Creamy, spicy, addictive ramen, in less than five minutes – buldak carbonara is the perfect mix of carbs, spicy, and sauce goodness.

If you’re a fan of ramen, you’ve probably heard of Samyang Instant Ramen. They’re the Korean company that makes instant ramen classics like Buldak Hot Chicken, Buldak Hot Chicken with Cheese, and, of course, Buldak Hot Chicken Carbonara.

I love instant ramen. I love it a lot. But I definitely don’t love it as much as that little girl who cried tears of joy when she received a 5 pack of spicy buldak carbonara for her birthday. She was so incredibly happy and grateful and it just warmed my heart. It also made me wonder, how the heck is her spice tolerance so high? Because even though buldak carbonara isn’t as spicy as the regular hot chicken buldak, it is still pretty darn spicy!

buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re not instant ramen obsessed, you might be wondering what the heck is buldak carbonara. It’s gone pretty viral on TikTok because it’s creamy, glossy, and delicious-looking. It also happens to be pretty darn spicy and people like watching people when they eat spicy things – just look at how amazingly popular Hot Ones is! Side note, that Hot Ones episode with Sydney Sweeney 🥵.

What is buldak carbonara?

Buldak carbonara is a flavor of instant ramen from Samyang. It’s part of a ramen line that features super hot-n-spicy ramens. The buldak carbonara flavor comes in a pink pouch with a cute drawing of a hot chicken on it. I think the pink denotes the fact that it’s less spicy than the fire red 2x spicy buldak. Essentially, it’s a hot and spicy chicken ramen but with a carbonara-inspired sauce that is creamy thanks to the extra little packet of cheese.

homemade buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make homemade buldak carbonara

If you don’t have access to Samyang buldak carbonara and are craving it hard, you can make your own at home! I’ve heard that the carbonara flavor is sold out a lot, but thankfully there’s a homemade hack!

  1. Gather. Start by gathering your ingredients. It’s not as simple as opening a pack of buldak carbonara, but you gotta do what you’ve got to do. You’ll need some ramen noodles, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, chicken boullion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, 1 egg yolk, milk powder, and freshly grated parmesan.
  2. Mix. Add gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, chicken boullion powder, garlic powder, pepper, milk powder, parmesan, and one egg yolk to a bowl. Whisk until everything comes together, then set aside.
  3. Cook. Bring a pot of water up to a boil and cook your noodles of choice according to the package ingredients. Save 1/2 cup of the hot noodle water then drain your noodles.
  4. Stir. Add 1/4 cup of the hot noodle water to the bowl with your sauce mix. Whisk it all up until it’s smooth.
  5. Toss. Add the sauce into the pot that has the noodles and mix and toss until the sauce is glossy and coats and clings to the noodles, adding hot noodle water, bit by bit if needed to loosen the sauce. When the noodles are nice and saucy, remove from the heat.
  6. Enjoy. Scoop your noodles out into a bowl or eat them straight from the pot, no side eye here! Time to get your spicy on!

buldak carbonara sauce | www.iamafoodblog.com

Buldak carbonara ingredients

For homemade buldak carbonara, you need all the regular ingredients in buldak sauce, plus:

  • milk powder – milk powder is amazing. If you haven’t tried it, it’s one of those not-so-hard to get ingredients that is a solid pantry staple. You can find it in the baking aisle sold in bags. Milk powder is milk that has been dehydrated and powdered for shelf life and ease. Add water to it and it becomes milk! It’s what’s going to give our buldak carbonara that creamy feel and is what is in Samyang’s powder packet.
  • cheese – we’re going to go with freshly grated parmesan cheese because as much as I love cheese powder, I have no idea where to find it. Just make sure you grate your parmesan super finely.
  • egg yolk – instant buldak carbonara doesn’t have eggs in it but since we’re doing this homemade style, egg yolk is going to make your carbonara so much better by adding thickness, richness, and flavor.

milk powder | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make instant buldak carbonara

When you open up the package of noodles, you’ll see it comes with a noodle cake and two sauce packets, one that’s liquid, and one that’s the cream powder.

  1. Boil. Start off by adding 2.5 cups of water to a saucepan and bringing it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cook. When the water is bubbling rapidly, add the noodles and set a timer for 5 minutes. If you like your noodles al dente and chewy, go for 4 minutes. Use a pair of chopsticks or a fork to gently break up the noodles after 2 minutes.
  3. Save. Use a measuring cup to carefully scoop out 1/2 cup of the hot noodle water. If you don’t want to measure out 1/2 cup of hot noodle water, you can simply drain the noodles, making sure to leave enough hot water in the pot to stir into a smooth sauce.
  4. Drain. Drain the noodles then add the 1/2 cup of hot water back into the pot.
  5. Mix. Add both of the seasoning packets and mix, mix, mix.
  6. Enjoy immediately!

instant buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

What does buldak carbonara taste like?

Creamy, cheesy, spicy, and delicious! Buldak carbonara tastes super similar to the original spicy buldak fire noodles. That is, hot and spicy. There’s a cheesy, smooth and creamy element to it, thanks to the cheese packet. That helps tone down the spice compared to regular buldak noodles. It’s a cheesy, creamy, spicy noodle. Unlike carbonara, Samyang buldak carbonara doesn’t include pork or egg.

