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.
All this work so I can maybe come close to the $13.00 bowl of ramen at my local ramen joint. Crazy. Follow me only if you are crazy too. Actually it turns out it’s pretty easy. And it’s delicious. Good living.
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.
There’s a lot of Asian technique here that you don’t see in classic western cooking. Blanching the bones is a big one. And a really good one. Add all the bones to a pot. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then dump it all out and rinse the bones.
I’m not a fan of putting flavour down the sink. But in this case it’s genius. Doesn’t make a difference to the end flavour. But it does get rid of all that muck floating on the surface of the stock. Muck that would get boiled into the stock. Muck that would likely ruin the broth. Did I mention this is genius?
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.
This 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 ramen turned out pretty good too.
- 6 lbs pork bones
- 4 oz white mushrooms sliced
- 1 onion peeled and halved
- Place the pork bones in a large stock pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. At this point a huge mess of scum will form.
- Remove from heat. Dump the water and carefully rinse all the bones under cold running water.
- Return the bones to the stock pot. Cover the bones with cold water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add the mushroom and onion and maintain a rolling boil for 12 hours, replenishing the water along the way.
- After 12 hours, remove the stock from the heat and cool slightly. Remove the bones with a slotted spoon and strain the stock.
- The stock will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or can be frozen at this point.