Do you like wings? Do you like ramen? If you said yes twice, we should hang out. Barring that, make chicken wing ramen. It’ll be your happy place.
This easy Instant Pot recipe will be your go-to for using up leftover wings either from eating out or when you make them at home.
Chicken wing ramen is essentially a bonus meal from your initial wing-fest…but psst, I like chicken wing ramen even more than the wings themselves. The bulk of work is making wings in the first place (which is EASY) and picking the meat and skin from the bones. (And if you’re not into that, you’re not into wings in the first place, right?)
Throw everything into the Instant Pot and you have an easy weeknight meal from your party leftovers.
What Wings Can Be Used for Ramen?
This whole idea came from my friend, who regularly goes to the local brewery’s weekly wing night. He intentionally orders more hot wings than he knows he can eat so he can take the leftovers home to make Buffalo Wing ramen.
While Buffalo ramen is indeed amazing and remains my favorite manifestation of chicken wing ramen (there’s the gorgeous bright red slick of grease on top of the broth), we realized it’s possible to make ramen out of any leftover cooked chicken wings.
WAIT! WHAT IS RAMEN, ANYWAY?
Ramen has come into its own in American noodle shops in the past 20 years, but most of us still think of it as super-cheap instant noodle soup with super-salty seasoning packets.
Real ramen is a Japanese noodle soup in a flavorful broth that’s garnished with sliced pork, soft-cooked eggs, and a very light scattering of vegetables. All the components are artfully arranged and in a wonderful harmony of colors, textures, and flavors. The best shops spend years perfecting their broth and their noodles.
You don’t need to, though. A satisfying bowl of steamy noodles and broth on a cold or rainy day is plenty close enough to perfect. Chicken wings have tons of cartilage and give you a silky, rich broth. Your Instant Pot makes quick work of extracting those characteristics because it’s ace for making chicken stock, stat.
HOW TO COOK THE EGGS
Cook your ramen eggs directly in the broth in the pot. A lot of recipes have you do this over a steamer rack before even cooking the broth, but why bother? Cooking eggs in the broth streamlines the process, and the eggs turn out just right.
The shells will be a little greasy, but you’re peeling them soon anyway. You want to undercook the egg so the whites are set but the yolk is a tad gooey. Two minutes at high pressure nails it every time!
WHAT ARE THE BEST NOODLES?
The classic noodles for ramen are Chinese-style fresh wheat flour noodles. You might be able to find such noodles easily at a grocery store or Asian market—or, like me, have limited options.
I use shelf-stable “fresh” Chinese-style Hokkien stir-fry noodles from the Asian section of my big chain grocery store. If you’re in a pinch, use the noodles from two packets of instant ramen (but pitch the seasoning packets).
Classically, you cook the noodles in their own pot of boiling water, and not directly in the broth. This is a streamlined ramen, though, and we’re gonna do it right in the broth like the wing-lovin’ rogues we are.
WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH THIS?
Good question! Instead of loading up the ramen with vegetables and detracting from the glorious broth, I suggest a modest scattering of scallions on top and a refreshing cucumber salad on the side. Dude, you just ate the wings of, like, a dozen chickens for dinner, don’t get all uppity about green veggies right now.
NEED MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES?
Instant Pot Chicken Wing Ramen Recipe
If you have fresh wing tips from breaking down your own chicken wings, save them to add to the soup. The 4 cups of wings is a rough guideline—the more you can add, the better and meatier the ramen will be.
- 1 to 1-1/2 pounds (about 4 to 6 cups) leftover cooked chicken wings
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 to 4 large eggs
- One 7.1-ounce package fresh egg noodles, or 2 packages instant ramen, seasoning packets discarded
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 6-quart Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
1 Pick the meat and skin from the cooked wing bones: This is easier if they are still warm, but if they are cold just do your best. Set the meat aside.
In the Instant Pot insert, add the skin, bones, chicken stock, and water. Lock the lid, and make sure the pressure release valve is set to seal. Select Cook on Manual/Pressure at high pressure for 30 minutes.
2 Release the pressure and remove the bones and skin: Release the pressure by using the quick release valve. Depending on the model of cooker you have, you will do this by nudging the valve open with the handle of a spoon or a button on the pressure cooker. When you do this a large burst of steam will release quickly so keep your fingers clear. Unlock the lid.
Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the bones and skin from the stock. Discard the solids. If the broth is especially greasy, skim the fat off with a large metal cooking spoon, but a little grease is fine.
3 Finish the stock and cook the eggs: Add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to the pot.
At this stage, you can cook the eggs in one of two ways. I put the whole eggs (shell and all) into the stock. Lock the lid, and make sure the pressure release valve is set to seal. Cook on Manual/Pressure at high pressure for 2 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make the jammy eggs on the stove as the stock cooks. Try this method to steam the eggs for 10 minutes.
4 Prepare an ice bath: As the eggs cook, prepare an ice water bath in a small bowl. When the Instant Pot beeps, release the pressure using the quick release valve.
Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to lift the eggs from the pot. Plunge them into the ice water. (They’ll be a tad greasy, but you’ll be peeling them soon anyway.)
5 Add the noodles and meat: Add the noodles and reserved meat to the Instant Pot. Leave the lid off, switch to the sauté setting, and cook 2 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through.
As the ramen cooks, peel the eggs. Set aside.
6 Adjust the seasonings and serve: Taste the broth. It may need more salt or soy sauce, depending on how seasoned your leftover wings were. Season as needed.
Divide the broth, meat, and noodles between bowls. Halve the eggs and nestle the halves in the broth; they should warm from the heat of the broth. Garnish with scallions and serve.
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