Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I’ve been busy with my Bob’s Kitchen: Dinner With Friends events. My latest event was an asian-inspired menu which included a ramen dish for the masses.
I have made ramen numerous times and no I don’t mean the kind from the pack with the powder. No, that stuff was strictly relegated to my college days and will stay locked away in my memory, sure to never return to the forefront.
As I was saying, I have made ramen many times, usually with a broth that I thought was sufficient enough to pass as a nice flavorful ramen broth. All that went down the tubes when I saw a Food Lab post on Serious Eats from Kenji Alt-Lopez about making Tonkotsu Ramen. While I have eaten Tonkotsu Ramen before I have never made it. After reading the article, my mind was blown and I knew I had to make this ridiculously flavorful, gelatinous, porky goodness.
It’s amazing how how much gelatin formation comes from the pig trotters and bones. This stuff totally seized up like jello when I refrigerated it for leftovers.
Here’s the link: Tonkotsu Pork Broth
I also used Kenji’s Chashu Pork recipe except I braised the pork belly without rolling it up. When almost fall-apart tender, I transferred the pork belly to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. I added some gochujang to the braising liquid, reduced it down, basted the pork with the sauce and then roasted the pork at 450ºF until crisped up a bit. I then cranked the broiler up to get the skin crisped up nicely.
For my finished product, I spiked the broth with a touch of tare (a concentrated soy and chicken bone sauce), I also added braised leafy yu choy, enoki mushrooms, little fried quail eggs, of course the braised and roasted pork belly, and a sprinkling of toasted black and white sesame seeds. I made the original bowls with Japanese marinated soft-boiled eggs, but to be honest with you it was a pain in the ass, so I subsequently used fried quail eggs for the leftovers which is what is pictured below. The entire process is quite daunting and not for the faint of heart, but for anyone who loves ramen it is worth the journey. Isn’t that what food is all about?