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There is something magical about a great bowl of Japanese ramen noodle soup. It’s absolutely wonderful. If you’ve never had good ramen go out and get some. Just do it. Today. Noodles. Broth. Pork. Egg. Wow. If the noodles are the backbone, the tonkotsu ramen broth is the heart and soul.

This is a descent into madness. I’m making the tonkotsu ramen broth from scratch. I’m cooking pork belly. I now know the difference between the 7 minute and 7 1/2 minute egg. I’ve figured out how to make spaghettini into the alkalinated noodles. I’m working on replicated the Momofuko tare. You can get the rest of the tonkotsu ramen recipe here.

Make this tonkotsu broth for the best ramen ever.

All this work so I can maybe come close to the $13.00 bowl of ramen at my local ramen joint. Crazy. And the really sad part is I’m pretty sure I’m going to fail. Insane. Descent into madness. Follow me only if you are crazy too.

Making tonkotsu ramen broth is a real eye opener. If you know how to make classic French meat stocks forget everything you know. This broth is cooked at a roiling boil for 12 hours. A rolling boil. The absolute antithesis of the French technique. But something happens when you cook pork bones at a rolling boil. All the gelatin and fat and goodness comes out of the bones and turns the stock that milky white colour. If nothing else, this experience was absolutely fascinating. The ramen broth is delicious though. This part is nailed. Nothing to it really. Just need to follow the recipe. No secrets here. Not anymore.

The ultimate tonkotsu pork ramen broth at home.

5 from 2 votes
The ultimate tonkotsu pork ramen broth at home.
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tonkotsu ramen broth at home
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 hrs
Total Time
12 hrs 30 mins
 
Tonkotsu ramen broth is simply pork bones cooked at a rolling boil for 12 hours. The process extracts all the goodness of the pork and turns the broth creamy white.
Course: side
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 lbs pork bones
  • 4 oz white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion peeled and halved
Instructions
  1. Place the pork bones in a large stock pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. At this point a huge mess of scum will form.
  3. Remove from heat. Dump the water and carefully rinse all the bones under cold running water.
  4. Return the bones to the stock pot. Cover the bones with cold water and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Add the mushroom and onion and maintain a rolling boil for 12 hours, replenishing the water along the way.
  6. After 12 hours, remove the stock from the heat and cool slightly. Remove the bones with a slotted spoon and strain the stock.
  7. The stock will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or can be frozen at this point.

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “tonkotsu ramen broth at home

  1. This broth looks so SO flavorful, Romain! I’m all about tonkotsu broth– it has by far the most flavor. This soup makes a beautiful base for a lot of different things from miso soup to ramen to using it to flavor sauces. I must try this!

  2. Where can I buy pork bones from? And is there any bone in particular? I can easily find beef knuckles / beef bones labeled for soup at the grocery store but I’ve never seen pork bones.

    • Pork neck bones work well and are the cheapest. I’ve only seen pork bones rarely at a regular grocery store. Butchers and asian grocery stores are where I get them. I find them to be cheaper at asian grocery stores so that’s probably your best bet.

  3. I took a class on how to make restaurant style ramen. The broth was weak without flavor, very disappointing. I have tried a couple other recipes but couldn’t achieve the creamy milkiness of the broth. I tried your recipe and it was a huge success! Yes, it takes forever and I cooked it for almost 20 hours. I am so excited and the results are amazing! My kids keep telling me, mom stop sending us pictures! Hahahaha… Thank you for your recipe and now it’s my base for some wonderful ramen 🙂

    ps.. I sent a picture of my broth to the instructor of the cooking class. Sorry charlie but you should try this. There’s a new chef in town. Muahahahaha….

    • Haha. That’s a great comment. Thanks. I’m glad it worked out for you. Taking forever I think is exactly why it works. There are no shortcuts – although somebody had mentioned they were going to try in a pressure cooker. Enjoy your ramen and send Charlie by way for a quick lesson:-)

  4. So how much water exactly does one need to use? I assume the pot should be left uncovered since you mention to replenish the water? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Thanks for this. I’ve updated the recipe to clarify. You need to add enough water to cover the bones. That depends on the size of your pot. I also added a recommendation to loosely cover your pot. It doesn’t matter much one way or the other. Uncovered is probably best but loosely covered will cut down on how closely you need to monitor it for evaporation.

      • Thanks for the reply! I successfully created the broth after a looong 12hrs of waiting. My question now is: roughly how much broth should boiling 6lbs of pork neck bones produce? I ended up with about 8 cups but it seemed too thick to me so I watered it down to 10. After putting it in the fridge it turned to thick jelly with a nice layer of fat over it. Should it be diluted more?

        • Chris – sounds like you had a good batch of bones. I typically shoot for 8 cups of broth but that really depends on the bones. I would taste it and then decide whether the flavour was too intense. Nothing wrong with it being jelly in the fridge. In fact, if it didn’t I’d think something went wrong. Enjoy!

  5. Is there anyone Who tried with pressure coocker? I feel it an incredibile waste or energy (gas/electricity) let the water boil for 12 hours 🙁

    • I’ve never tried it with a pressure cooker. No idea if it would work. My understanding of making stock is that liquid doesn’t actually boil in a pressure cooker so when making stock you get a clearer stock. Tonkotsu ramen broth colour comes from boiling so the flavour will probably work but my guess is you won’t get the milky coloured broth.

  6. I tried making this yesterday in a slow cooker on high for 12 hours. The broth tasted very bland… basically a step up from water. Does cooking on a stove in a stock pot really make all the difference?

    • Oh no. If you still have the bones toss the whole thing into a pot and onto the stove and start boiling. This is completely different from making classic stock. You want it to boil. It never occurred to me to warn people off using a slow cooker but doing it that way will most certainly disappoint. Please don’t let your experience here put you off trying to make tonkotsu broth at home. It is truly wonderful stuff when done as written above…

  7. Do you add any salt to the bones? I feel like it might be pretty bland without it…
    So excited to make this today!!

    • Erin, the broth is just the first step. When you make the actual ramen you season with one of the tares. Lots of salt in that so no need to add any to the broth. Hope you love it as much as I do!

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