Tonkotsu Ramen!

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What came over me to make this tedious, yet delicious masterpiece? An intense craving after seeing countless Instagrams over the weekend of big bowls of ramen! Have wanted to make it since last year, when I made the Japanese Miso Ramen, but was too lazy to boil the bones for so long. This was definitely a tedious dish to make, a 12 hour project, but honestly, with time and patience, you too can make it. It is a standard tonkatsu broth with only salt added. The condiments in ramen, combined with the rich sticky broth, is what makes the dish. The meat and the egg were also meticulously made to compliment the dish. Fried garlic in sesame oil was also made to enhance the dish. In addition, when you are single and basically eat by yourself, you have a ton of leftovers in which it is easy to freeze the soup base and the noodles for future consumption. I am super happy with the way it turned out and I know if you follow the steps and ask yourself for patience, you can do it too! Please let me know if you do it! I will applaud and cheer for you!

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Ingredients

Tonkotsu Broth:

1 1/2 pounds pig feet (or pig trotters)

1 pound pig neck bones

1 pound chicken feet, or chicken wings

1 onion, roughly chopped

6 garlic cloves

1 piece of ginger, like the size of your thumb

5 scallions, white parts only

Chashu (pork belly):

1 pound pork belly, skin on

1/2 cup water

1/4 soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine – it is clear)

1/4 cup rice cooking wine (Chinese cooking wine – it is sort of brown)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 scallions, roughly chopped into strips

3 garlic cloves

1 small piece of ginger

Marinated soft boiled egg (ajutsuke tamago):

4-6 eggs

Marinade from the chashu, after the chashu is done, is used in this

Fried garlic

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

Condiments (I used the following):

Fresh ramen noodles (I used Korean standard wheat flour noodles, which is basically the same)

Woodear mushroom (black fungus)

Scallions, thinly sliced

Salt

1. In a pan, char the onions, scallion heads, ginger, and garlic until blackish. These will go into cooking the broth.

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2. In a separate pan, fry the garlic in the sesame oil until dark brown. Set aside. This will be a condiment.

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3. In a large pot, fill the water over all the chicken feet, pork bones, and pork feet. On high heat, let boil for about 10 minutes, where you see all the gross brown stuff oozing out. After 10 min., dump the water out and wash the pot and the bones to get rid of the brown gunk. This will ensure a clearer, more whiter broth.

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4. Fill the pot with fresh, clean water and bring to a boil. Add the charred onion, garlic, green onions, and ginger to the pot. Boil for about 2 hours on medium heat (it will be nice and bubbly). Turn down the heat after 2 hours to a slow boil, about med-low heat, and let boil like that for 10 hours. Check the broth every hour or so to see if it is slowly boiling. If not, crank it up a bit so it is a slow, consistent boil. If you need to leave the house, turn down the heat to low and then turn it back up when you return.

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5. In the meantime, you can make the Chashu pork! In a medium sized pot, cook the pork in the water, soy sauce, cooking wines, sugar, green onions, ginger for about 3 hours, covered, on a slow-medium boil. You need to come back every so often to turn the pork around so there is even cooking. After 3 hours, place the Chashu pork in a container and stick it in the fridge until serving.

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After 3 hours.

6. Also in the meantime, you can make the eggs. Prepare an ice water bath by mixing some ice and water in a bowl. In a small pot, heat enough water to cover the eggs. Once the water is boiling, gently place the eggs into the pot and let boil for exactly 5 minutes. At 5 minutes, take the eggs out and place in the ice water to stop the cooking. Wait about 5 minutes, and then gently, and I mean VERY gently, peel the egg shells off the eggs and place it in a bowl. I screwed up on 2 and it got slightly cracked, so GENTLE people GENTLE! Once the eggs are peeled and in a bowl, pour the chashu sauce over the eggs. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

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7. Once the long process of boiling the tonkatsu broth is over, and the broth is thick and creamy, strain the broth from the bones. Then, place whatever you won’t use that day in storage containers and place in fridge or freezer. I put it in the fridge so the fat broth can solidify so I can further divide the broth into appropriate containers later. If you have a lot of storage containers, you can just go ahead and put the broth into them now.

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Nice, white, and creamy.

8. When ready to prepare the ramen to eat, cook the noodles. I placed mine in boiling water for about 3 min.

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9. Heat up the broth. Slice the Chashu and the egg. Add the condiments. Add about 1/4 tsp. salt to a bowl, and if you want more, then you may add more. And then the magic happens! You get to eat the delicious Tonkotsu Ramen after you have worked so hard in making!!!!! And congrats! You just did what very few people in your lives probably did – make Japanese Tonkatsu Ramen.

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 Recipe adapted from The Sweet Spot

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