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Instant Pot Spicy Short Rib Noodle Soup

23 reviews / 4.9 average

We’re making a stop in Noodle Town! This noodle-y wonder is packed with tender short ribs, bright sautéed spinach, sesame seeds, gingery broth, and noodles upon noodles.

Yep, this fun train just keeps chugging on down the tracks and ope, here we are for a delicious little stop in Noodle Town! The very best of towns. These are perfectly spicy noodles, swimming around in a ginger-spiked broth, ready for all your slurpiest noodle needs.

The short ribs are the most tender, the most fall-apart, the most worthy of tears because how are they so gooood?! Just peeking out on top of your noodle-y pile, next to some bright sautéed spinach, sprinkled with sesame seeds and swizzled with a little toasted sesame oil. Oh my. Oh my, oh my.

What Is Gochujang Sauce?

This little noodle-y wonder gets its deep and interesting spice from the gochujang sauce. If you’re not familiar, it is a sauce made from gochujang — a staple ingredient in Korean cooking with an absolutely delicious lingering heat and strong umami flavor — mixed with some other ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, and a sweetener. Gochujang itself is a spicy-sweet-savory paste that is made from fermented soybeans, red chile pepper flakes, sticky rice, and salt and it is commonly used to flavor meat dishes, soups and stews, and sauces. You can read a little more about how it’s made and used from Christina Chaey over at Bon Appetit.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Short rib noodle soup in a bowl with a white hand holding a spoon

Ingredients For Short Rib Noodle Soup

Because the gochujang sauce brings so much depth of flavor, especially when paired up with aromatics like ginger and garlic, the ingredient list itself isn’t too long!

  • trimmed short ribs, removed from the bone (it’s worth it to trim/prep before cooking for a top-notch soup experience)
  • gochujang sauce
  • tomato paste
  • minced fresh ginger, garlic & shallot
  • beef broth
  • dry ramen noodles or any other stir-fry noodles
  • spinach
  • scallions, sesame seeds, and/or sesame oil for finishing
Short rib noodle soup in a bowl with a spoon

How To Make This Spicy Short Rib Noodle Soup

Because we’ve got our ol’ pal the Instant Pot working for us here, things come together relatively simply.

  1. Short Ribs. Season generously with salt and then pop them in the IP on sauté mode without disturbing them until browned on the outside. 
  2. Flavor it up. Add gochujang sauce, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, and shallots to the IP and let that go for a bit, then add the broth.
  3. Cook. High presh for 30 minutes. When done, that meat will be so beautifully tender.
  4. Noodles! Set to the sauté mode again and add the noodles and cook until softened.
  5. Spinach. Sauté in a separate pan and then add to your soup (optional, but such a nice bright add-in). You could also toss it right into the pot if that’s your jam!

Serve your soup bowls topped with the fall-apart short ribs, tuck in your sautéed spinach, sprinkle with scallions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. YUM!

Make It Your Own

This recipe came to be after trying to replicate this beautiful bowl of goodness from The Daley Plate spotted over on Insta (years ago!). While not working from a particular traditional recipe, this dish definitely has notes of more culturally-specific spicy beef and noodle soup combos, like this homemade take on Shin Cup Style-Spicy Korean Ramyun Beef Noodle Soup or this Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup from Woks of Life, both of which sound absolutely delicious for a more traditional recipe.

What we have here is a super slurpy, heat-you-from-the-inside-out broth/noodle combo that is the perfect base, and then you can really start to customize from there! We’ve tried a few different cuts of beef, short ribs being the fave for tenderness, but others definitely work! If you’re feeling chicken instead, you could totally do that. You could certainly keep it vegetarian, too, with a little veg stock and then maybe some marinated crisp tofu or oven-roasted mushrooms on top. So much possibility!

If you’re not an Instant Pot owner, no worries, this dream can still be yours with a little more time. If you only have a package of ramen available? Perfect, toss that flavor packet out and then get that noodle block swimming. What we’re saying is this ginger, garlic, gochujang sauce combo is going to make absolutely anything sing.

Fun soups forever!

Short rib noodle soup in a bowl

Instant Pot Spicy Short Rib Noodle Soup: Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between gochujang and gochujang sauce?

Yes! This recipe uses gochujang sauce, which has a different taste and spice level than straight gochujang paste since it is mixed with other ingredients. If you can only find gochujang paste, consider adding a splash of soy sauce and perhaps a bit of honey or sugar to balance things out.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Absolutely! Just use veggie broth and either plop some delicious marinated crispy tofu or oven-roasted mushrooms on top for extra flavor.

How can I make this without an Instant Pot?

Sear the short ribs in large pot on the stove in a little bit of oil until there’s a beautiful browned crust. Remove the short ribs from the pot and add in the tomato paste, gochujang sauce, ginger, shallots, and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the aromatics are translucent. Add in the beef broth and add the short ribs back to the pot. Simmer on low for a few hours until the short ribs are tender and start to fall apart. Add in your noodles and cook through.

