This Birria Ramen packs a fusion of mouthwatering flavors by combining rich Mexican shredded beef and Japanese-style instant ramen noodles in a warm and comforting birria broth. Super easy to make, add your favorite fresh toppings and enjoy!
Birria and ramen – I mean, who would have thought?
Fortunately for us, someone in Mexico City had the brilliant idea back in 2010 to fuse birria consommé (the flavorful broth used to cook beef birria, aka birria de res) with instant noodles and call it birria ramen. So genius.
Spicy, savory, fresh, and packed with mouthwatering flavor, if you love shredded beef and slurpable noodles, then I’m positive you will love birria ramen.
What is Birria Ramen?
Birria ramen is a fusion of Japanese ramen noodle soup with birria, a celebratory Mexican stew.
Usually, birria is made with goat meat or mutton but can also be made with beef or lamb. The chunks of meat are slowly cooked in a broth consisting of blended rehydrated chiles, tomato, onion, vinegar, orange juice, and other flavorful spices. After the meat is cooked, the broth is added to bowls filled with ramen noodles, then topped with shredded birria meat, cilantro, onions, and lime. Some versions may include additional toppings such as avocado, cheese, and hot sauce.
The resulting dish is a delicious blend of two distinct culinary traditions, with the rich, spicy flavors of birria complementing the chewy ramen noodles and umami broth.
Ingredients for Birria Ramen
- Birria stew: The juicy, fall-apart shredded beef plus the super flavorful and delicious consomé leftover when you cook birria are needed to build the base for birria ramen. I like to mix bone-in beef short rib, beef shank, and beef chuck. Read about how to make birria here.
- Ramen Noodles: Fresh ramen noodles are the best choice for chewiness, but dry packaged ramen noodles will work just as well (just remember to remove the seasoning packet). Udon noodles are another great option if ramen noodles aren’t available.
- Toppings: I highly encourage the addition of as many (or as few) toppings as you’d like. Shredded cabbage and radish add a lovely crunch, while a simple onion and cilantro salsa add freshness. Limes are a must-have, as are soft-boiled eggs. Hot sauce, cheese, jalapeños, and crumbled tortilla chips would also be fantastic.
Please find the full list and amounts of ingredients, plus recipe instructions, at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Birria Ramen
Part 1: Make the Birria
1. Prepare the dried peppers: Use kitchen scissors to cut open each chili to remove the seeds. Toast the chiles in a large skillet set over medium heat until fragrant, then place them in a pot filled with simmering water for 15-30 minutes or until rehydrated.
2. Brown the onions and tomatoes and toast the spices: In a large skillet set over high heat, cook the onions until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant. Remove the onions and garlic to a clean plate and add the tomatoes. Cook each side of the tomatoes for about 2 minutes, then remove to the same plate as the onions. Toast the cumin seeds, black peppercorns, whole cloves, and cinnamon stick in olive oil before returning the onions, garlic, and tomatoes to the pan with the toasted spices and mixing well to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the ginger, thyme, oregano, and marjoram.
3. Blend: Add the rehydrated chilies plus 1-2 cups of the soaking liquid plus the onion, tomato, and spices to a large blender. Process until smooth.
4. Cook: Add the chili pepper sauce to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, and beef. Cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.
5. Shred the meat: Remove the beef from the pot and shred it with a fork.
Part 2: Make the Birria Ramen
1. Prepare the broth: In a large pot, bring the water and birria consomé to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, adding additional salt to taste.
2. Cook the ramen noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package directions (discarding any seasoning packets). Drain and set aside.
3. Assemble: Divide the noodles between four large, shallow bowls, and pour in the broth. Top each bowl with shredded birria meat, cabbage, radish, soft-boiled eggs, and the onion-cilantro salsa. Garnish with fresh cilantro and hot sauce, and serve with lime wedges if desired.
- For a super clear birria broth, consider straining the blended chili peppers and spices before cooking it with the meat. This is especially important if your blender isn’t quite as high-speed as this recipe needs it to be.
- Use a mixture of meat with bones (beef short ribs) and meat without (chuck roast). Both cuts of meat are super flavorful in their own ways and benefit from longer cooking times.
- Making birria ramen is fast and easy, but making birria can feel time-consuming. I highly recommend pulling out your biggest pot and making a big batch. Birria can be enjoyed as leftovers in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, salad bowls, and definitely, ramen.
More Ramen Recipes
- Ginger Garlic Miso Ramen Noodles with Poached Egg
- Kimchi Ramen Noodle Soup (30 minutes)
- Veggie Ramen Noodle Stir Fry with Tempeh and Poached Egg
- Ramen Noodle Salad
- Ramen Noodles with Spicy Chili Sauce
If you try making this Birria Ramen Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For the Birria Recipe
- 6 pounds beef - bone-in beef short ribs and chuck roast
- 5 dried ancho chiles - dried ancho chiles
- 5 dried guajillo chiles
- 6 dried chilies de arbol
- olive oil - divided
- 1 large onion - roughly chopped
- 5 tomatoes
- 10 cloves garlic - peeled and smashed
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 bay leaves
- 2-3 cups chili liquid
- 1 cup orange juice
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
For the Birria Ramen
- shredded birria meat
- 3 cups water - or chicken broth
- 3 cups birria broth
- 4 packets dried ramen noodles - seasoning packet discarded
- 4 eggs
- ½ white onion - minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro - minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup shredded cabbage
- 2 radish - thinly sliced
- lime wedges - for serving
For the Birria Recipe
- Carefully cut open each dried chili pepper to remove the seeds. Toast the chiles in a large skillet set over medium heat until fragrant, then place them in a pot filled with simmering water for 15-30 minutes or until rehydrated.
- In the same skillet, brown the onions in one tablespoon of olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and sauté for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Remove everything to a clean plate and set aside.
- With the same skillet still set over medium-high heat, add the whole tomatoes and cook on each side for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the tomatoes to the same plate as the onions and garlic.
- Add one more tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the cumin seeds, black peppercorns, whole cloves, and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1-2 minutes, mixing often.
- Return the onions, garlic, and tomatoes to the toasted spices, then stir in the ginger, thyme, oregano, and marjoram. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the onions, tomatoes, and all the spices to a high-speed blender, plus the rehydrated chilies and 1-2 cups of the soaking liquid. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the blended chili sauce to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, beef, and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for at least 3-4 hours.
- Remove the beef from the pot and shred it with a fork. Save the birria broth.
For the Birria Ramen Recipe
- Bring the water and birria broth to a simmer in a large pot. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, and add salt to taste if needed. Set aside.
- Bring a separate large pot of water to a boil. Cook the ramen according to the package instructions, then drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the onion, cilantro, and lime juice, then set aside.
- Divide the cooked noodles between four shallow soup bowls and ladle the broth over the top. Top the ramen with the meat, cabbage, radishes, egg halves, and the onion-cilantro mixture.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges if desired.
- Leftover birria is great for up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or 3 months when stored in the freezer.
- Note: Chilies de arbol is the spiciest of the three used to make birria. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, reduce the amount added to make the broth.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
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