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Birria ramen takes two incredible dishes (birria and ramen) and fuses them together to create something wonderful. The end result is a spicy, savoury broth filled with noodles and loaded with flavorful garnishes.
Try a plant-based version made with shiitake mushrooms and prepare to be shocked!
Table of Contents
It’s time to test out a new fusion that’s been taking the internet by storm. Birria ramen is a fusion dish you don’t want to miss out on!
What is birria ramen?
Birria ramen (also known as birriamen) is a dish created through one of our favorite cooking styles… fusion!
Honestly though, the recipe is just what it sounds like. Birria de res (or mushrooms in our case) and ramen come together to form a recipe that highlights two of our most beloved cuisines — Japanese and Mexican.
Birria broth (or consomé as it’s known as in Mexico) is served atop freshly cooked ramen noodles and garnished with shredded
beef (mushrooms*) cilantro, onions, lime wedges, and more.
If you like savoury, umami-rich broth, tender, chewy noodles, and fusion food in general, there’s a really good chance you’re going to become obsessed with this recipe.
Is birria ramen vegan?
Birria is traditionally made with goat meat or beef, so there are some tweaks that need to be made in order to create a vegan birria ramen recipe.
Instead of beef, we use shiitake mushrooms to emulate umami flavors and “meaty” textures. Plus, Better than Boullion “no beef” base gives the broth more body.
Ramen noodles are typically vegan, but many of the other components (broth, meat, etc.) are not. But in this recipe, rest assured it’s all 100% plant-based.
As we said, birria ramen is a combination of two very popular cuisines. The combo of both birria with ramen noodles is killer, but we first need to highlight the foods individually before tying it all together.
Birria is a slow-cooked stew stemming out of the state of Jalisco. It was originally made with goat meat, but it is now more commonly made with beef or chicken due to availability.
The reason for birria being made this way is because goats were brought to Mexico during colonial times. Unfortunately, they began eating away at the crops of indigenous communities.
To prevent going hungry, the people made goat stew. But, the only way to get rid of the gamey flavor was to add many savoury spices and slow cook it for hours and hours.
Thus, birria was born — and it’s been around ever since.
There are many types of ramen that go beyond the scope of this overview, but it has an interesting history dating back centuries.
Just to be clear, ramen consists of ramen noodles and broth. Ramen doesn’t only refer to noodles. Now, where were we…
Although there are rumors of a man (Zhu Shunsui) introducing ramen to Japan from China in the 17th century, most experts agree it’s likely that Chinese immigrants brought the idea to Japan in the 19th or 20th century.
Although it’s been around for a long time, ramen didn’t become popular until the 1950s after the war.
Jump to the present day, and it’s in almost every corner of the world. There are even dedicated ramen restaurants specializing in many different kinds… Cue birria ramen!
Birria ramen is a relatively new concept, merging both of these cuisines into one unique and flavor-packed dish.
Birria itself has become extremely popular worldwide (largely thanks to quesabirria tacos). But, many credit Antonio de Livier as the inventor of birriamen.
The story goes a little something like this…
- Antonio de Livier has loved birria for years.
- He dedicated himself to improving the recipe at his Guadalajara restaurant.
- On a trip to Valle de Guadalupe, he envisioned ramen mixed with birria after trying many food truck creations.
- Antonio opened a restaurant called Ánimo in Mexico city to sell birriamen.
This has sparked a lot of interest in birriamen across the globe, including places like Birrieria PDX in Portland.
With so many fun ways to serve birria ramen, here are a few helpful tips:
- Use a big bowl so you can fill it up with lots of broth.
- Add the ramen first, then ladle the broth over top.
- Use chopsticks for a traditional ramen experience.
- Don’t skimp on garnishes as they add a lot of extra flavors and textures.
If you have any other tips for serving birria ramen, send them our way and we’ll add them to the list!
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms make the perfect meat replacement while doubling as a Japanese-inspired element.
- Tamari: Toss the mushrooms in tamari to infuse umami flavor throughout the dish (plus, it’s also of Japanese origin).
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are classically used in the birria broth (consomé de birria) and create a zesty, vibrant flavor.
- Onion, garlic: Used in the birria consomé to add savory flavor and depth. Plus who doesn’t like the combo of onion and garlic?
- Guajillo chiles: Guajillo chiles add rich, slightly earthy, and fruity notes to the consomé. Other dried chiles work too, but the flavors will vary slightly.
- Chipotles in adobo: For a smoky flavor and subtle spice, add chipotles in adobo. This is probably the easiest type of chipotle to find outside of Mexico.
- Rice vinegar: To give the broth tang and add more Japanese elements to the birriamen. It can also be replaced with white or apple cider vinegar.
- Mexican oregano, cumin: These spices are found in many Mexican recipes (including birria) and provide earthy (cumin) and citrus (Mexican oregano) notes.
- Cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves: Also common spices used in birria consomé to create sweet, warm, and herbal flavors.
- Better Than Bouillon “No Beef” broth: Rather than using vegetable broth, opt for “No Beef” broth to create a salty, umami, and robust flavor.
- Ramen: Use either fresh or packaged ramen noodles — whatever you have available near you.
- Garnishes: Our favorite garnishes include white onion, cilantro, green onion, pickled jalapeños, lime, and cabbage. Feel free to use what you have available.
If you have questions about this vegan birria ramen recipe, don’t forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: stem and seed the guajillo chiles. Toast them in a skillet over medium-low for 30-60 seconds, turning frequently so they don’t burn.
Step 2: Once the chiles are toasted, add them to a pot or bowl of just-boiled water. Cover and rehydrate for 15 minutes.
Step 3: In the meantime, pan-roast the tomatoes, onion, and unpeeled garlic until charred on each side and softened.
