The worlds of smoky, meaty birria and comforting ramen have collided in a most delicious way, and you can find this popular mash-up right here in Vancouver now.
Called, fittingly, birriaramen, the dish, which originated a couple of years ago in Mexico City, has made its way up the west coast and is available around Vancouver thanks to the culinary team at La Taqueria.
Birria is essentially stewed meat, seen often as a filling in birria tacos or cheesy "quesabirria." Birria tacos have exploded in popularity in Vancouver in the last year or so, but La Taqueria is taking the trendy ingredient a step further with their birriaramen.
While it could come off as gimmicky, La Taqueria's birriaramen is a soulful tribute to the Mexico City original, and it took the team there several months to perfect, starting with the rich, meaty, smoky broth served studded with shreds of beef birria, pickled onions, a soft boiled ramen egg, white onion, cilantro, and shallot oil, housemade noodles, and a golden-fried crispy birria taco you can dip.
The broth, like any traditional ramen, is a true labour of love that reflects a deep level of flavour which here is built on brisket and tatemada - a charred salsa.
For the noodles, La Taqueria created a blend of rice and corn with just a hint of wheat (apologies to the gluten-free crowd) for that perfect culinary hybrid with an ideal snap and slurp-ability.
Before you tuck into this hearty, steamy bowl you can drizzle in some hot sauce and you'll want to give it a generous squeeze of lime for that extra sour-sweet punch.
Take a dip - with your birria taco
Much like when you dip your birria taco in a cup of consommé - the beef broth that traditionally accompanies the dish - with La Taqueria's new birriaramen you've got the entire bowl of broth to dunk that crunchy taco in.
If this epic one-bowl feast isn't enough, optional add-ons include ordering up more noodles, broth, or brisket, or another egg or taco.
P.S. the expert recommendation is to eat your birriaramen with a beer or a margarita to help balance out the richness of the dish. You can't really argue with that logic.
Birriaramen is available at all La Taqueria locations which includes all three in Vancouver (Yukon Street, Hastings Street, and Hornby Street) along with North Vancouver, Victoria, and their Vancouver food truck.