Birria ramen… The Perfect way to use leftover birria de res!
Birria ramen might be as new to you as it was to me when I tried if for the first time in California last year while visiting family. If you’re reading this, you are probably just as big of a fan of ramen as I am. There is so much you can do with those ramen noodles! They are comfort food that never gets old because you can top them with whatever you feel like. This birria ramen recipe is made with leftover birria de res and they are so good!
Do I have to use leftover birria de res for birria ramen?
Nope! But if you do make my birria de res recipe, birria ramen is a great way to use up any leftovers you might have. Birria de res is delicious in its own right and a must if you want to make birria tacos.
I have featured my birria de res recipe here on this page so that you don’t have to go looking for it. If you would like to see step by step photos, however, just click here.
What is birria de res?
It’s the base for this birria ramen. Birria de res is a delicious Mexican stew that is spicy, savoury and really everything you could want in a good stew.
The stew is also now used to make birria tacos. So I recommend making some and trying it both as a stew and used in tacos. That is the whole idea behind birria de res. The ramen idea came much later.
The history of birria ramen…
As so many people on this planet love a good bowl of ramen, it makes sense that someone would come up with the idea of serving birria de res as a ramen dish.
From what I have read, birria de res, birria ramen made its first appearance on the menu of a Mexico City restaurant called Ámino Ay Caldos, which is owned by celebrity chef Antonio de Livier. On the menu, it’s called ‘birriamen’ and it so popular he now sells over 350 bowls of birria ramen every day.
This is not his recipe, by the way but I bet it’s close. I’ll soon find out when I pay the restaurant a visit later this year.
The history of birria de res…
Birria de res has been around for a very long time. Traditionally, the stew was made with lamb or goat meat but these days, especially in the US, you are much more likely to see it made with beef.
Beef is much easier to come by. The meat consume is also used to make birria tacos and you can see how here.
Step by step photographs…
Following are photographs of preparing birria ramen. It can be made either soupy or as a thick sauce which is my favourite. No spoon required! Remember, if you don’t have any birria de res for this birria ramen recipe, you can find my recipe here.
Getting the birria ramen sauce just right…
As you can see from the pan above, I used a lot of thick sauce. If you have some of the consume left over, you can use that to thin it if you like. I have featured a photo of me doing that below.
You can serve this really soupy as ramens often are or thick so that the sauce actually sticks to the noodles.
What is birria ramen?
It’s exactly what you want it to be but you do need some birria de res. As mentioned above, birria de res is really easy to make. It takes about 5 hours in a pot on the stove but you can speed that up by about 4 hours if you cook it in an electric pressure cooker. I use my Instant Pot almost daily for cooking curries and stews like birria de res as it’s faster and uses a lot less energy than more traditional methods.
What you need to make birria ramen…
Birria de res: This delicious and spice stew is of course the base. Unlike most ramen stocks which are made with bone broth, Birria de res gets its flavour from slowly cooking – or quickly cooking with an Instant Pot – meat with other ingredients. I use beef cheek in my birria de res but other cuts will work too. Go for the cheap cuts of beef that need a longer cook such as chuck.
Ramen Noodles: Instant ramen noodles are convenient and cook to perfection fast. These are used often to make birria ramen. You could also go for other fresh or dried ramen noodles if you can get them.
Garnishes: You can garnish birria ramen just like you would a taco. Add chopped red onion, cheese, pickled jalepeños, sour cream, cilantro… whatever you like. If it sounds good it will be.
How to prepare birria ramen…
Cook up some birria de res: You can use any birria de res recipe for birria de res but my recipe here will get you fantastic results. Follow the instructions for cooking it on the stove. Once it’s simmering away, there is really no more work to be done. You can go switch on the TV, grab a beer and get hungry while your kitchen fills with that amazing aroma. Or try the pressure cooker method if you don’t want to wait 5 hours to dig in.
Cook the noodles: Once your birria de res is ready, it’s time to cook your noodles. I often do this right when the stew is ready as I am usually making it for a big Mexican feast the next day. Cooking up some ramen gives me a chance to try the stew without gobbling it all up. Simply follow the packet instructions for cooking your ramen noodles. Instant ramen is quickest and easiest but I do prefer fresh ramen noodles which are available at Asian shops.
Assembling your birria ramen: Grab yourself a bowl and add the noodles. Cover them with birria de res and then top with the garnishes of your choice. Another way to do this is to actually cook the noodles and then heat up some birria de res in a pan. Stir the noodles in and then transfer the hot birria ramen to a bowl. Garnish as you like with cilantro, cheese, sour cream, hard boiled eggs or whatever.
Work ahead: Ramen is made for convenience. It is a quick dish that you can serve whenever you want. In the case of birria ramen, this means you need that birria de res ready. The good news is, you can cook the birria de res a few days in advance. The flavors will develop and it will be even better with time. You can also freeze birria de res for up to six months with little los of flavour.
Get some ramen bowls: These are not expensive and they do add to the experience of eating a good birria ramen. Ramen should not be eaten on a plate like you would Italian pasta. The whole idea is to serve your birria ramen just as it would be with other types of ramen.
How do you make the birria ramen more soupy?
Just add more of the leftover broth. Birria ramen can be made with a thick sauce or one that has a lot more liquid in it.
You might also like to try some of these recipes…
- 3 cups (750ml) birria de res with broth
- 7 oz (200g) dried ramen noodles
- TO GARNISH
- Cilantro (coriander)
- Pickled jalepeños
- Lime wedges
- Sour Cream
- Cook dried or fresh ramen noodles as per the packet instructions. Strain and set aside.
- Heat up some leftover birria de res. You can use thick birria de res or some with lots of broth in it depending on your preference.
- Mixt the noodles into the birria de res.
- Transfer to one or two bowls and garnish as you like with cilantro (coriander), sour cream, cheese, pickled jalepeños or whatever you like.