This Birria ramen recipe is a fusion dish that combines the rich, spiced flavors of Mexican Birria with Japanese ramen. It features tender shredded Birria meat cooked in a Mexican broth (consommé) and served over al dente ramen noodles with fresh toppings.
Birria recipes took over social media for a good reason: they look just as good as they taste! The rich Birria consommé is so good you'll want to drink it right out of a bowl thanks to the authentic dried peppers, fresh garlic, and tomatoes.
The tender meat falls apart with barely a touch of the fork and there are so many ways to serve this recipe including the traditional Birria stew, Birria tacos (Quesabirria), and of course a delicious bowl of Birria ramen.
You may be wondering, "What is Birria ramen made of?" It's simply a combination of the traditional Birria and its ingredients like guajillo peppers and other Mexican flavors.
You use traditional Japanese ramen noodles and flavorful consommé (Birria sauce) as the ramen broth. Top it with the fork tender beef and classic ramen toppings.
Why I Love Birria Ramen
- Flavorful Fusion: Birria ramen combines the robust and spicy flavors of traditional Mexican Birria with the comforting and savory elements of Japanese ramen.
- Hearty and Cozy: With its high protein content, low fat, and essential nutrients, the beef in these enchiladas packs a ton of flavor and nutrition. A 3oz. serving of beef provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients, all in one delicious bowl.
- Rich and Spicy Broth: The flavorful Birria broth is often rich, aromatic, and spicy, thanks to the blend of dried chilies, spices, and slow-cooked meat, where the fat renders off and adds rich flavor.
- Versatile: You'll likely have leftover Birria beef and consommé, so use the leftovers in more Mexican dishes like Birria tacos. Or use put them inside of shredded beef enchiladas.
We've spent over four years working with the best beef experts in our state–The Ohio Beef Council. And over those years we've tested countless Mexican-inspired beef recipes like sweet potato beef taco skillet, sheet pan steak fajitas, and Instant Pot taco soup.
What is Birria?
Birria is a traditional Mexican stew, often made with beef, goat meat, or lamb. It's slow-cooked in a rich broth flavored with dried chilies, spices, onions, and tomatoes.
Birria originated in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, known for its rich culinary traditions. It's often associated with special occasions, like weddings and festivals, where it is prepared to feed large groups of people.
Although it's traditionally served as a stew (called Birria de res), you can also use it to make tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and more (Ramen!).
Don't be intimidated by working with dried peppers! You can purchase them all easily on Amazon or at your local grocery store. Here is what they look like and we have a photo guide below of how to deseed them.
How to Make Birria Ramen
The cook-time for this recipe is long, but once it's slow cooking, it's completely hands-off! Follow these step-by-step photo instructions to make sure it turns out every time. Jump down to the recipe card for the printable recipe and exact measurements.
Make the Birria Beef
Prep the peppers: wash the peppers then dry them and use a pair of kitchen shears (scissors) to cut off the stems and slice down the side. Open the peppers and scrape out the seeds with a knife or use your hands to pull the white membrane off, taking the seeds with it.
Pro tip: Don't forget to wash your hands after working with peppers!
Boil the sauce ingredients: Add the dried peppers to a saucepan with onion, Roma tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns. Cover completely with water and bring to a boil. Cover and continue to boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
Blend the sauce: Transfer the peppers and the rest of the boiling ingredients, including the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, to a large high-speed blender. Add 1 cup of the soaking liquid along with the cumin, ground cloves, and beef broth. Blend on high until completely smooth.
Cook the Birria beef: Bring the beef Birria to a boil over high heat then cover, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 3 ½ -4 hours (3 hours minimum). Check the beef periodically starting at the 2-hour mark and add chili stewing liquid, hot water, or broth to keep the beef mostly covered with cooking liquid.
Note: if you don't have a strong blender, pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer before adding it to the beef.
Shred the beef and cook the ramen: Transfer the tender meat to a cutting board or sheet pan and shred with two forks. Cook the ramen in boiling water according to the package instructions.
Make the Birria Ramen
Assemble the Birria ramen: Transfer the cooked noodles to large bowls, like traditional ramen bowls. Spoon the broth on top to cover the noodles. Add the shredded Mexican beef and top. Finish with a soft-boiled egg (instructions in the recipe card below), fresh cilantro, white onion, and lime wedges.
Birria Ramen Recipe Variations
- Try a different chile: This Birria recipe uses a combination of dried chiles. The guajillo chiles are mandatory, but you can use other dried chiles like chipotle peppers or pasilla chile peppers.
- Customize the spice level: The guajillo chilis and ancho chilis are pretty mild, but the arbol chilis are really spicy. I used 1-2 for a mild sauce (mild enough for kids). You could add up to 10 for a really spicy Birria ramen.
- Fresh ramen noodles: We tested this recipe with dried noodles and it worked perfectly. They're easy to find in grocery stores or on Amazon. However, you can use fresh or frozen ramen noodles from your local Asian supermarket.
