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Ultimate Tonkotsu Ramen Broth: Rich, Creamy, and Authentic

Delicious Vegan Ramen Recipe with Flavorful Miso Broth

Dive into the world of authentic Japanese cuisine with this mouthwatering tonkotsu ramen broth recipe. This rich, creamy pork-based broth is the heart and soul of a perfect bowl of ramen. While it takes time and patience to create, the result is a deeply satisfying, restaurant-quality broth that will elevate your homemade ramen to new heights.

Unveiling the Secrets of Tonkotsu Ramen Broth

Tonkotsu ramen broth is renowned for its milky appearance and intensely porky flavor. The key to achieving this lies in the long, slow cooking process that extracts every bit of goodness from pork bones and transforms it into liquid gold. This recipe will guide you through each step, from selecting the right bones to adding the final umami-packed touches.

Ingredients for Tonkotsu Ramen Broth

  • 3 pounds pig trotters, split lengthwise or cut crosswise into 1-inch disks (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 pounds chicken backs and carcasses, skin and excess fat removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, skin on, roughly chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • One 3-inch knob ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 whole leeks, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 dozen scallions, white parts only (reserve greens and light green parts for garnishing finished soup)
  • 6 ounces whole mushrooms or mushroom scraps, such as cremini
  • 1 pound slab pork fat back

Mastering the Art of Tonkotsu Ramen Broth: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by placing pork and chicken bones in a large stockpot and covering them with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately remove from heat once boiling point is reached.
  2. While the pot is heating, prepare the aromatics. Heat vegetable oil in a medium cast iron or non-stick skillet over high heat until it’s lightly smoking. Add onions, garlic, and ginger, tossing occasionally until they’re deeply charred on most sides, about 15 minutes total. Set aside.
  3. Once the pot has come to a boil, discard the water and carefully wash all bones under cold running water. Remove any bits of dark marrow or coagulated blood. The bones should be uniform grey/white after scrubbing. Use a chopstick to help remove small bits of dark marrow from inside the trotters or near the chicken’s spines.
  4. Return the cleaned bones to the pot along with the charred vegetables, leeks, scallion whites, mushrooms, and pork fatback. Top up with cold water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Skim off any scum that appears (this should stop appearing within the first 20 minutes). Use a clean sponge or moist paper towels to wipe any black or gray scum off from around the rim of the pot. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and place a heavy lid on top.
  5. After 15 minutes, check the pot. It should be at a slow rolling boil. Adjust heat if necessary. Continue boiling the broth until the pork fatback is completely tender, about 4 hours. Carefully remove pork fat with a slotted spatula, transfer to a sealed container, and refrigerate. Return the lid to the pot and continue cooking until the broth is opaque with the texture of light cream, about 6 to 8 hours longer. Keep the bones submerged at all times, topping up with water as needed.
  6. Once the broth is ready, cook over high heat until reduced to around 3 quarts. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot, discarding the solids. For an even cleaner soup, strain again through a fine-mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Skim liquid fat from the top with a ladle and discard.
  7. Finely chop the cooked pork fatback and whisk it into the finished broth. To serve, season the broth with condiments of your choice (salt, soy sauce, miso, sesame paste, grated fresh garlic, chili oil, or a mixture of all). Serve with cooked ramen noodles and your favorite toppings for a truly authentic tonkotsu ramen experience.

Notes

While this dish can be made with any type of fresh mushroom and is an excellent way to use up mushroom scraps, fresh cremini mushrooms will produce more flavor than some other varieties, and at a nice price point. The long cooking process is essential for developing the rich, creamy texture and deep flavor that defines tonkotsu ramen broth.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
201 Calories
18g Fat
3g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 201
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 136mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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