That Spicy Chick

Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken

This Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken is Asian style comfort food at its best and completely perfect for feasting at home on a weeknight! Noodles in a creamy spicy sauce topped with juicy and tender spicy-sweet bulgogi chicken strips = ultimate home-cooked Asian feast!

Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken in a pan with spring onion green garnish on top of a blue napkin to side as well as a bunch of spring onions (whole). Below is a wooden table background and scattered toasted sesame seeds.

You guys! I have created the most amazing dish EVER! It’s spicy, it’s sweet, and it has NOODLES (one of my top ten favorite foods to eat!) and GET. IN. MY. BELLY JUICY tender chicken meat!

Not gonna lie. This dish was an accident. As in it was SO NOT what I had been planning to cook that day given that I had a thousand other things to tend to, but I am SO super glad I did because it resulted in this miracle, godsend of a dish that I call Creamy Dreamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken. And that sauce on the noodles my friends, is SERIOUSLY droolworthy dreamy!

Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken in a pan with spring onion green garnish - front view.

First of all bulgogi literally translated means “fire-meat”, and it involves marinating meat (beef, pork, chicken, and actually sometimes seafood too) in a Korean sauce before grilling. Homecooks also stir-fry the sliced marinated meat with some aromatics and veggies and serve with rice.

Grilling two bulgogi chicken breasts on a gas grill pan with smoke coming off of the chicken breasts

I’ve always loved a good Chicken Bulgogi stir-fry. It’s a foolproof delicious recipe when you’re short on time and need to get dinner on the table quickly. It WAS actually what I wanted to make that day but once I was in my kitchen, inspiration and a mad craving for noodles struck me and I was off and on a roll!

WHAT’S IN THE MARINADE?

The two main ingredients in the marinade are Gochujang (Korean Chili Pepper Paste) and Gochugaru (Korean Chili Pepper Flakes/Powder). Although the paste is meant to be spicy and gives the misleading impression of being immensely so with its deep shade of dark red, it’s actually a spicy-sweetish smoky tasting paste that’s more flavorful than spicy. Gochugaru is hot if you use it in large quantities, but using it in a reasonable amount won’t set your mouth ablaze or send you running through the wall! 😉 If you like, you can substitute it with regular chili powder.

Spoon holding up Bulgogi marinade with bowl of bulgogi marinade below.

A typical bulgogi marinade also involves a form of alcohol such as mirin – aka mirim, which is a Japanese sweet rice cooking wine – or other cooking wines such as Korean soju or sake. Not only does it help flavor the meat, it also aids in creating the shiny coating that allows the sauce to cling to the meat! The alcohol will burn off once you grill or pan-fry the meat but if you have kids dining with you and prefer, you can substitute with more honey and some white vinegar (See notes section in the recipe).

WHAT NOODLES TO USE

I used Japanese Udon Noodles instead of Korean noodles in the dish. It’s usually made from wheat flour and reminds me of really thick bucatini pasta. It’s easily digestible and also provides you with a decent amount of fiber if you get the whole-wheat variety. The best part about them in my opinion is that they have MAJOR SLURPING POTENTIAL! Mega win situation here folks! 🙌

Udon noodles cooking in pan with the sauce and spinach leaves, mushrooms, and other aromatics.

All of the above-mentioned ingredients can be found at your local Asian grocery story, but the rest you already probably have at home or can easily get on your next visit to your local supermarket/grocery store.

The reason I love this recipe so much is because Gochujang and cream blended together results in such a delightful combination! 😍 I’ve seen stuff like this done before in Korean restaurants but have never ordered anything of the sort for myself because I’m usually too busy pigging out on all the glorious grilled MEAT and Kimchi Fried Rice!

Gochujang marinade and cream and milk cooking with garlic, red chilies, spring onion whites, ginger, and brown Asian mushroom slices in pan.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MEAT…

I wanted to stay on par with the Korean “fire meat” definition for bulgogi so I started by grilling the chicken breasts in a cast iron grill pan on the stove and finished them off by baking them in the oven. This technique my friends, resulted in the JUCIEST, most succulent and tenderest chicken meat EVER! You can also pan fry the meat in a regular cast iron pan and finish it off in the oven or skip the oven entirely and just cook the chicken until done on the stove. BUT if you have an oven, do use it! I had firecrackers going off in my kitchen like at a music concert  when I sliced the chicken breasts (err, or in my head at least!) and there were sparkly stars in my eyes. 🤩 So soft, so tennndeeer! Violins started playing, the orchestra grew louder and the audience started applauding. No not really. Just in my head. 😅

