Mexican Ramen Bowl is fusion food done perfectly, as a warming Mexican soup spiked with homemade Salsa Negra is made slurp-able and comforting with curly ramen noodles. My family adored this dish and so will yours!
In case you guys haven’t figured it out by now, I adore fusion ramen bowls. I have yet to find a traditionally Japanese flavored one to get very excited about, but ramen noodles in broths inspired by all sorts of other cuisines? Love in a bowl. Thankfully, everyone in my family agrees. This Mexican Ramen Bowl was a huge hit, and devoured by everyone for two nights in a row.
I am extra excited about this Mexican Ramen Bowl as it gives me another use for my tasty Salsa Negra. That stuff lasts forever, but it is easy to forget about homemade condiments that you are not used to having around. So this meal started out with me being determined to find another use for it. It is quite spicy–the children opted not to use it as a garnish, but John and I adored it drizzled over our Mexican Ramen Bowls. And the few teaspoons in the actual broth is indeed enough to lend some delicious smoky, sweet, spicy depth to it. I wanted to let its flavor shine through so I chose not to garnish this dish with shredded cheese, although I am sure that it would taste amazing as well for a different variation.
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (I used boneless and skinless--if you use bone in cook them for longer)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 T vegetable oil
- 2 medium-large onions, sliced
- 1-3 T red wine vinegar, as needed (see instructions)
- 1-2 T minced garlic (we always like more)
- 3 sweet bell peppers, chopped
- 1 t New Mexico Chile powder
- 1 t ancho chile powder
- 2 t ground cumin
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped (I use frozen off season)
- 1 12-oz bottle light beer
- 5 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 1 15-oz can rinsed and drained black beans
- 1 10-oz bag frozen organic corn
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1-2 t Salsa Negra, plus more for garnish
- 8 servings ramen noodles, cooked
- chopped cilantro
- Salsa Negra to taste
- lime wedges
Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides.
Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and when it shimmers, add the chicken thighs (you may need to do this in 2 batches so the thighs do not overcrowd the pot--add only a single layer).
Reduce the heat to medium and brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
Remove the browned chicken pieces to a bowl and brown the next batch. Remove those as well.
Add the sliced onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have released their water and are browning, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the garlic and mix it in. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Splash some red wine vinegar in if the onions start to scorch or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the bell pepper with another pinch of salt. Cook for another 5 minutes. As before, splash a little red wine vinegar in if anything starts to stick or scorch.
Add the chile powders and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with a pinch of salt. Stir, scraping at the bottom of the pan. Bring the tomatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat to let them simmer briskly for 5 minutes.
Add the beer and chicken stock, along with the beans and corn. Bring to a boil.
Add the chicken (along with accumulated juices) back into the pot. The dish should be pretty soupy, like a brothy stew. If needed, add more chicken stock to make that happen.
Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.
Let it simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
While it is cooking, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream and Salsa Negra in a medium sized bowl. Do not worry about cream cheese lumps.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it to a cutting board and shred it, re-adding it to the pot.
Ladle some soup--as much broth as possible--into the cream cheese mixture. Whisk. Add more broth until the cream cheese mixture is warm. Whisk smooth.
Add the warm cream cheese mixture to the pot and stir it in. It may simmer very gently at this point, but you do not want it to boil again or the dairy will break and curdle.
Taste for salt or lime juice.
Serve, ladled into deep bowls over a nest of cooked ramen noodles. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of Salsa Negra (the Salsa Negra is hot, so to drizzle to taste accordingly).
For the collage lovers….