Recipe Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen is a rich and flavorful Japanese noodle soup made with a creamy pork bone broth. This dish is known for its deep, savory taste and satisfying texture. Here's a detailed recipe to guide you through making this delicious dish at home.

Ingredients

Broth:
  • 2 kg pork bones (preferably a mix of marrow bones, trotters, and neck bones)
  • 1 kg pork belly (optional for added flavor)
  • 2 large onions, halved
  • 1 large head of garlic, halved
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 5 cm), sliced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and cut into large pieces
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
Tare (Seasoning Sauce):
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
Toppings:
  • 4 boiled eggs (ramen eggs are preferred)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 200 grams sliced chashu pork (recipe below)
  • Nori (seaweed) sheets
  • Bamboo shoots (menma)
Noodles:
  • 400 grams fresh ramen noodles
Chashu Pork (Optional but recommended):
  • 1 kg pork belly, rolled and tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 piece ginger (5 cm), sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Instructions

Broth:
  1. Prepare the Bones: Rinse the pork bones under cold water to remove any blood and impurities. Place the bones in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse the bones again.
  2. Cooking the Broth: Return the cleaned bones to the pot. Add the pork belly (if using), onions, garlic, ginger, leek, and shiitake mushrooms. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 12 hours, preferably 18-24 hours. Keep adding water as necessary to keep the bones submerged.
  3. Strain the Broth: After cooking, strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into another pot. Discard the solids. Skim off any excess fat from the surface.
Tare (Seasoning Sauce):
  1. Mix Ingredients: Combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and dashi powder in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Chashu Pork:
  1. Prepare the Pork: Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). Place the rolled pork belly in a baking dish.
  2. Braising Liquid: Combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a pot. Bring to a boil, then pour over the pork belly.
  3. Cook the Pork: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 3-4 hours, basting occasionally with the braising liquid. Let cool, then slice thinly.
Assembling the Ramen:
  1. Cook the Noodles: Cook the fresh ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain well.
  2. Prepare the Bowls: In each serving bowl, add a few tablespoons of the tare sauce. Pour in the hot broth and stir to combine.
  3. Add the Noodles: Divide the cooked noodles among the bowls.
  4. Toppings: Top each bowl with slices of chashu pork, boiled eggs, corn, green onions, nori sheets, and bamboo shoots.
Tips:
  • Broth Cooking Time: The longer you cook the broth, the richer it will become. A slow cooker can be useful for this purpose.
  • Skimming: Regularly skim off impurities that rise to the surface while simmering the broth to keep it clear and clean.
  • Tare Sauce: Adjust the amount of tare sauce in each bowl according to taste preferences.
Variations:
  • Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen: Add a spoonful of spicy miso paste or chili oil to the tare sauce.
  • Vegetarian Ramen: Use vegetable broth and replace chashu pork with grilled tofu or mushrooms.
  • Shoyu or Miso Ramen: Swap the tonkotsu broth with shoyu (soy sauce) or miso-based broth for a different flavor profile.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving):

  • Calories: Approximately 600-800 kcal (depending on toppings and portion sizes)
  • Protein: 30-40 grams
  • Fat: 30-40 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50-70 grams

Conclusion

Tonkotsu Ramen is a delicious and indulgent dish that brings the comforting flavors of Japan into your kitchen. While it takes time and effort to prepare, the result is a deeply satisfying meal that's worth every minute. With its rich broth, tender pork, and perfectly cooked noodles, Tonkotsu Ramen is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. Enjoy experimenting with different toppings and variations to make this dish uniquely yours.

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