Two pan-grilled and oven baked Bulgogi chicken breasts on a sheet of foil before slicing

But seriously, use your oven for the chicken if you can and I promise, you won’t be disappointed! In fact, the chicken itself is so spectacular that I’ve even used them in my Spicy Korean Chicken Quesadillas and Spicy Korean Bulgogi Chicken Salad, and Quick & Easy Spicy Korean Chicken Sandwich for lunch (recipes coming soon)! This chicken marinade is definitely a keeper!

Two pan-grilled and oven baked Bulgogi chicken breasts on a sheet of foil after slicing

BUT WAIT! THERE’S VEGGIES TOO…

The day I first made this, I happened to have spinach and mushrooms on hand that needed to be used up. The addition of spinach does wonders to mellow out the spicy-sweet-smoky taste of the gochujang and adds juuuuust the right and slightest amount of bitterness to compliment the texture and flavor in this dish. The mushrooms though, they added a whole new level of umami. Do feel free to add asparagus, peas, broccoli, or any of your favorite veggies. I can’t imagine them not working well with the noodles with such a dreamy and creamy-umami-packed sauce! 😍 By the way, if you’re a vegetarian, feel free to omit the chicken and just add all your favorite veggies instead. Maybe even top off the noodles with some pan-fried salt and pepper tofu!

Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles cooking pan with sauce, aromatics, spinach leaves, and mushroom slices

Mind blown completely and I want to eat this all day and every day. (I probably would actually if I didn’t have my list of 500+ recipes I want to make!) Creamy goodness on a spicy-sweet and sauc-ili-cious udon. Nom! Ok I’m actually making up words now, but this dish is totally make-up-your-own-words mouth-wateringly-magnificent! 😉🤪

Sliced bulgogi chicken on top of Creamy Dreamy Udon Noodles in bowl on wooden table background with scattered toasted sesame seeds and garnished with spring onion greens.

You know you WANT this in your life. You NEED this in your life. So go now and enjoy! 🤗 Xx

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Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken

This Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken is Asian style comfort food at its best and completely perfect for feasting at home on a weeknight! Noodles in a creamy spicy sauce topped with juicy and tender spicy-sweet bulgogi chicken strips = ultimate home-cooked Asian feast! 

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 1x
  • Category: Noodles
  • Cuisine: Korean
Scale

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 2 Large Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (approximates 400450 grams) – washed, fat trimmed, and pat dried
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil (for cooking)

 MARINADE SAUCE:

NOTE:

  1. You can usually find Garlic PasteGinger Paste, and also Ginger Garlic Paste at an Indian or Asian Grocery Store or try online. If using Ginger Garlic Paste, use 3 teaspoons. If you can’t find either of them, blend equal amounts of roughly chopped garlic and ginger together with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable/olive oil. I recommend making a small quantity – ½ cup chopped ginger and ½ cup chopped garlic, as you will only need 3 TSP in total for this recipe. This paste can be stored in the fridge for about a week and used for quick and easy cooking in other recipes such as pasta, noodles, and stir-fries.
  2. Alternatively, you can blitz all the ingredients for the marinade sauce in a blender to make the marinade sauce. Use 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic and a tablespoon of roughly chopped ginger if doing so.

FOR THE NOODLES:

  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 2 TSP Sesame Oil
  • A splash of chili oil (optional)
  • ¼ Yellow Onion – sliced
  • 6 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 TBLS Ginger – grated
  • 1 Scallion/Spring Onion – chopped, whites and greens separated (use the greens to garnish later)
  • 10 Red Chilies, or to taste – chopped
  • 2 medium Brown Mushrooms (Asian variety such as Chinese, shitake, or shimeji preferred but Portobello will work just fine) – stems removed, thinly sliced
  • A handful of Spinach Leaves (about 8-10 leaves) – stems discarded, washed
  • 150ml Cooking Cream
  • 100ml Whole Milk
  • 1.5 TSP Honey
  • Remainder Marinade Sauce
  • ½ TSP Korean Capsaicin Sauce (optional, but a must if you like your food very spicy)
  • 1 x 200g Pack Udon Noodles, boiled and drained
  • 2 TSP Toasted Sesame Seeds – to garnish

