Because I can’t seem to get my fill of Japans most famous soup-noodle dish, I decided to try my hand at creating Tonkotsu. Tonkotsu is a silky, pork bone broth that warms the soul. The bone broth requires a lengthy preparation time, with the final product being a creamy emulsion of marrow, fat and connective tissue.
I decided to take a short-cut and use my pressure cooker.
Since I had a bit of difficulty with sourcing pork bones from the duopoloy of Australian Supermarkets, I ended up using smoked pork bones, 1x smoked pork hock and 2x pork rind sheets for my broth. I trusted that using smoked bones would add a touch of smokiness and depth to my broth and I was not disappointed!
Firstly I roughly chopped an onion into large chunks and browned this with some chopped garlic, ginger and sesame oil.
Then I added the smoked pork bones, rind and hock to slightly brown. I waited for the rind to slightly char on the skin-side before filling the pressure cooker to the 4 Litre mark with water.
This bone, onion and garlic mix cooked on high-pressure for an initial 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, I released the pressure and checked on the progress of the broth. Lots of fat had already emulsified into the broth!
I removed the pork hock bone and ungracefully cracked the bone into 2 parts – I used a hammer because I fancy myself a modern day MacGyver. I did this so the bone marrow could easily escape during the 2nd round of pressure cooking.
I added a splash of soy sauce and 4 teaspoons of miso paste into the pressure cooker.
I cooked on high-pressure for an additional 1 hour.
After 1 hour, the broth was thick, gelatinous and actually resembled a typical tonkotsu broth in aroma and taste. Great success!
Marinade the pork rashers in soy, sugar, sake, mirin and garlic for at least an hour.
Grill this pork on HIGH under the oven grill. Turnover. This is quite a quick process and a charred exterior is what you want to aim for.
Cut the rashers into smaller rectangles and lastly serve atop all other ingredients.
A ramen without an egg is a sad sight. The egg should be a lovely mushroom brown on the outside with a gloriously goopey egg yolk inside.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Do not add salt or oil to the water.
Carefully prick small holes into the round side of the egg using a pin or a thumbtack. This is a useful trick in order to make peeling the eggshell off a lot easier.
Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water. You want to boil the eggs for exactly 6 minutes.
Using a chopstick, stir the pot of boiling water rapidly so that the eggs are constantly whizzing around in a circular fashion. This centrifugal force will ensure the yolk is pushed to the centre of the eggs while they boil.
After 6 minutes, remove the eggs and let cool.
Carefully peel the eggs
Marinade the eggs in soy sauce, mirin, garlic and sugar. Ideally the eggs should marinate for 24 hours. If pressed for time you can marinate the eggs for an hour, then lightly fry them in the marinading mixture for a few seconds before serving.
Cut the eggs in half and serve on the noodles and broth.
Marvel at your creation.
I used store-bought Hakubaku ramen noodles which cook in 4 minutes. This is my go-to brand for ramen noodles and whilst not as good as freshly made, they still exert some bounce.
I added sliced bamboo, dried seaweed and chopped spring onion to the ramen
Serve with minced garlic to ward off vampire attacks. Sesame oil and chilli oil are also good friends with tonkotsu.
I was chuffed with my first attempt in making tonkotsu. The above recipe made enough for 4 huge servings and can be diluted down with water according to taste. I highly recommend using high grade boneless pork rashers for the chashu – the marinade penetrated the meat perfectly and the crispy end-result was deliciously mouth-watering.