Consider this a PSA rather than a recipe, because this idea is certainly not new. But if you don’t know about adding peanut butter to your instant ramen noodles, I’m here to tell you that it’s something you definitely need to try. This Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen is super quick, filling, and can be customized a hundred ways. So let me show you the basics and then you can make it your own!
I’m not sure who to credit for this brilliant idea, but adding a dollop of peanut butter to instant ramen is likely a simplified version of Dan Dan Noodles, a spicy Chinese noodle dish that combines Sichuan chiles, sesame paste, and peanuts. The chile-peanut flavor combo has been around for ages, and for good reason! It’s absolutely addictive. You can check out a couple of authentic Dan Dan Noodle recipes here: Omnivores Cookbook or The Woks of Life.
What Kind of Peanut Butter to Use
I highly suggest using natural-style peanut butter, which means it’s just ground up peanuts and maybe a little salt, no sugar, no added oils. The peanut flavor is much stronger with this type of peanut butter than it is with the more processed and heavily sugared varieties.
If you don’t have a natural-style peanut butter available, you may need to reduce the brown sugar listed in the recipe below to make up for the sugar that is already in the peanut butter.
Can I Make it Not Spicy?
The chili garlic sauce doesn’t just add heat, it also adds garlic and acidity, which round out the sauce. So, to make a non-spicy version of this recipe you can add those ingredients individually, by making something similar to this Peanut Lime Dressing instead.
What Else Can I Add to my Peanut Butter Ramen?
You can add all sorts of proteins or vegetables to your Spicy Peanut butter Ramen to make it new and interesting every time. Here are some ideas:
- Cooked Chicken
- Red bell pepper
- Baked tofu
- Red onion
- Shredded carrot
- Snow peas
- Sesame seeds
Do I Need the Ramen Seasoning Packet?
The recipe below is designed to be made without the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen. If you prefer to use the seasoning packet, you will want to skip the soy sauce, which adds salt to the ramen in place of the seasoning packet.
Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen
- 2 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter ($0.25)
- 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce* ($0.13)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
- 1 3oz. packet instant ramen (seasoning discarded) ($0.25)
- 1 green onion, sliced ($0.10)
- Combine the peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a bowl until it forms a smooth paste.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, take ¼ cup of the water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.
- Add the ramen noodles (without seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until the noodles are tender.
- Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over top and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and serve immediately.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen – Step by Step Photos
Begin by stirring together 2 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar until it forms a smooth paste.
This is what the chili garlic sauce bottle looks like, if you want to look for it in the store. You can find this in most major grocery stores, in the international aisle. If you can’t find this, you can use sriracha.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat for the ramen. Once it starts boiling, take ¼ cup of the boiling water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste, until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.
Then add the instant ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes or just until tender.
Drain the cooked noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles and stir to combine.
These noodles are definitely best when served immediately, so don’t let them sit around! Top with a sliced green onion and enjoy!