Instructions

For the Chicken:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl or measuring cup. In a large bowl, add the chicken breasts and 4 tablespoons of the sauce and set aside the remainder marinade sauce to be used for brushing onto the chicken while cooking and for the noodles later. Mix to coat the chicken well with the sauce. Leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes at least. (The sauce will penetrate the chicken better if refrigerated overnight, but if you don’t have the time, 20-30 minutes will work just fine.)
  2. Preheat oven to 175°C/347° While the chicken is marinating, chop up and prepare the other ingredients for the noodles.
  3. For the chicken, turn on the stove to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a cast iron grill pan/skillet. Spread the oil with a cooking brush. Once the oil is hot, lift the chicken from the marinade bowl with tongs and place them top side up on the pan.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then brush the chicken with more marinade from the bowl they were marinating in and use tongs to turn them over to the other side.***
  5. Cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, then brush the chicken with more marinade and turn them over again so that they are top side up again.
  6. Repeat step 4 & 5 again so that the chicken ends up facing top side up again.
  7. Brush chicken with the marinade, then place the cast iron pan in the oven. (Note: If your cast iron grill pan/skillet can’t fit in your oven, transfer the chicken to either an oven safe dish or sheetpan lined with foil.) Bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping and brushing with more marinade every 5-6 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and wait at least 10 minutes before slicing chicken into strips.

For the Noodles:

  1. While the chicken is baking, start preparing the noodles. Boil the udon noodles according to package instructions. Drain the water and set aside in a strainer. If using a non-metal strainer, run some warm water over the noodles to prevent them from sticking to the strainer.
  2. Turn on stove to high heat and in a large pan, add olive oil and sesame oil. (Note: you can also add a little chili oil for extra heat if you like.)
  3. Add the spring onion whites and ginger. Sautee for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the onion and sauté for until they are translucent – about 1 minute. Turn down heat to medium and add the garlic and red chilies. Sautee until fragrant but be careful not to over brown the garlic – about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and cook on both sides for about 2 minutes. The onions will start to turn golden-brown. Toss and combine everything together. Add the cream and milk and stir.
  6. Add the remainder marinade sauce – about 50ml/3.5 TBLS, honey, and Korean capsaicin sauce (if using) and stir to combine. Add the spinach leaves and stir until they have wilted.
  7. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the udon noodles (Note: Run water over noodles if they look dry/sticky before adding to the pan). Turn up the heat and toss to combine noodles with sauce.
  8. Place sliced chicken strips on noodles. Let them warm up for about 1-2 minutes and then remove from heat. +
  9. Garnish with spring onion greens and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over chicken. Serve.

Notes

  1. *You can substitute chili powder for the Gochugaru if preferred. Just remember to adjust to taste as some chili powders can be very hot.
  2. **For a nonalcoholic substitute for mirin, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and a ½ teaspoon of honey or white granulated sugar.
  3. ***You will run out of marinade sauce from the bowl the chicken was marinating in. Dip into the marinade sauce reserved for the noodles when this happens. In total, the marinade sauce mixture is about 150ml. Once you finish cooking the chicken and brushing more marinade onto the chicken breasts, you should have about 50ml left for the noodles.
  4. +It is ideal to start cooking the noodles while the chicken is baking so they will be done around the same time. However, you can wait to prepare the noodles until after the chicken has finished cooking. Slice the chicken later once you’ve finished making the noodles, and place them on top of the noodles while still over heat. The chicken will warm up within a minute or two and then remove from heat, garnish, and serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 dish
  • Calories: 615
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Sodium: 751.3mg
  • Fat: 24.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 18.6
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.1g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 38.1g
  • Cholesterol: 58.1g

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Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken in a pan with spring onion green garnish on top of a blue napkin to side as well as a bunch of spring onions (whole). Below is a wooden table background and scattered toasted sesame seeds. Bowl of Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken in bowl on wooden table background with scattered toasted sesame seeds in 2nd photo.

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2 comments on “Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken”

  1. Looks sooo good!
    Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?
    Hope to see you next week in SLC.

    • Thank you! Inspiration comes from browsing online, or from dishes that I try and love at restaurants. Then I just adapt it to my taste and use what resources I have available locally! 🙂

      Yes! Can’t wait for EFC next week and to meet you!

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