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Spicy short rib noodle soup in a bowl square image

Instant Pot Spicy Short Rib Noodle Soup


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x

Description

We’re making a stop in Noodle Town! This noodle-y wonder is packed with tender short ribs, bright sautéed spinach, sesame seeds, and gingery broth, and noodles upon noodles. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound short ribs (meat removed from bone, fat trimmed, cut into smallish chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang sauce (more gochujang = more spicy! I would say this amount is medium spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 46 cups beef broth
  • 1016 ounces dry ramen noodles or any other stir-fry noodles (I use 2-3 individual serving size packages)
  • spinach (optional)
  • scallions, sesame seeds, and/or sesame oil on top

Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to the sauté mode. Sprinkle short ribs generously with salt; sauté without disturbing them until browned on the outside. 
  2. Add gochujang, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, and shallots to the Instant Pot with the short ribs and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add broth. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. When the cook time is up, the meat should be extremely tender and yummy.
  4. Set to the sauté mode again. Add noodles and cook until the noodles are softened. Taste broth and season with salt, pepper, maybe a shot of rice vinegar? and anything else you want.
  5. Sauté spinach in a separate pan (optional).
  6. Serve noodle soup bowls topped with the short ribs, sautéed spinach, scallion, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

Notes

Stovetop Instructions: Sear the short ribs in large pot on the stove in a little bit of oil until there’s a beautiful browned crust. Remove the short ribs from the pot and add in the tomato paste, ginger, shallots, and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the aromatics are translucent. Add in the beef broth and add the short ribs back to the pot. Simmer on low for a few hours until the short ribs are tender and start to fall apart. Add in your noodles and cook through.

This recipe is best served right after the noodles finish up cooking. If you wait too long before serving, the noodles can get mushy and absorb the extra broth. It would also work to make the short ribs and broth ahead of time, then add the noodles right before serving. 

I have tried this with other cuts of beef and I didn’t like it as much – they just didn’t get as tender. I’ve also tried cooking the short ribs with the bones and fat on them and while the flavor was good, the broth got way too oily and it was just a mess to try to pull the meat off. So in my opinion it’s worth doing the trimming before you cook. 

I bought packages of beef that were about 1.5 pounds so by the time I was removing the bones and fat, I was probably left with .75 pounds of the actual beef. That amount of meat + 2 noodle packages was about the right ratio for me!

For the broth, I usually start with 4-5 cups but have definitely found myself needing to add more to the leftovers – the noodles like to soak up the liquid.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Keywords: short rib recipe, spicy short ribs, noodle soup

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69 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Laura

    Are those ramen noodles in the pictures or did you use a different noodle at some point?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Karen

      I’m wondering about the noodles, too. I’d much prefer the wide noodles pictured over what I think of as ramen noodles. Can we get more info on the wider noodles? I have some boneless short ribs in the freezer that I’d like to use in this recipe soon! Thanks so much!!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Karin

      Same question…those look different than traditional ramen noodles. Would like to know what type of noodles they actually are. This recipe looks incredible!

    3. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Laura! No, they aren’t. Lindsay used a variety she found in the international section of her local grocery store.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Babs

    Looks and sounds delicious! I’m onboard with all the flavors and the instant pot. Two questions: 1. Since we can’t eat spicey foods/hot peppers, what can we substitute the gochujang sauce with? 2. How difficult is it to trim and remove the bones from the short ribs? Any instructions to point us to? Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi! Great questions.
      1) I’m thinking hoisin sauce might be a good substitute for gochujang. The flavor is different, but it’s the only sweet Asian condiment/sauce I can think of that doesn’t use peppers!
      2) If the meat is cold and you have a good kitchen knife, it’s fairly easy to trim the top and bottom layers of fat from the ribs. Our short ribs came in pieces, so it was easy to feel around for the bones and slice around them.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jennifer

    Quick release before switching Instant Pot back to sauté, or natural release? Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Either will work! If you’re short on time, use quick release. But there’s no harm in letting the beef rest/tenderize while the pressure releases naturally.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Esther

    This looks amazing, excited to try it! I’ve always found short ribs incredibly greasy when I’ve made them myself but I imagine trimming them first helps a lot with this! For someone who really wants to cut down on grease what would you think about putting it in the fridge and then skimming off any grease on top? Could add the noodles when warming it back up again? Or would someone who has this much of a problem with grease be better to choose a different protein? Thanks very much!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Esther! I think that sounds like a solid plan! The noodles should cook just fine when you warm the soup back up!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amanda

    If I don’t have an IP and are using the stovetop method, should I still take the meat off the bone ahead of time?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Great question! I think this would be personal preference. If you’d like the beef to be in bite-size pieces like in the soup shown in the photos, you’d want to take the meat off the bone and chop into pieces beforehand. If you’d like to keep the bones in while cooking, I think the beef would best be shredded after you remove the bones since the meat will be so tender!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      You can definitely do that. However, we’d recommend browning the meat first in a saute pan, to get a nice browned coating on the outside, which will enhance the flavor of the soup!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dot

    Made this tonite..it was really good..threw in some frozen peas and corn at the end..thanks for a great recipe.






