Kimchi Ramen

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Kimchi ramen is a great recipe if you want to elevate your ramen with spicy, sweet and savory flavors while still enjoying the nostalgic noodles. The marinated pork adds plenty of salty, meaty flavor while the kimchi and ginger give the soup a nice kick.

The familiar, thin noodles will take next to no time to cook and the chicken broth will give them a cozy and savory, umami taste. Here are some tips and information on how to make and enjoy a bowl of this delicious soup.

Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

What is Kimchi Ramen?

The star of the dish, Korean kimchi, is spicy pickled cabbage, specifically napa cabbage. It can be eaten alone or added into other dishes, like:

…or in this case ramen soup – aka. Kimchi Ramen.

Many people know ramen as a cheap, packaged or cup of noodles and broth. It is because of its affordability that it fed many people during the post-Korean war. Now, it is eaten for pleasure, a cure for hangovers, and emergency staple food for natural disasters. Not only is it enjoyed for its flavor, but it is a life saver for those in need of sustenance.

Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

There have been various additions and tweaks to the dish, like the added kimchi in this recipe. By adding marinated pork tenderloin, kimchi, and other spices, packaged ramen can turn into a filling main dish.

Kimchi Ramen Ingredients

Kimchi ramen ingredients prepped on light background.
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger – grated
  • 1 tbsp. garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 single serve packages chicken-flavored instant noodles
  • 1/2 cup kimchi
  • Toppings (sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, Sriracha sauce)

This recipe uses instant noodle packages for an easy version of ramen soup. You can make the broth with the powder packets that come with the noodles.

Step 1: Marinate the Pork

Spices in a mortar and a zip-top bag.

Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic bag with the Chinese 5 spice, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Seal the bag, massage it to coat the pork and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.

A ziptop bag with pork tenderloin and marinade.
A ziptop bag with pork tenderloin, garlic and marinade.
A ziptop bag with pork tenderloin and marinade.

Step 2: Remove the Pork From the Marinade

Marinated pork tenderloin and a large pot.

Remove the pork from the marinade. Season it with some salt and pepper.

Step 3: Sear the Pork

Seared pork tenderloin in a large pot.

Heat a large heavy pot to medium-high heat, add the canola oil and sear the pork until browned on all sides (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.

Step 4: Remove the Pork & Oil From Pot

Seared pork tenderloin in a large pot.

Remove the pork and reserve it. Drain the oil from the pot. Keeping the browned cooked-on bits in the pot will add flavor to your soup.

Step 5: Add Broth

Broth in a jar and a large pot.

In the pot, combine the water with the 2 flavor packets that came with the instant noodles. Return to the stove over medium-high heat.

Step 6: Simmer

Broth with pork tenderloin in a large pot.

Bring the broth to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, scraping the browned bits at the bottom so that they loosen. Return the pork to the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the internal temp. of the pork reaches 145°F.

Step 7: Strain Broth

Kimchi ramen broth straining through a fine mesh strainer.

Remove the pork from the broth to a cutting board. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Return the broth to the pot.

Step 8: Cook Noodles

Instant ramen noodles in a pot with tongs.

Bring the broth to a boil, add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes.

Instant ramen noodles in a pot.
Instant ramen noodles in a pot.

Step 9: Slice Pork

Pork being sliced on a cutting board.

While the noodles are cooking, slice the pork.

Step 10: Serve!

Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

Serve in bowls with the pork slices and kimchi, divided evenly. Top with the green onions, fresh cilantro and Sriracha sauce if you like a little more kick.

Tips & Tweaks

If you wish to add more vegetables other than the kimchi, I recommend baby spinach or kale because of their vitamins and minerals and they will mix well into the soup.

One of my favorite things to add is a ramen egg: it is a soft-boiled egg soaked in a soy sauce mixture overnight. It adds an extra salty but creamy flavor to the dish with the marinade and soft egg yolk.

Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

Did you enjoy this spicy take on ramen noodles? Let us know in the comments and please share the recipe!

Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

Kimchi Ramen

Joss D
Kimchi ramen is a great recipe if you want to elevate your ramen with spicy, sweet and savory flavors. The kimchi gives this soup a nice kick!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Japanese, Korean
Servings 4
Calories 344 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger - grated
  • 1 tbsp. garlic - minced
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 single serve packages chicken-flavored instant noodles
  • ½ cup kimchi
  • Green onions - sliced (to garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves - to garnish
  • Sriracha sauce - optional
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic bag with the Chinese 5 spice, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Seal the bag, massage it to coat the pork and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
    ½ lb. pork tenderloin, 1 tbsp. Chinese 5 spice powder, 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, 1 tbsp. garlic, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 3 tbsp. sesame oil
    A ziptop bag with pork tenderloin and marinade.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade. Season it with some salt and pepper.
    Marinated pork tenderloin and a large pot.
  • Heat a large heavy pot to medium-high heat, add the canola oil and sear the pork until browned on all sides (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
    1 tbsp. canola oil
    Seared pork tenderloin in a large pot.
  • Remove the pork and reserve it. Drain the oil from the pot. Keeping the browned cooked-on bits in the pot will add flavor to your soup.
    Seared pork tenderloin in a large pot.
  • In the pot, combine the water with the 2 flavor packets that came with the instant noodles. Return to the stove over medium-high heat.
    5 cups water
    Broth in a jar and a large pot.
  • Bring the broth to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, scraping the browned bits at the bottom so that they loosen. Return the pork to the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the internal temp. of the pork reaches 145°F.
    Broth with pork tenderloin in a large pot.
  • Remove the pork from the broth to a cutting board. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Return the broth to the pot.
    Kimchi ramen broth straining through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Bring the broth to a boil, add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes.
    Instant ramen noodles in a pot.
  • While the noodles are cooking, slice the pork.
    Pork being sliced on a cutting board.
  • Serve in bowls with the pork slices and kimchi, divided evenly. Top with the green onions, fresh cilantro and Sriracha sauce if you like a little more kick.
    ½ cup kimchi
    Kimchi ramen with pork slices and chopsticks in a bowl.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 18gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1324mgPotassium: 398mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 18IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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Hungry for more? Try our Sub Sandwich with 3 meats and creamy sriracha.

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