Is buldak carbonara spicy?

Yes! Don’t be fooled. Buldak carbonara doesn’t look as fiery hot as regular buldak,  but it still packs a punch and is spicy. On the spice level, Samyang rates buldak carbonara a level 3 spicy. For reference, the original buldak is a 4 and the 2x spicy buldak is 5. Technically, Samyang doesn’t think buldak carbonara is incredibly spicy, but it really depends on your spice tolerance.

buldak carbonara sauce | www.iamafoodblog.com

Can you make buldak carbonara less spicy?

Yes, you can, but it won’t be as flavorful. A lot of the flavor in the instant pack of buldak carbonara is in the spice packet. That being said, try this, which will make it less spicy!

  1. In a shallow bowl, add 1 egg yolk, 1-2 tbsp kewpie mayo, 1/2 the package of liquid buldak sauce, the cheese powder, and 2 tbsp cream. Whisk everything together until smooth.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, then scoop your noodles directly from the pot into the bowl with your sauce. Toss, mixing well until the noodles are saucy.
  3. Top with as much shredded cheese as you like and enjoy!

The egg yolk, kewpie mayo, and cream all help with toning down the spice. Adding extra cheese at the end helps too! And of course, using only 1/2 the spicy buldak sauce packets is what helps control the spice level.

How do you make buldak carbonara less spicy?

If you’re looking for a less spicy version of buldak carbonara and don’t want to sacrifice flavor, look for Samyang’s cream carbonara buldak. The package looks almost the same but is a slightly lighter pink. The chicken on the package is also floating in the air in a hot air balloon instead of sitting in a pot.

homemade buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

Cream Carbonara vs Buldak Carbonara

Compared to buldak carbonara, the cream carbonara is a 2 on the Samyang spicy scale. It’s less spicy but still has a nice kick to it. The buldak sauce it comes with is looser and not as fiery red. It’s a slightly milder, more creamy and cheesy buldak ramen. I prefer it over the regular carbo!

What to add to instant ramen

Like all ramen, you can top your buldak carbonara with anything and everything! Some popular add-ins/toppings are:

  • tteokbokki – add some chewy tteokbokki rice cakes (pictured below) to the water while the noodles are boiling for extra carbs on carbs. After all, this is carbo ramen!
  • egg – you can add eggs in so many different ways, whisking an egg yolk into the sauce mix, topping with a fried egg, topping with a boiled egg, or even just adding egg to the noodles after they’re mixed for a poached egg approach.
  • cheese – yep, there’s already cheese in buldak carbonara, but does anyone ever say no to more cheese? Sprinkle on shredded cheese and cover your noodles with a lid to make sure the cheese melts down into creamy, stretchy cheese pulls. Or, you can stir in some cream cheese for an extra creamy sauce.
  • seaweed – crushed up seaweed snack, strips of seaweed, or even using seaweed snack to scoop up your noodles is a pro move.
  • protein – anything goes! You can lean into the carbonara of it all and do some bacon or pork belly. Maybe use a can of tuna or add whatever leftover protein you happen to have in your fridge. Steak slices would be super luxe too.
  • sesame seeds – toasted sesame seeds add aroma and a bit of crunch.
  • green onions -thinly slice green onions add a bit of freshness and greenery.
  • kewpie mayokewpie mayo can help ease the spice and add creaminess.

tteokbokki | www.iamafoodblog.com

I hope you get a chance to try buldak carbonara! It’s spicy, it’s addictive, and it will bring tears of joy (or pain) to your eyes. Enjoy!
xoxo steph

homemade buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

Homemade Buldak Carbonara

Buldak carbonara is the perfect mix of carbs, spicy, and sauce goodness
Serves 1
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tsbp milk powder or milk
  • 1 tsbp gochujang or to taste
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsbp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 egg yolks use double the egg yolks for extra richness
  • 1 portion noodles of choice, see notes

Instructions

  • In a bowl, whisk together the parmesan cheese, milk powder, gochujang, soy sauce, chicken bouillon, rice vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, toasted sesame oil, and egg yolk (or 2 for extra richness). Mix until well combined.
    buldak carbonara sauce | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Bring a pot of water up to a boil and cook your noodles according to the package instructions. Save 1/2 cup of the noodle cooking water and drain the noodles, leaving them in the pan.
    drained noodles | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Stir 1/4 cup of the hot noodle water into the sauce then add the sauce to the noodles in the pot, tossing to coat. Add more of the hot reserved noodle water as needed, while mixing, over low heat, until the sauce is smooth and creamy and clings to the noodles. Remove from the heat and enjoy!
    homemade buldak carbonara | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

Estimated nutrition does not include noodles of choice (we recommend samyang or nongshim shin noodles).

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Buldak Carbonara
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 110
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.2g19%
Saturated Fat 5.5g34%
Cholesterol 230mg77%
Sodium 1359mg59%
Potassium 283mg8%
Carbohydrates 25.1g8%
Fiber 1.4g6%
Sugar 20.7g23%
Protein 17.3g35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    And to think I’ve only ever made Italian versions of carbonara! Love the Korean tweak and the riff off of the instant pack, and even at a 2 a lot spicier than the original, thank you!

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