It's been a while since my last ramen post, and in that time I've not only learned a fair amount about noodles, I've made and eaten countless variations of the dish. However, I had yet to try my hand at making tonkotsu - pork bone broth - ramen, until recently. This was by far the hardest broth I've ever attempted at home, and while it was far from perfect, I was glad I gave it a go.
I started with 4 pounds of sectioned pig trotter and 2 pounds of pork neck, cuts that would expose a decent amount of bone and marrow during the 16 hour boil needed to prepare a tonkotsu broth. To this base I added smoked pork belly, garlic, and chard leeks, onions and ginger. I boiled, and boiled, and boiled these ingredients until a 20 quart stock pot contained 3 quarts of the milky, yellow broth you see above. Combined with dashi, sea salt, a bit of soy and chili oil, this broth was tasty, but in my option it far from anything I'd call authentic tonkotsu. There is work to do here for sure.
To top some fresh ramen noodles I picked up in the refrigerator section of a local Asian market I added thick slices of pork belly that I rubbed in Chinese 5 spice powder and brushed with char sui sauce, quick pickled shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and a soft boiled egg.
Many thanks to Jonathan Pollack for the photos.