Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

$2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.55 from 20 votes
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I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Try These Other Instant Ramen Flavors

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

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Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

4.55 from 20 votes
Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.
One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side
Servings 2
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes


  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu ($0.90)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* ($0.26)
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang ($0.46)
  • 1 package instant ramen* ($0.19)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach ($0.25)
  • 2 green onions ($0.20)


  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.
  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

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*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 322.15kcalCarbohydrates: 37.55gProtein: 15.9gFat: 12.6gSodium: 1347.35mgFiber: 3.1g
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side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Enjoy that spicy goodness!! The egg fanatic in me is dying to add a soft boiled egg in there, too!

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    1. Hi John, the ingredient list says to use extra firm, but if you already have firm on-hand that should work okay!

  1. I made this recipe for dinner tonight. It was delicious! Instead of gochujang, I used white miso (it was what I had on hand) and it turned out great! I will be making this again.

    1. I made this for lunch today. This time I used gochujang and it turned out great. So delicious! 😋

  2. Loved this! I made it for meatless Monday and then proceeded to add some XO sauce to my bowl :p It was lovely on its own, but the umami turbo boost from the XO was perfect. This one is going into our rotation :)

  3. Here’s a tip on the firm tofu. Freeze it first. Frozen tofu is a staple in Chinese hot pot. It expands the pores in the tofu, which basically makes it a flavor sponge, and it is one of my favorite things (I press out the excess liquid before using it)

    Always looking for ways to fancy up my instant ramen. :)

      1. My two cents is freeze with the liquid, but press and drain really well after thawing. :)

  4. I’m not a big ramen soup person normally, so I didn’t know what to expect making this. I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it was for being so simple. I followed the recipe exactly with 2 tbsp gojuchang, which wasn’t as spicy as expected. Super filling for two people, and cheap. 

  5. IMO you should actually use korean style extra soft tofu that comes in a tube and add it later :)

  6. This was great inspiration for my ramen today !! I added some beaten egg and kewpie mayo to the broth to make it creamy, and added mushrooms. Served with seaweed and Lao Gan Ma on top!!!