One of my favourite ramen has to be the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen 豚骨. Tonkotsu 豚骨 ramen is renowned the world over for its thick, aromatic and flavoursome broth. Although there are now ready-made tonkotsu broths in the supermarket, making your own Hakata tonkotsu ramen is not only easy, but it tastes absolutely stunning.
I have to say that my recipe is a modified version of NoRecipes.com, without whose experiments I wouldn’t have been able to experiment further on my own. I did not use the tahini as he suggested, as I found the taste and texture to be different from my experience with authentic Tonkotsu ramen in Japan.
A little explanation about Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
Outside of Japan, many people know what tonkotsu ramen is. It is a broth made with pig bones, which is what the name 豚骨 suggests. It is the bones that give out the collagen and gelatin that make the broth so thick and juicy. However, in Japan the name Hakata Ramen 博多 ラーメン is more common.
Hakata 博多 is the name of a business district in the Fukuoka 福岡 City. Many say that it was here that the tonkotsu ramen was born and hence the name Hakata Ramen was spread to the rest of Fukuoka Prefecture. However, others claim that tonkotsu ramen was invented in Kurume (久留米市) in the south of the prefecture, before it made its way into Fukuoka city. Whatever the origin, we are sure Hakata Ramen was born in Fukuoka, as it has the best tonkotsu ramen in Japan.
- 2 pig trottors
- 1 big white onion, diced finely
- 100ml oil
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 5cm fresh ginger, crushed
- 1.5l water
Tonkotsu soup and noodles
- 1tbs oil
- 2 cloves finely grated garlic
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp mirin
- 3 slices 5mm skinny pork filet (boiled char siu)
- 2tsp dried wakame (ワカメ)
- 10-15 strips kombu 昆布 dried kelp (optional)
- 1 person portion of fresh ramen
- 1 Nitamago egg 煮卵
- 1 stock finely chopped spring onion
- 1tsp toasted white sesame
- 2tsp mayu
- 1 slice toasted seaweed
- Sliced pickled red ginger
Nitamago 煮卵 (lava eggs)
- 4 soft-boiled eggs
- 2tbs soy sauce
- 2tbs mirin
- 1tbs sugar
Mayu (black garlic oil) dressing
- 60ml sesame oil
- 6 cloves grated garlic
Make your tonkotsu soup base
- Clean your pig trotters thoroughly. Boil a pot of hot water, cook the pig trotters. Remove and discard water, clean the pot thoroughly. In a basin of cold water, cut open the pig trotters to let out as much of the blood as possible. Repeat the process 3 times until the water is clear of blood and other impurities. During the fourth round, you should end up with a pot of clear water of around 1.5 litres with the pig trotters simmering around.
- While your pot of pig trotter is simmering at medium heat, heat up a pan with some oil. Stir fry crushed garlic and ginger until the fragrance is released. Take these out and add them to your stock.
- With the remaining oil in the pan, stir fry your diced onion until it is all brown and caramelised. Add these to the stock.
- Cover and simmer for 6 hours on low heat, until the trotters open up and your soup is thick, sticky and rich.
- Strain through a fine strainer so you now have your tonkotsu soup base.
Make your nitamago
- Soft boil 4 eggs in a pot of water for 2 minutes. Shell them in cold water very carefully.
- Mix soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a bowl.
- Add in your eggs, then add water until it fully covers the eggs.
- Cover and leave in the fridge.
Make your mayu dressing
- Add sesame oil to a clean pan on medium heat then add your grated garlic.
- Stir fry until the garlic is all black
- In a food processor, grind the mixture into a fine oil. Add extra sesame oil if needed to keep the mixture fluid.
Prepare your kombu (optional)
- Soak your dried kelp (kombu 昆布) in water until soft. Cut into strips.
- Do not put too much or else it will give your broth a greenish hue.
Make a bowl of Tonkotsu ramen
- In a pot, heat up some oil and stir-fry the garlic. Add in 3 ladles (or 500ml) of Tonkotsu soup base.
- Bring to boil, add in 3 slices of skinny pork filet (char siu), dried wakame, kombu and mirin. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to boil another pot of water, and cook your fresh ramen noodles until al dente. Drain and serve in a bowl.
- Pour soup into the bowl.
- Garnish with boiled char siu, chopped spring onions, 2 teaspoonful of mayu, toasted sesame seeds, sliced pickled red ginger, 1 slice of seaweed and halved nitamago.
- Serve immediately.
Click here so I can show you how to make fresh Japanese ramen at home!