Tonkotsu is one of those broths that is so hard to get it right like in a restaurant. In the US it is likely that your first ramen in a restaurant was tonkotsu – thick and creamy and unctuous and delicious. Miles away from wrapped brics of ramen from the corner store and piled high with strange topping but each of them extremely delicious. My first ramen was a shoyu tonkotsu and the flavors were so bold and clean it was honestly jarring to my senses. How could it be so GOOD? The flavor and texture was so elusive to me for years that I thought it unattainable. It took almost a decade of being a student of ramen and refining my methods to even conceive of this project and to execute it correctly.
The secret to good tonkotsu ramen is a clean extraction of pork bones and a subsequent emulsion to make the broth the characterisitic white and creamy appearance and texture. Flavor and depth is achieved with tare and aromatic oils but the broth brings the heft and mouth feel – collagen and dissolved pork flavor heightened by a stack of umami and a finishing flourish of aromatic oils.
For this project I took a good look at the experts – Ramen Lord, Ivan Orkin, Keizo Shimamoto and Adam Liaw to name a few. I put some ideas together from Mike’s E-book and Adam’s videos. I used an industry standard tare recipe from the RAJUKU I screenshot a RamenAdventures video (that video is choc full of great tidbits like this btw) and added my favorite elements as toppings.
I dont claim any regionality to my creations. I did make an effort to make extra low moisture noodles in the style of Southern Japanese ramen and used common tonkotsu toppings such as the kikurage mushrooms, albeit with my own twists.
So here’s my short SlapChop ramen video.