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Best Tonkatsu Ramen

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Tonkatsu Broth

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First step: Blanche the pork bones. I went on a QUEST to find pork neckbones, I never knew they were an uncommon cut. At least two butchers looked at me like I was crazy, and one look I could feel the phone. My local Asian grocer only carries pork belly, but finally at the Hispanic market I was able to buy them by the pound, sans judgement. The regular grocery store only sells pork neck bones smoked and flavored WHICH WOULD NOT WORK for our purposes. Trust me, I've been so tempted to reuse the bones from my hubby's famous smoked ribs, but the texture and flavor would not be the creamy Tonkatsu broth I know and love. 

I purchased 6 lbs, (I asked for 5 but got a little extra, and it was perfect), then placed them in my largest stockpot. I filled it nearly to the top with water, covered, and brought to a boil.

Once it reached boiling, I set a timer for 5 minutes to blanche. This is the most critical step as far as getting perfect broth goes. 

You will notice all the "gunk" come to the top. After five minutes, DUMP THE WATER. Pour the bones into a strainer or remove with a long slotted spoon. Empty your stockpot, and rinse completely. Then, fully rinse the bones by hand to get all the loose pieces off.

 

Place back into clean stockpot, cover back with water and bring back to a boil.

They key to gelatinous, creamy yummy porky broth is to maintain a rolling boil for 12 HOURS. I wound up needing to split it, so I boiled the first night for two hours, brought to room temperature, refrigerated over night, and as soon as I got up the following morning, placed it back on the stove to boil for 10 more hours. I kept covered the entire time, but did uncover to add glasses of water as some still escapes. This won't water it down, and it adds to your overall amount of broth. 

If boiling uncovered, keep a close watch on the water levels. It should always be well above the pork, and your broth will be potent enough no matter how much you add when boiling this long. 

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Noodles

This is the color and opacity you are looking for. Even with the most thorough cleaning of the bones after blanching, there still is inevitably some "floaters". You can run through a strainer before serving if desire

Next up were the noodles, which taste better from scratch. 

I used a handheld pasta maker from Amazon, which takes a little elbow grease but it makes the perfect single-serving amount of noodles for a bowl of ramen. Additionally, it is literally 1/10 the cost of pricey countertop or KitchenAid attachment pasta makers. It must be done immediately before serving as they will get gluey if they sit too long.

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To Serve

Next, we were ready to serve. I prepared pork belly strips (recipe here) and marinated eggs (recipe here) added Gochujang and soy sauce to the broth, and topped with shitake mushrooms, pickled ginger, chopped green onions, and crispy onions. It was hands down THEE best ramen I've ever had. I'll never shell out at restaurants again when I know I can make this to feed a crowd or my family for several days.

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We enjoyed with some flowering green tea and a sake bomb. 

This ramen bowl set from Amazon completed the aesthetic, and further enhanced the experience. 

Enjoy!

Elle.

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