This quick and easy spicy fusion recipe is so much cheaper and quicker than takeout! It’s a super flexible vegetarian noodle dish that is packed with hearty gochujang mushrooms and kale. It can be a tasty side dish or an easy main meal if you throw in some protein – I love it with halloumi cheese but tofu works too!

Put down the takeout menu and make Gochujang Mushroom Noodles with me instead…

These simple stir fried udon noodles are filling and flexible, and they come together super fast. There is nothing authentic about them whatsoever, just a mishmash of Asian fusion deliciousness, but they’re tasty and easy and that’s where the bar is here.

Gochujang paste is something I’ve only recently tried, and it’s one of those brilliant ingredients that can make a dish soar with little else needed. It gives this dish its heat, its smoky complex flavor, and its glorious deep red color!

I’ve pared this recipe down to a simple sauce, just a few ingredients to chop and “straight to wok” style noodles to keep stress levels down. It’s really a base recipe that you can add to if you wish, and I do recommend adding a protein (halloumi for me!) but you could do whatever you like with it and I encourage you to make it your own!

What to know about the ingredients

  • You can use any mushrooms for this – I’ve tried with portobellos and standard chestnut mushrooms. I haven’t tried it with oysters, shiitakes or other wild mushrooms because I really wanted this to be a cheap, accessible recipe for Western supermarkets and the fancy mushrooms didn’t fit with that vision – but they’ll slot in great if that is what you want to use.
  • I love to add a couple handfuls of curly kale because I always have curly kale to hand, but spinach or napa cabbage or any other green will slot in just fine.
  • Gochujang paste is a Korean spice paste which, thanks to becoming a little trendy in the Western world lately, is now fairly easy to find. In the UK you can pick it up for a few quid in any major supermarket, though I am not too sure about Aldi. In the US, if it isn’t in your supermarket, an Asian market should have you covered. Different brands will vary in spice level. For me, two tablespoons was about right for a medium heat, but you could add more if you have a milder paste or if you want it much hotter.
  • Udon noodles are my fave here, but you can use a different noodle if you prefer. I like to use the straight to wok kind to cut down on the multi-tasking.
  • If you can’t find any mirin, look for any kind of rice wine, or even use sherry if you have some to hand.

Watch how easily it comes together!

Stir fries and noodle dishes can end up on the stressful side, if we’re honest, with different things needing to be ready at the same time, different pans on the go, etc. So I’ve tried to pare this back to a really simple process.

Adding Meatless Protein

Adding some protein to this dish will round out the meal.

  • Halloumi: I air fried some cubed halloumi to add to the top, which worked really well because it kept the halloumi hands-off. I wouldn’t have wanted to fry the halloumi alongside the mushrooms because it can let out some milky juices when it fries and we don’t want that hanging around in our noodles. I did not feel the need to marinate the halloumi, but I did very briefly toss it in the pan after dishing out the noodles, so that it would get coated in the residual sauce.
  • Tofu: You could make extra sauce, and then marinate your tofu in it, before either pan frying or air frying it. Like the halloumi, I would cook this separately and add it in at the end so that juices leaking out don’t interfere with the mushrooms in the pan.
  • Chickpeas: Not the most obvious idea, but some canned chickpeas added alongside the kale could be very nice here. I wouldn’t recommend any other beans which would be too soft and fall apart, but chickpeas are robust enough to handle it.

The Best Pan for the Job

A wok would be the traditional choice for this dish, but if (like me) you don’t have a great wok technique, I would just use the largest deep frying pan / saute pan you’ve got. A quality nonstick will keep things simpler for you too. Then things can’t go too wrong. Worst case, you don’t get a great texture but you shouldn’t end up with a stuck-on mess.

The pan pictured is my beloved Carote pan which I highly recommend, it’s available globally at a great price from Amazon (FYI these are affiliate links):

Mushroom Gochujang Udon Noodles

This quick and easy spicy fusion recipe is so much cheaper and quicker than takeout! It's a super flexible vegetarian noodle dish that is packed with hearty gochujang mushrooms and kale. It can be a tasty side dish or an easy main meal if you throw in some protein – I love it with halloumi cheese but tofu works too!
5 from 1 rating


  • peanut or vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 7 oz (200 g) chestnut or portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger, crushed
  • 2 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 4 spring / green onions, sliced, with the green and white ends seperated
  • 1 cup (70 g) kale, approximate – more or less is fine!
  • 2 portions udon noodles, I like precooked "straight to wok" style for ease
  • 1 handful cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves


  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil


  • Make the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
    2 tbsp gochujang paste, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Place the mushrooms in a bowl and add about half of the sauce, just enough to get them all covered. Allow to marinade while you do the rest of the prep.
    7 oz chestnut or portobello mushrooms
  • If your noodles need to be pre-cooked, boil them and then toss them in oil (to prevent sticking) just before moving onto the next step.
    2 portions udon noodles
  • Heat a thin layer of peanut or vegetable oil in a wok or deep sided frying pan. Add the mushrooms, and let them fry undisturbed for a couple of minutes until browned, before flipping them in the pan and sauteeing them for a while until they are reduced and browned all over.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and the whites of the spring onion to the pan and fry for just a few moments until fragrant, then add the kale and cook until it starts to wilt.
    1 tsp ginger, 2 tsp garlic, 4 spring / green onions, 1 cup kale
  • Add the udon noodles, the green tops of the spring onions, and remaining sauce to the pan. Cook for a few more moments while the sauce bubbles and reduces and coats all of the noodles.
    2 portions udon noodles
  • Serve with your choice of protein topping and some fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves for garnish if desired.
Calories: 491kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 1263mg, Potassium: 605mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 3632IU, Vitamin C: 42mg, Calcium: 117mg, Iron: 2mg