Spicy Shrimp Paste Noodles

The noodles are tasty on their own and even more delicious when served with broth for dipping.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Hot, salty and a little sweet, these noodles are intensely craveable. Angela Dimayuga takes four pantry ingredients and sizzles them into a fragrant sauce in minutes. You can keep the sauce on hand to dress any noodles anytime or pull this whole dish together in less than 20 minutes. Dimayuga created this dish to be served with Charred Onion Broth for dipping, but you can eat it on its own. It’s as flavorful at room temperature as it is hot.

Spicy Shrimp Paste Noodles
15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese-style wet shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chile crisp sauce
  • ¼ cup Asian chile oil
  • 1 pound fresh ramen, yakisoba or other thin wheat and egg-based Asian noodles


  1. Turn on your stove’s exhaust fan and open your windows. Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over high heat. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it becomes a shade darker and starts sticking to the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp paste and continue stirring until the mixture smokes and smells very shrimp-y, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chile crisp. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the chile oil and ¼ cup water.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes (the timing will depend on the noodles; the best way to determine doneness is by biting into one). Drain the noodles in a colander, rinse under cold water until room temperature and drain again. Add the noodles to the sauce and gently fold and mix until well coated.

Make Ahead
The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature or warm slightly before using. The dressed noodles can stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

Recipe adapted from Angela Dimayuga.