Making this comforting oxtail ramen in the Instant Pot is easy and rewarding. Slurp up the ramen noodles with tender pieces of oxtail and rich broth for a satisfying meal.
With the winter weather in full force, we’ve been craving for warming soups and soup noodles. One dish that I’ve been alternating with Instant Pot phở gà is instant pot oxtail ramen. The oxtail ramen was inspired by our visit to Suika in Vancouver. Different from the usual tonkotsu ramen, it’s soy based with a lighter broth. I’ve tested this recipes a few times and got it pretty close to Suika’s version. Cooking oxtail on the stove would take hours, anywhere from 3 to 4. With the Instant Pot, the cooking time was significantly reduced without compromising the taste. With a good ratio of bone marrow, connective tissue, fat, and meat, the oxtail turned incredibly rich with the meat becoming tender and succulent. Combined with the ramen noodles from Japan that we got at Mitsuwa, the oxtail ramen was so satisfying and comforting.
- Oxtail: oxtails are sold in 2-inch sections with the marrow surrounded by meat and fat. The tail has gelatin rich meat due to a large amount of collagen which provides a deeply rich flavor once cooked. Look for oxtail with the same size so they can cook evenly.
- Soy sauce: use a light/low sodium soy sauce for flavoring. You can find light/low sodium soy sauce at the Asian grocery stores or online. My favorite brand is Kikkoman Memmi sauce.
- Mirin: mirin is a Japanese rice wine made from mochi rice that has about 14 percent alcohol and adds a mild sweetness and aroma to the final dish.
- Sake: for this recipe I used cooking sake which serves a different purpose from mirin. Cooking sake is used to tenderize meat, and also to remove unwanted smells and flavors. Cooking sake contains salt so it adds some flavor to the meat.
How to Prepare Oxtail for Cooking
Wash the oxtail pieces and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Trim off as much excess fat as possible. You can also parboil them to remove any impurities but this step is optional.
How to Make Instant Pot Oxtail
- Press the “Sauté” function on your instant pot.
- Add oil to the inner pot. Brown the oxtail pieces on all sides.
- Add the garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, kombu, Memmi sauce, mirin, sake, and water. Bring everything to a boil. Cancel the Saute function.
- Cook the the broth on HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release the rest.
- Skim any fat that has pooled on the surface of the ramen broth.
- Taste and adjust your seasoning at the end with additional soy sauce, mirin, or water.
- If you're looking for a healthier broth, let it cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight and let the fat condense at the surface. Remove the layer of fat the next day before rewarming the broth.
What to Serve Ramen With
For a complete bowl of ramen, you need ramen noodles, a few toppings, and a condiment beside the ramen broth, soy sauce eggs, and oxtail. Get a quality ramen noodle from your Asian grocery store. I like to cook the ramen noodles right before serving so they don't get soggy. Bok choy is our go to for greens but feel free to use your favorite like spinach, brocollini, or thinly sliced cabbage. Mushroom especially the shiitake reserved from the ramen broth, seaweed, and scallion make great toppings.
To finish the ramen, I love a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi while my kids love furikake. Shichimi togarashi is a spice blend consisting of chilli flakes, seaweed, and sesame seeds while furikake is a blend of seaweed, sesame seeds, and seasoning. The options for ramen toppings are endless!
Make Ahead and Storage
- You can make the oxtail ramen 3 days ahead. Wait for the dish to cool down before placing it in an airtight container and refrigerating it. It is best eaten within 5 days.
- You can place the container in the freezer and freeze it solid. This is best enjoyed within 1 month.
Instant Pot Oxtail Ramen
- 3 pounds oxtails, fat trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ounce organic ginger, smashed
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 ounce shiitake mushrooms, about 8, soaked in water for 2 hours
- 2 pieces dried kombu, soaked in water for 2 hours
- ¾ cup Memmi noodle soup base
- ½ cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons cooking sake
- 5 cups water
- 6 packages ramen noodles, about 6 ounces each
- 6 soy sauce ramen eggs
- 8 ounces bok choy, boiled
- ¼ cup sliced scallion, green parts only
- seaweed for serving
- Togarashi for serving
- Program an 8-quart programmable IP to Sauté. Add one tablespoon of oil making sure to coat the bottom. Sear the oxtails in two batches until all sides are brown, about 5 minutes, adding more oil between batches as needed.
- Add garlic, ginger, shiitake, kombu, Memmi, mirin, sake, and water. Stir to combine.
- Press Cancel button to reset cooking program. Lock lid. Select Pressure Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure natural release for 15 minutes then manually release the pressure. Skim any fat floating at the top.
Ramen Bowl Assembly
- Cook ramen according to the package's instructions.
- Divide noodles among serving bowls.
- Top with oxtails, soy sauce eggs, bok choy, seaweed, and scallion.
- Pour soup into bowls and serve immediately.
- Sprinkle with togarashi if serving.