  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Veronica

    This recipe is very very easy and really good on a super cold day! I accidentally forgot to add the ginger to the broth and it was still awesome. I can’t wait to try it with the ginger next time.






  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Robyn

    Is there a different cut of meat that would make a decent substitute? Flank steak or stew meat possibly? Thanks!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Laura

    Made this tonight after cutting the short ribs up last night and it is sooooo good! I am curious about other meats you think would work for this recipe. The short ribs were tender and falling apart, so I recognize the value of the cut of meat. But have you tried chicken or pork? Just curious since I seriously questioned my choices when cutting the bone and fat from the ribs last night.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We haven’t tried chicken or pork in this recipe, but we think it’d be great with either!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mara

    JUST. SO. GOOD! I needed more gochujang in mine but might’ve been the brand I found. Great idea to add the rice vinegar too!






  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amanda

    I made this tonight! The recipe was so easy to follow and the dish turned out delicious. I used ramen noodles and they worked fine but next time will try a thicker noodle.






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kim

    Delicious! This soup was definitely a hit for us. Some things to note/that I modified: I forgot to buy shallot so I just used a few tbsps of white onion that I had. Make sure your gochujang is actually spicy if you want spice! If not, adding a tsp of chili flakes before pressure cooking should do the trick. I also added a small brick of frozen spinach directly to the broth before adding the noodles — worked just fine. One thing I wanted to note was that the recipe doesn’t specify to use natural release or quick release on the IP – I went with quick release.
    Overall the flavor was savory and layered, the short ribs were fall-apart tender, and we got some excellent leftovers. I’ll be making this again!






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lindsey R

    This was fabulous. I made it this weekend, and doubled it for 5 people with enough for 2 days of lunches. It was just the right amount of brothy, meaty goodness for the northeast cold. I found that the greens and scallions really brightened it up a bunch. Thanks for always feeding my family. I don’t always review, but I make at least 3 recipes of yours a week!






  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Joanne

    Hi! This looks absolutely amazing. Do you have any suggestions in terms of ratios when substituting gochujang sauce with gochujang paste? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Great question! If you’re using gochujang paste, we’d maybe recommend 1-2 teaspoons since it’s so concentrated. Let us know how it goes!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Bridget

    11/10! I made this recipe on the same day it was posted and it did not disappoint!! Made exactly as written using a quick release on the IP. I used Mother In Laws Extra Spicy Gochujang and the level of spice was just right.






      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Courtney

        This was ahhhmazing! I will definitely make it again! Question about sautéing the short rib, do you put oil in IP so it doesn’t stick? Also I definitely recommend spinach. Another recipe to add to my “cold weather meals”






        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Krista @ Pinch of Yum

          We did not since there is quite a bit of fat in the short ribs, but you can definitely add in oil if you’d like!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Cara! We haven’t tested a slow cooker version, but it should work out just fine! I’d recommend browning the beef in a skillet first to create a nice outer crust and deepen the flavor. Let us know if you give it a try!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Aislinn

    My husband and i tried this tonight and I think we’ll make this again with a few edits:

    -lots more salt
    -lots more red pepper flakes and/or gochujang
    -a little less ginger
    -definitely some sesame oil

    We used momofuku noodles and that worked well! I’d like to use thicker noodles if I can find them. Overall good flavor and an interesting dish. The spinach is a must!!






  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum recipe! So easy to make too.
    Instead of spinach I used yu choy sautéed in soy+oyster sauce. 👌🏻
    Thank you for the recipe.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Carly

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. I subbed the short ribs for a rotisserie chicken (because SOS) and it turned out amazing. The gochujang sauce made this dish. I used Mother In Law’s spicy sauce. Fantastic. Highly recommend!






  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mihira

    Looks delicious! Short rib lover here married to a vegetarian – for your mushroom/tofu version how long do you reco cooking broth on stovetop?

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Molly

    This was so good!! I used country-style beef ribs because that’s what Aldi had, and the meat turned out perfect! I also used udon noodles which were the perfect size and chewiness, but did suck up all the broth so I had to use more than I thought I would.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad to hear everything worked out with your substitutions! Love the idea of using udon noodles in this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing, Molly!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Vanessa

    Made this tonight and it’s definitely a keeper! I bought gochujang paste instead of the sauce so I mixed in some rice vinegar, sesame oil and maple syrup to make my own gochujang sauce. Also used about 2 pounds of short ribs and 3 packs of ramen and it was perfect! I think next time I may top with some mushrooms or even a poached egg 🙂 Thanks for sharing your amazing recipe!






  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melissa

    Hi! This looks amazing! One question though. In the recipe and notes you say to use gochujang sauce, rather than paste. But in the video posted to Instagram, it looks like you use the paste. Did you add soy sauce and honey with the paste? I just want to make sure I’m buying the right ingredient. Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Melissa! We’ve used both the sauce and paste in the different times that we’ve made this recipe. Either will work. If using the paste, you’ll just get a little more concentrated gochujang flavor come through!