Step 4: Add drained chiles, tomatoes, onions, peeled garlic, chipotles in adobo, vinegar, oregano, cumin, and cloves to a blender. Mix on high until smooth, adding 1-2 cups of broth if it isn’t blending.
Step 5: Transfer the birria sauce into a stockpot with olive oil and season for a few minutes before adding in the rest of the broth, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves.
Step 7: Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for around 15-20 minutes while you cook the shiitake mushrooms.
Step 8: While the broth is simmering, wipe the mushrooms clean and thinly slice them. Toss in olive oil, tamari, salt, and pepper and sauté them in a large skillet over medium-high. You can also bake the mushrooms if you prefer!
Step 9: Cook the ramen noodles according to your package instructions, then drain the water off and divide the noodles between serving bowls.
Step 10: Ladle your birria consomé over top of the ramen noodles followed by the sautéed (or baked) shiitake mushrooms.
Step 11: Garnish with fresh onion, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, fresh or pickled jalapeños, and lime wedges. Happy eating!
This vegan birria ramen is too good not to save for leftovers. Plus, the birria consomé will taste even better after it sits in your fridge overnight. Follow these tips for optimal storage.
To store, keep the birria consomé, mushrooms, ramen, and toppings in separate containers.
- Birria consomé: Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- Mushrooms: Keep in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
- Ramen: Ramen noodles will last for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Garnishes: Once chopped, the vegetables should last 2-3 days as well.
We only recommend freezing the birria consomé since the other components can be prepared quickly.
As long as the broth is in a freezer-safe bag or container, it should last for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
When you’re ready to eat some tasty vegan birria ramen again, heat the birria consomé in a saucepan over medium-low until warmed all the way through. Cook up a fresh batch of noodles, chop your garnishes, and you should be good to go.
💭 Tips & variations
We’d like to share some tips and variations we learned while experimenting with this vegan birria ramen recipe:
- Try different meat alternatives. If you don’t like mushrooms, replace them with shredded jackfruit, tempeh, or tofu instead.
- Make it spicier. If it’s a spicy ramen you’re after, adding arbol or piquin chiles to the birria consomé will do the trick!
- Reuse the broth. Try making quesabirria or birria tacos and use the birria consomé as a dipping sauce!
- Use different noodles. If you somehow can’t find ramen noodles, you can substitute them with different varieites like soba, rice vermacelli, or udon.
🍴 Tasting notes
As we mentioned earlier, fusion cuisine is one of our favorite styles of dining, and this vegan birria ramen is no exception. It’s:
If you try this vegan birria ramen recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Mushroom Birria Ramen
- Knife & cutting board
- Mesh Strainer
- 1 ½ pounds shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced ($4.83)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil ($0.22)
- ¼ cup tamari ($0.72)
- Cracked black pepper to taste ($0.01)
- 4 Roma tomatoes ($0.64)
- 1 medium white onion, sliced into 1-inch rings ($0.24)
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled ($0.12)
- 3 guajillo chiles ($0.12)
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo ($0.04)
- ¼ cup white or rice vinegar ($0.20)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.03)
- 1 teaspoon cumin ($0.01)
- 4 whole cloves ($0.02)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
- ½ a cinnamon stick ($0.04)
- 2 bay leaves ($0.02)
- 8 cups Better Than Bouillon "No Beef" broth ($1.98)
- 6 servings ramen noodles ($1.85)
- 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced ($0.02)
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded ($0.02)
- Pickled or fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced ($0.10)
- fresh cilantro, finely chopped ($0.05)
- lime wedges ($0.09)
- Stem and seed the guajillo chiles. Toast them in a skillet over medium-low for 30-60 seconds, turning frequently so they don't burn.
- Once the chiles are toasted, add them to a pot or bowl of just-boiled water. Cover and rehydrate for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, pan-roast the tomatoes, onions, and unpeeled garlic until charred on each side and softened.
- Add drained guajillo chiles, tomatoes, onions, peeled garlic, chipotles in adobo, vinegar, oregano, cumin, and cloves to a blender. Mix on high until smooth, adding 1-2 cups of broth if it isn’t blending.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a stockpot over medium. Transfer the birria sauce in and season for 5-6 minutes before adding in the rest of the broth, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- While the broth is simmering, wipe mushrooms clean and thinly slice or shred. Toss in olive oil, tamari, salt, and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high and cook the mushrooms in batches until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Ramen noodles & assembly
- Cook ramen noodles according to package instructions, then drain the water.
- Divide mushrooms and noodles between serving bowls. Ladle broth overtop, then garnish with fresh onion, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, fresh or pickled jalapeños, and lime wedges. Happy eating!
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more flavor-packed lunches and dinners, check out our:
- Tortas ahogadas if you’re up for the challenge of eating a jackfruit carnitas sandwich drowned in spicy arbol salsa!
- Espagueti verde for a hearty, healthy, and comforting Mexican-Italian fusion dish the whole family will love.
- Sopa de fideo to try this popular Mexican noodle soup that is the cure to all hangovers and sick days.
- Caldo de albóndigas for a tasty, flavor-packed, and meatless Mexican “meatball” soup.
- Mushroom ramen for another variation of this recipe made vegan and gluten-free/
No, birria ramen is not gluten-free because ramen noodles are made from wheat. However, you can replace them with gluten-free noodles like rice vermicelli.
Birria ramen can be spicy depending on the ingredients used. We derive our spice from chipotle peppers in this recipe and would rate it a 3/10. It really depends on your spice tolerance though.
We consider this mushroom birria ramen to be a very healthy dish as it has a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs. Plus, plant-based eating comes with a whole host of health benefits like reduced blood pressure and decreased all-cause mortality.