Recipe: Tonkotsu Ramen

by Celeste Heiter, Feb 13, 2010 | Destinations: Japan
Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen

This ramen recipe was inspired by the Juzo Itami classic, Tampopo. From it, you can make a good, basic bowl of ramen, or use it as a basis for creative experimentation. You will need about four hours of preparation time for the tonkotsu broth and the char siu pork loin.

Tonkotsu Stock:
2 pounds pork neck bones
1 pound chicken bones (or backs and wings)
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low temperature and simmer until broth is reduced by half, about 4 hours. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and strain through a fine sieve.

Char Siu Pork:
1 pound pork loin
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup hoisin
1/3 cup xiaoshing (Chinese rice wine)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water

Combine soy sauce, hoisin, xiaoshing, and brown sugar and stir to blend. Place the pork loin in a shallow dish, pour ¼ cup of the marinade over it, place the pork loin in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally for even marinating. Bring the remaining marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside for basting the pork loin while it is roasting.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pork loin on a wire rack over a baking sheet and discard the marinade. Brush the pork loin on all sides with the sauce mixture and place in the oven. Turn and baste the pork loin every 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, insert a meat thermometer lengthwise into the pork loin and continue roasting, turning and basting until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 170 degrees. Remove pork loin from the oven and set aside until serving time.

To Assemble Tonkotsu Ramen:
4 portions ramen, cooked according to package directions
8 cups pork broth
12 slices char siu pork
4 scallions, finely sliced

Cut Char Siu Pork into 1/4" slices. Divide the ramen noodles into four equal portions and place one portion in each bowl. Fill bowls with pork broth. Top with pork slices and garnish with chopped scallions. Serves 4.