Homemade Tonkotsu Ramen Recipe

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Tonkotsu Ramen with Pork Belly

I was thinking the other day…it’s about time I make my own ramen at home! I found a recipe online that got a lot comments and it’s a pretty legit website. Check it out if you have time here!

So first thing, this recipe has a lot of steps and takes a lot of time. It took me about 6 hours to simmer the stock and about 2 hours to prepare the rest of the ingredients. This recipe also has a lot of ingredients. I had to go to several stores in order to get everything I needed. You can’t just go to Safeway and get everything. You will see why with the ingredients below.

Some of the ingredients need to be bought at Japanese stores, as they are the ones that have everything for ramen.

Some things to note before I begin with the recipe, after making the ramen, it was pretty good. It tastes like this franchise ramen restaurant called Ajisen. Not the greatest of ramen shops but still pretty popular. If you’ve had Ajisen, I think you know what I am talking about. Also, it took me about 6-8 hours to make and I finished my bowl within 15 minutes. I just didn’t think it was worth it unless you’re making it for a big family or want to eat it days after.

Now on to the lengthy recipe:

You first have to make the Tonkotsu stock/base. This is the base for all ramen. This is the stock that will take about 6 hours to simmer. Later, you will combine this base with another sauce that will make the flavor and create the richness of the ramen. We will be using the Tonkotsu flavor but with this part, you can make soy sauce or miso if you like. This recipe is for Tonkotsu flavor only.

Now we make the Tonkotsu base first…

Tonkotsu Stock

Tonkotsu Base
makes 10-12 cups of stock

2 pig trotters, cut in half lengthwise
1.5 pounds pork leg bone, cut into several pieces
1.5 pounds chicken bones

oil for deep frying
2″ knob of ginger sliced thin
1 small head garlic trimmed but whole
1 teaspoon cracked white pepper
1 large onion sliced thinly

Fill a pressure cooker 2/3rds of the way with water and bring to a boil. Add the pig trotters to the boiling water and cook until you stop seeing red blood come out of the bones (about 10-15 minutes). The idea is to draw out as much of the gunk as possible into this first batch of water. Transfer the trotters to a bowl of cold water then repeat with the leg bones and chicken bones (you can use the same water).

Dump the now very dirty water down the drain and wash the pot. Scrub any dark brown scrum off all the bones and rinse them thoroughly. Return the cleaned bones to the pot and cover with water (the water should come up an inch above the top of the bones). Bring the pot to a boil and skim off any chunks or foam that floats to the surface. Keep doing this until you don’t seen any more foam or scum floating up. This will take about 30 minutes.

While the bones are going, Heat 1/2″ of oil in a pot over medium heat and add the head of garlic and ginger. Fry this until they are browned and shriveled up. Use a slotted or wire mesh to transfer the ginger and garlic to a bowl. Add the onions to the oil and fry these until caramelized and shriveled. Add the fried onions to the ginger and garlic and set aside.

Once the stock is scum-free, add the caramelized ginger, garlic, and onions to the stock. Affix the pressure cooker lid and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cover with a lid and cook for 5 hours (you may need to check and add water periodically, the bones should be mostly covered in water).

Once the pressure is released use tongs to remove and discard all the bones. Remove any chunks of pork and set aside for another use. Strain the stock into a bowl and skim off any excess fat.

Now we make the pork belly or chasiu for the ramen meat topping…

Stewed Pork Belly

Japanese Chashu

2 well marbled pork cheeks (or pork belly)
3/4 C water
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs miso
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs mirin
2 Tbs sake
1″ piece of ginger sliced
2 cloves garlic smashed
12 white pepper corns

Put all the ingredients in a pot large enough to accommodate the pork in one layer but small enough so the liquid more or less covers the pork. Partially cover with a lid and simmer over medium low heat for one hour, or until a fork easily passes through the meat. Allow the pork to cool in the braising liquid then remove the meat from the liquid. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator (this makes it easier to slice).

Slice the Chashu thinly against the grain and serve on top of ramen (the heat from the soup should warm it up). This is also great sliced a little thicker and warmed up on top of a bowl of rice with a little of the braising liquid drizzled on top.

Last but definitely not least, the finishing touches on the ramen and the preparation of noodles…

Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen
makes 2 bowls

The soup base

3 cups tonkotsu base (from recipe above)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon strained braising liquid from chashu
2 cloves garlic, finely grated (not pressed)
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon mirin
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds coarsely ground
2 tablespoons finely minced fatback (salted pork fat)

To serve
Ramen noodles bought from the store or you can hand make them with a recipe you find online
2 teaspoons mayu (from recipe above)
sliced chashu
2 scallions finely chopped
other optional toppings include menma, woodear, egg, bean sprouts, corn, etc..

Heat the tonkotsu base in a saucepan. In a bowl whisk together the tahini, chashu liquid, grated garlic, salt, mirin and white pepper. Add this to the hot broth and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Bring to a simmer, then add the sesame seeds and pork fat and whisk to combine.

Split the cooked noodles between two bowls. Pour the tonkotsu soup over the noodles. Top with chashu, scallions and whatever else you want to add. Finish the ramen with a drizzle of mayu on each bowl.

Now you can enjoy after long hours of slaving in the kitchen! I hope you enjoy this recipe as I did. Leave a comment if you have questions or comments!

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