already portioned out. Just remember not to use the seasoning and flavor packets that come with the noodles.
In fact, this spicy chili oil noodle recipe is a great way to spice up regular instant noodles snacks.
These noodles are the perfect option for this recipe. The noodles have small ridges along the edges which help them to hold onto the delicious sauce.
These noodles tend to be wheat noodles although many large grocery stores may stock gluten-free versions if you need them.
As we mentioned before, you can use any noodles that you want, short noodles such as macaroni will work well with this chili oil sauce as it can get inside the noodles.
However, longer noodles such as ramen or spaghetti noodles create a much more aesthetically pleasing dish.
Spicy Chili Oil Noodle Variations
You don’t have to limit your spicy chili oil noodles to just garlic, chili, and scallions. There are plenty of other ingredients that you can add to this dish to make it a more rounded snack or a more substantial meal.
Any ingredients that you want to add to these noodles should be added after the sugar, tamari, garlic, chili flakes, and rice vinegar have been fully combined. You should stir-fry the ingredients before adding the cooked noodles to the sauce.
There are so many vegetables that can be added to these noodles really easily. Broccoli or Chinese broccoli are great additions to these noodles.
Bok choy can be a great addition too and the tart flavor complements the rice vinegar beautifully. Cabbage, cilantro, spinach, and kale can also be added to this dish to increase its nutritional value.
If you want to add a bit more color to the noodles, you can add some shredded carrots, red peppers, or purple cabbage.
If you want to make the noodles a bit more substantial to keep you feeling full for longer, you can add some tofu, tempeh, or eggs to the noodles.
It is also possible to add some meat to these noodles such as chicken or pork.
However, if you want to do this, you should cook the meat first or in a separate pan and mix it into the dish when you add the noodles to the sauce.
This will help to ensure that the meat is properly cooked and that the juices from the meat don’t contaminate the flavor of the chili oil sauce.
Spicy Chili Oil Noodles Tips
This recipe is super quick, simple, and easy to make. However, there are a few useful tips that can help you to create the perfect chili oil noodles.
Not everyone likes the same level of spice which is why making the chili oil yourself is such a great aspect of this recipe.
If you don’t like a lot of spice in your food or you are modifying the recipe for younger members of your family, you can reduce the heat by adjusting the amount of chili flakes you use.
Starting with half a tablespoon of chili flakes is a good base to keep the spice levels down. You can always add more chili flakes at the end or even mix in some sriracha sauce to bump up the spice.
The heat that you are cooking over plays a crucial role in the flavor of the spicy chili oil. When you add the chili flakes to the oil it is important to make sure that the oil isn’t too hot.
If the oil is too hot, the chili flakes will burn which will alter the flavor of the flakes and the sauce as a whole. If your stovetop tends to run hot, using low heat would be best.
Cooking the noodles that you are using is a crucial part of making this recipe. You should make sure that you don’t overcook your noodles before adding them to the sauce.
The sauce will be hot, as will the pan, therefore, the noodles will continue to cook a little while you are tossing them through the sauce.
Because of this, you should cook the noodles for a slightly shorter time than the packet instructions suggest. This will allow them to finish cooking while you are mixing them in the sauce.
Store-Bought Vs Homemade Chili Oil
It is possible to make these spicy chili oil noodles using store-bought chili oil. You will simply use the store-bought chili oil in place of the neutral cooking oil and chili flakes.
This can be a convenient way to make this delicious sauce. However, there are some crucial differences between using homemade chili oil and store-bought chili oil.
The main difference between these two types of chili oil is the control over how much spice is in your noodles.
When you are making the chili oil sauce from scratch you can control the amount of chili flakes that you add to the sauce.
With premade chili oil, you have very little control over the spice in the sauce. You can slightly adjust the level of spice in premade chili oil by mixing it with a neutral oil when you make the sauce.
Another difference is the fact that many grocery store chili oils don’t contain the chili or chili flakes that were used to create the chili flavor.
This doesn’t make a huge difference to the overall dish, but having the toasted chili flakes spread throughout the noodle dish creates a really beautiful effect and keeps the flavors layered throughout the dish with a hint of smokiness added for good measure.
What To Serve With Spicy Chili Oil Noodles
You can eat the basic spicy chili oil noodles as they are, as a great, quick snack or light lunch. You can also add some vegetables to the recipe to make a more healthy version of this recipe to create a delicious lunch or side dish.
However, you can serve this dish as an accompaniment to create a filling and balanced meal that will keep everyone satisfied.
Some great things to serve alongside these flavorful noodles include teriyaki chicken or pork which perfectly complements the spiciness of the noodles.
Seared pork belly is also a great accompaniment to the noodles. The fat content of the pork belly serves as an antidote to the spice in the noodles, a great addition for those who don’t like too much spice.
Stir-fried vegetables with soy sauce also make great accompaniments to the spicy chili oil noodles. The vegetables can be fried with soy sauce separately from the noodles and sauce.
However, you can also fry the vegetables in the chili oil sauce before adding the noodles if you want to make the chili oil the centerpiece of your meal.
These delicious, warming, spicy chili oil noodles are the perfect addition to your recipe book. This dish is super versatile and can be used as a snack, a lunch, a side, or as a main dish.
There are so many different ways that you can customize these noodles to make incredible meals for the whole family.
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