Making ramen stock from scratch is a labor intensive process. A traditional pork stock for ramen can take up to 12 hours. I don’t have 12 hours during the day to watch after a stock pot (I have a day job), but nobody said I needed 12 continuous hours. In the course of 2 evenings and the help of my pressure cooker , I was able to render my first batch of homemade pork stock for ramen. I also dreamed of making the noodles at home but without a pasta machine I anticipated disaster so I decided to stop that madness right there. The following recipe was inspired by Kenji Lopez’s: The Food Lab Redux: How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen. He has an in-depth post with links to more in-depth posts on ramen. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves all things ramen and wants to learn more about it. This is my take. Wish me luck!
oh, one more thing. I’m back on INSTAGRAM! The link on my sidebar has been down for a while, but that’s no longer the case. I will be publishing all the blog photography there from now on (And will also try to get previous photography in there as well). So if you want to get updates, follow me on instagram! And…. back to cooking!
Ingredients (enough ramen soup for 8-10 servings):
2 chicken carcasses/backs (I had homemade chicken stock so I used that, about 3 cups)
2 white onions
16 green onions (white parts only)
4lb pig trotters
1 pound of brown mushrooms
12 garlic cloves
1 small knob of ginger (grated)
3 Tbsp miso paste (the darker kind)
Flavored Eggs :
1 cup water
1 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sugar
Pickled Bamboo Shoots (I couldn’t find menma!):
1 can Canned bamboo shoots
1 tsp Chilli oil
1 tsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
Pork Belly (Sliced)
2 pounds of pork belly, preferably a meaty section of it.
No extra ingredients here. It’s pork belly, what else do you need.
Other garnishes (to your taste):
bean sprouts (I had kimchi ones, worked just fine)
chopped green onions (green parts only)
Making the stock!:
1. Getting those trotters ready. To prevent the stock from becoming too dark blanch the trotters in boiling water for about 10 min. Rinse in cold water. Remove any traces of dark matter, mainly blood (which will turn dark brown when cooked). Use a paring knife to get the job done. During this process a lot of skim is released. Cool, one less thing to worry about later.
2. Char a couple onions in vegetable oil over high heat. Pretty french thing to do if you ask me. Delivers intense flavor and color into the stock.
3. Caramelize the veggies (leeks, mushrooms, green onions) in some vegetable oil in the stock pot.
4. If you have raw chicken carcasses/backs, roast them in the oven. Don’t let anything burn. Just deep golden brown. You can brush the bones with vegetable oil during the roasting to speed things up.
5. I used chicken stock I had made previously. Use that, or store bought stock is good too.
5. Add the chicken carcasses/backs (or the chicken stock), the caramelized veggies, the onions, the trotters, the garlic and the ginger to a simmering pot. Cover with water and simmer for 12 hours. Or 2 6h sessions, or 3 4h sessions.. i wouldn’t stretch it any further. You could speed things up using a pressure cooker which I did. The stock will become darker due to the higher temperature, but it will be rich and delicious. I added 2/3 Tbsp of sea salt here. I don’t like cooking without salt. Specially in lengthy cooking like this.
7. Strain and discard solids, they’ve served their purpose and contain no flavor anymore. It’s all part of the stock.
8. Flavor the stock with miso and soy sauce to your taste.
9. This stock can be kept in the fridge for a week or so. Frozen… a few months for sure.
Flavoring those eggs!:
1. First of all, we need soft boil eggs. Soft boiling an egg is not an easy thing. There’s way too many variables to control. In my case, I used eggs at room temperature (About 70F). Bring a pot with water to a roiling boil. Gently submerge the eggs in the water. 6 minutes later. Remove the eggs from the water. Place in a bowl under cold running water for a moment. Peel.
2. Add all the ingredients to a jar or a ziplock bag, and place the eggs in. 4 hours later. Eggs should be flavored. Don’t over-marinate.
3. Done. They can stay in the fridge for a few days. Reheat in the ramen broth before eating. Although I don’t care, I’ll eat cold eggs with my ramen, on their own, for a midnight snack…etc.
Pickling the bamboo shoots!:
1. Mixed the ingredients except for the bamboo shoots in a small pot and simmer the mix for a min or so. Add the shoots. Take off the heat. Let them steep for a couple of min. Remove from the pickling liquid. Store in container. They can stay in the fridge for a few days. No rush. Done.
Cooking the pork belly!:
1. I decided I wanted to keep my pork belly away from more ingredients and simmer it in the ramen stock. Simmer the slices of pork belly in the stock for 1 hour if cooking in a regular pot. 30 minutes if cooking in a pressure cooker. Just long enough to break it down and have some of the fat rendered into the ramen stock… it was hard for me to type that last sentence… I just want pork so bad right now.
1. Like I said, I bought them at the store. I got fresh ones at my favorite chinese market (T&T near Olympic Villa in Vancouver), not the dry ones.
2. Boil some water, add some salt. Add the noodles. They will cook really quickly. About a minute or 2. Just keep an eye on them and strain them when they’re ready. It isn’t rocket science.
Putting this whole thing together!:
1. Get your dinner ware ready. Get those bowls out.
2. Place the noodles in those bowls. That’s right.
3. Add a cup of ramen stock to each bowl.
4. Top with a few slices of pork belly.
5. Add the rest of the garnishes.
6. Save the egg for last and with an extremely sharp knife, slice it over the bowl.
8. Distribute bowls of heaven and a some chop sticks.