Homemade Short Rib Ramen Noodle Soup with Caramelized French Onions
Yield10 - 12servings
This flavorful short rib ramen noodle soup maybe the very ultimate in comfort food. The genius of this recipe is the mashup of delicious Asian flavors with a fantastic amount of caramelized onions. It takes awhile to make, but is worth the effort. Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.
For the broth:
3 T Olive oil
5 pounds English-style bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 2" pieces
Kosher salt and pepper
10 green onions, white parts only (reserve green parts for garnish)
12 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
6" piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and lightly smashed
9 whole star anise pods
3 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
1 T black peppercorns
1 T whole coriander seeds
1 1/2 cups white wine
3 quarts chicken bone broth
3 quarts beef bone broth
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar, adjust to taste
For the onions:
2 - 3 T olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and butter or ghee (note: if using multiple pans you will need this amount for each pan)
10 onions, peeled and trimmed stem to stern into 1/2" slices
For the noodles:
5 ounce serving of fresh ramen per person (I like Sun Noodles from Hawaii, see Headnotes for links)
For the garnish:
You can choose whichever garnish you like best. The only ones I feel adamant about are the green onions, lime wedges and sriracha.
1 - 2 green onion (green parts only), sliced per person
1/2 to 1 jammy soft-boiled egg, peeled and sliced in half per person
4 - 5 thinly sliced watermelon radishes per person
1/2 bok choy per person
For the broth:
Season the short ribs with kosher salt and pepper. Heat your largest, heavy-bottomed pot on medium high. When pot is hot add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Sear each short rib on all four sides to obtain a nice crust. Do not over crowd the short ribs or they will steam instead of sear. You will likely need to work in batches even if you have a very large pot. Remove the ribs as they sear and set aside on a platter. Pour out all but a couple tablespoons of the leftover fat in the pot.
Trim your green onions to separate the white and green parts. Put the green parts in the fridge to use as garnish when you are ready to serve. Heat the residual fat over medium heat and add white parts of green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until they begin to color, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes. Add the remaining spices: star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds and cook a minute or two.
Deglaze with the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce until liquid is mostly evaporated. Add the seared ribs back to the pot along with the chicken broth, beef broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 90 minutes until the beef is tender and begins to fall off the bone.
Remove the short ribs including bones and meat from the pot and set aside to cool. Discard the bones and shred the meat into bite sized pieces. The meat will be fatty and grisly in places. That is OK. Discard the very fattiest and grisly pieces, but retain a little of the fat for flavor.
Strain the broth through a strainer and then return the broth to the pot. As an optional step, particularly if you are taking two days to make the soup, I like to refrigerate the broth at this point so the remaining fat coagulates on the surface, making it easy to remove. I don't remove 100% of the fat, because I think it enhances the flavor. Once the broth is strained and the excess fat removed you can add the shredded meat back to the broth.
For the onions:
Heat your pan over medium flame and add the olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and butter or ghee. Add your onions and a healthy pinch of kosher salt. The salt helps to pull the water out of the onions, which is the first step in caramelization.
Lower the heat to somewhere between medium low and low, low enough so your onions cook slowly and don't burn. Stir frequently in the beginning, scraping up any of the bits that start to color on the bottom of the pan. When the pan gets dry and the onions start to stick, add a splash of broth or wine to deglaze the pan. The pan will immediately begin to steam and release the onions. Give the pan a good scrape with a wooden spoon to remove all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Feel free to deglaze as needed.
Continue cooking and stirring until the onions are golden brown, about 40 minutes total.
Putting it all together:
Combine the finished broth, shredded meat and onions in a large soup pot. Bring the pot to a boil and reduce heat to low for about 30 minutes.
Add rice vinegar to taste.
Cook the noodles:
Cook your noodles to the package directions. They typically only take a couple minutes. Strain out the cooking water and place noodles in the bottom of oversized soup bowls. Add broth to each bowl.
Garnish with sliced green onions, egg halves, radish slices, bok choy or spinach. Finish with a squeeze of lime and sriracha to taste.
The onions can be caramelized a day in advance or made while the broth is developing. One reason to break up the process is you may be limited in the number of suitable pans you have. The initial stages of searing the ribs and making the broth are best done in a Le Creuset-type cast iron enamel Dutch oven. Likewise, Dutch ovens are the ideal type of pans to caramelize your onions, but you can also use a cast iron skillet, or a heavy stainless steel pan.
It is important not to overcrowd your onions when you caramelize them. I used three Le Creuset Dutch ovens to caramelize all the onions at the same time. If you don't have enough suitable pans you may need to work in batches to get all these onions properly caramelized. If you choose to make the onions a day in advance they will keep refrigerated for several days.
CuisineNew American, Asian, French
Recipe by Something New For Dinner at https://somethingnewfordinner.com/recipe/homemade-short-rib-ramen-noodle-soup-with-caramelized-onions/