- Try different toppings: Add any of your favorite Mexican or Japanese garnishes! Avocado, sesame seeds, Mexican pickled onions, sliced jalapeños, or red chili flakes are great options.
- Make it in the Slow cooker or Instant Pot: Cook it for 10 hours in the Crock Pot. Or speed up the process by using a pressure cooker to cook the beef in an hour. Both instructions are in the recipe card below!
- Make Birria Ramen using leftover Birria de res (beef stew): warm the broth in a large bot over medium-high heat. Add the shredded beef and ramen and cook for 4-5 minutes directly in the broth.
To make the Birria beef in the Instant Pot, follow instructions to simmer the chiles and aromatics then blend until smooth. Sear the beef in the Instant Pot in batches then pour the sauce over the beef. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 55 minutes. Natural release (do nothing) for 15 minutes then turn the valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure. Follow the instructions to shred and serve the Birria Ramen.
Follow the Birria instructions to simmer the chiles and aromatics then blend the sauce until smooth. Sear the beef in a large skillet and transfer to a large slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top and slow cook for 10 hours, until the beef falls apart with a fork. Follow the instructions to shred and serve the Birria Ramen.
Birria sauce is made from a mixture of dried chiles, onion, tomatoes, bay leaves, Mexican (Ceylon) cinnamon, peppercorns, oregano, cumin, and beef broth. Simmer it all together and blend until smooth!
Birria beef has a rich and complex flavor profile that is deeply savory, aromatic, and often described as spicy, earthy, and smoky. The taste of Birria beef can vary depending on the specific recipe, the spices and chilies used, and whether it's made with beef, goat, or lamb.
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
Birria beef is one of the most freezer-friendly meals you can make. Freeze the meat and flavorful broth separately to make all of your favorite Birria recipes.
Make-Ahead: Follow the recipe instructions to make the Birria beef (Birria de res). Shred the beef and store the beef and consomme separately in an airtight container. When you're ready to make the ramen, bring the broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and the broth together and cook the noodles for 4-5 minutes. Serve as directed.
Storage: You can store leftover Birria in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. After that, transfer it to the freezer to save for up to 3-4 months.
Freezer: Allow it to cool completely. Transfer the beef and consomme to separate storage containers or freezer bags. If you're using a freezer bag, double up on the broth to ensure it doesn't leak. Lay them both flat in the freezer and freeze until solid, then you can stand them up to save space. Thaw overnight in the fridge and use them in your favorite Birria recipes like ramen, tacos, quesadillas, and more.
This recipe is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. Thank you to brands like theirs who believe in me and my recipes so I can continue to share them for free.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Mexican Recipes
Birria Beef (7-8 servings)
- 4 lb chuck roast cut into 3 to 4-inch chunks (Note 1)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 10 Guajillo chiles washed, stemmed, and seeded
- 5 ancho chiles washed, stemmed, and seeded
- 2 arbol chiles washed, stemmed, and seeded (Note 2)
- 1 medium white onion roughly chopped
- 3 large Roma tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 garlic cloves
- ½ Mexican (Ceylon) cinnamon sticks (Note 3)
- 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (Note 4)
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 5-6 cups beef broth or beef stock
- 3 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
Ramen (4 servings)
- 4 servings Instant Ramen Noodles seasoning packet discarded (Note 5)
- Fresh cilantro, diced white onion, soft-boiled eggs (Note 6), and lime for serving
- Wash the peppers then dry them and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off the stems and slice down the side. Open the peppers and scrape out the seeds.
- Add them to a medium saucepan with the onion, Roma tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns. Cover completely with water and bring to a boil. Cover and continue to boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- While it’s boiling, sear the beef. Season each piece of the chuck roast generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear each side of the beef for 2-3 minutes, until they form a crispy crust on the outside. Work in batches, placing the first batch on a plate or cutting board while you finish. Working in batches helps sear the beef rather than steaming it if the pot is overcrowded.
- When all of the beef is seared, turn off the heat and place all the beef back in while you finish the sauce.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers and the rest of the ingredients, including the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, to a large high-speed blender. Add ½ cup of the boiling liquid along with the cumin, ground cloves, and 4 cups of beef broth. Blend on high until completely smooth, 1-2 minutes?
- Strain the consume into the seared beef using a fine mesh sieve.
- Bring the beef Birria to a boil over high heat then cover and braise in the oven for 3 ½ -4 hours. Check the beef periodically starting at the 2-hour mark and add thee reserved chili stewing liquid to keep the beef mostly covered with cooking liquid.
- Remove the beef to a rimmed baking sheet or large plate and shred using two forks.
- Add the ramen noodles to the beef consomme (leftover Birria broth) and cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes, until the noodles are al dente. Do not overcook.
- Ladle the broth and noodles into a large bowl and top with the Birria beef.
- Garnish with soft-boiled eggs, chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.