Tonkotsu Ramen is a type of Japanese noodle dish known of its collagen rich, milky coloured flavourful pork based broth. Traditionally it is prepared by boiling pork bones for a long period of time which can last up to 12 hours or more. This type of ramen is particularly popular around Kyushu where it also believed to have originated.
There are several ramen dishes and personally this is my favourite type. I wanted to make this at home for the longest time as I tried a properly made one before in a really good ramen place I knew but it’s quite intimidating when I heard how it’s made but I guess sometimes you need to jump out of your comfort zone to try, see and experience it on your own. After reading a lot of information on how this is made I think I can make my own version in less than the traditional time suggested of 12 hours. By using a combination of pork trotters and pork bones that is slowly cooked for around 6 hours I guess I can make it a similar flavoured ramen dish.
So how did it go? Well it was amazing and surprisingly simple, the only hard part is the waiting time. It’s a torture looking at that broth all coming together, from its clear stages until it becomes cloudy and milky in consistency.
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- 5 to 6 servings Good quality ramen noodles (you don’t want to ruin that 6 hour broth with a crappy noodle)
- Chashu pork (recipe here)
- 5 to 6 pcs Boiled eggs
- Negi (spring onions), chopped
- Menma (fermented bamboo shoots), optional
- Roasted Nori squares
- 1½ kg pork trotter
- 1 kg pork bones
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 whole garlic, minced
- thumb sized ginger, sliced thinly
- 2 pcs leeks, roughly chopped
- 6 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms
- In a large stock pot add pork trotters and pork bones then fill it with water enough to cover everything. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil until the scum appears on top. Turn the heat off then drain.
- Clean the pork bones and trotters in running water removing any scum that is stuck on it.
- In clean stock pot add oil then sauté onion, garlic and ginger.
- Add the pork trotters, bones, leeks, dried shiitake mushrooms and salt. Fill it again with water enough to cover everything (roughly 4 to 5 litres), cover with heavy a lid then bring it to a boil. Once boiling reduce to simmering heat and simmer for 4 hours, check water levels making sure it does not dry out, adding water if necessary.
- After 4 hours, turn the heat off then strain the liquid using a fine sieve into a separate pot, reserve the bones. At this point you need to have at least 3 litres of stock if not add water. Place pot on stove top then bring it to a boil, once boiling lower to simmering heat.
- Scrape off the very tender fat and skin from the trotter bones until you have around 1½ cups of tender pork skin. Place them in a bowl then using a hand blender puree them until smooth in consistency, pour this into the simmering soup.
- Continue to simmer the broth for 2 more hours, season with salt then turn heat off.
- Cook ramen noodles according to packet instructions.
- Place ramen noodles in a bowl then pour the pork broth, top with thinly sliced Chashu pork, Boiled eggs, chopped spring onions, nori and menma.