Whip Up a 30-Minute Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry | Yummly

Whip Up a 30-Minute Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry

This quick and easy vegetarian dinner features chewy noodles, tofu, and tender-crisp veggies in a savory, salty sweet sauce. Try the basic recipe, then feel free to change it up!

When you think of ramen, the first thing that comes to mind might be wavy noodles swimming in a bowl of piping hot broth. But if you love eating noodles as much as I do, why limit yourself to soup? Enter my stir-fried ramen, a simple meal that’s loaded with rich umami flavor, easy to customize, and perfect for busy weeknights. 

Jump ahead to:

What is ramen noodle stir-fry?  >>

Ingredients for vegetable stir-fry with ramen noodles  >>

How to make ramen stir-fry  >>

Get the ramen noodle stir-fry recipe >>

Customize it >>

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What is ramen noodle stir-fry?

Although ramen’s history goes back to the early 1900s in Yokohama, Japan, where many Chinese settled (the name comes from “lamian,” which means pulled noodles in Mandarin), we’re starting here with those convenient packages of instant ramen available in any American grocery store. A ramen noodle stir-fry is simply the dried ramen noodles first boiled, then combined in a big pan with stir-fried vegetables, tofu or another protein, and a tasty sauce.

Ingredients for vegetable stir-fry with ramen noodles

A picture of ingredients to make ramen noodle stir-fry, including shallots, bell pepper, mushrooms, tofu, ramen noodles, and baby spinach
Photo by Diana Kuan

Here’s what you need to make my recipe.

  • Instant ramen noodles. You can use any type of dried ramen for this recipe, but just the noodles, not the seasoning packets. We’ll be making our own quick sauce.

  • Sauce ingredients. Miso paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a touch of sugar replicate the rich umami flavors of ramen noodle soup. 

  • Toasted sesame oil. You’ll need a little to coat the ramen after boiling, which will add a nice nutty aroma. 

  • Vegetable oil. Go with canola oil or another neutral high-heat oil for stir-frying.

  • Fresh vegetables. We’ll use a colorful combo of fresh shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, baby spinach, and shallots. 

  • Extra-firm tofu. There’s a lot of stirring involved in the recipe, and extra-firm tofu will stay intact in the pan. 

How to make ramen stir-fry

A picture of stir-fried mushrooms, shallots, red bell pepper, and baby spinach in a skillet
Photo by Diana Kuan

Most of the time spent on this ramen stir-fry recipe is in the prep time. After that, the cooking goes very quickly.

1. Prep the veggies

Start by slicing the shallots, mushrooms, and bell pepper into long, thin, bite-size pieces, similar to the shape of noodles. This way, the vegetables will cook evenly, and will be easy to pick up along with the noodles using your chopsticks. Most baby spinach is sold washed and ready to cook.

2. Prep the tofu

Drain the tofu, lightly dry it with kitchen towels or paper towels, and then cut it into 1-inch cubes. 

3. Make the sauce

For the sauce, I wanted to recreate the deep umami flavors of noodle soup ramen in stir-fry form. In a bowl, just stir the miso paste with 3 tablespoons of water until the paste is dissolved. Then stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar.

4. Boil the ramen

You’ll need to cook ramen noodles in a pot of boiling water before adding them to the stir-fry, undercooking them a little so they will still be firm enough to stir-fry. (Remember to discard the flavor packets.) Drain the ramen, give it a rinse under cold water, and give the colander a few good shakes. Then toss the ramen with some toasted sesame oil in a large bowl. This will help keep the noodles separated until you add the ramen to the stir-fry. 

5. Stir-fry the vegetables and tofu

A picture of a large skillet with stir-fried vegetables and cubes of tofu
Photo by Diana Kuan

Once the prep is done, cooking time for stir-frying is only about 5 minutes. You can use a wok, a 12-inch nonstick frying pan or other large skillet this size, or a wide Dutch oven. 

Heat up some vegetable oil over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and shiitake mushrooms, cooking them until aromatic and the shallots are more translucent. Then add the red pepper, cook for another minute, and add the baby spinach. Be sure to cook the spinach just until wilted.

At this point, you’ll add in the tofu and half the sauce. Gently stir the mixture, being careful to not break up the tofu. 

6. Stir-fry the ramen noodles

A picture of a large skillet filled with stir-fried vegetables, tofu, and ramen noodles with sauce
Photo by Diana Kuan

Now come the pile of noodles and the remaining stir-fry sauce. While still being careful with the tofu, use your tongs to carefully toss everything in the pan so that savory, miso-rich sauce evenly coats all the ingredients. 

Dinner is ready! Total time: about 30 minutes. Leftovers are unlikely, but just in case, stash them in an airtight container up to 2 days. To reheat, zap in the microwave until hot.

Get the ramen noodle stir-fry recipe

I hope this new recipe becomes a favorite with your family and friends.

Vegetable Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry

Yummly Original

Customize it

One of the great things about this easy ramen recipe is you can change it up depending on what you’re in the mood for and what’s in your kitchen. You’re thinking chicken ramen stir-fry? Just swap out the tofu for boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs. Or substitute flank steak, pork tenderloin, or shrimp. 

Same with the vegetables; how about small broccoli florets, snap peas or snow peas, or chopped bok choy instead of bell pepper? Feel free to season the stir-fry with a few cloves garlic, some fresh ginger, or a squirt of sriracha. You can garnish the stir-fry with green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and even add a fried egg if you like. 

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