Welcome to the first real ramen experiment of the fall, Tonkotsu Experiment 006! Why 006? Because it sounds cooler. And because it’s the sixth Tonkotsu I’ve attempted. After multiple failures throughout last year, this one ended up being a surprising success, given that I made it in just under an hour and a half.
Holy crap, its been awhile, huh? The holidays always do that, make it harder to get posts and ramen experiments done. Between Thanksgiving, preparing for Christmas, the entire family being sick at one point or another, and trying to get 16 spots completed for Q1 before going on winter holiday, I’ve barely had time to focus on anything ramen related. However, a few weeks back, I did manage to finally make what I consider to be the best ramen I’ve ever made. It was absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t get many pictures of the process, but I do have the recipe.
Hey, Hsien here again! So, on my previous post, I attempted The Food Lab’s rolled pork chashu. The rolling of the pork belly didn’t work out so well, but the flavor was still amazing, so I’m just going to throw the rolling element out and forge ahead. Last time, while the tenderness of the pork belly was amazing, I felt it could have just used just a tad more seasoning and flavor. Gotta be careful, though – there’s a ramen place sort of near me that has okay ramen, but their chashu just tastes like soy sauce. We want it to taste like pork, with just the right soy and salt level. So we’re gonna mix things up a bit this time, but not TOO much. I don’t want to end up with a pork belly that is vastly different than the last batch, and then not be able to identify exactly which element it was that made the difference.
Over the years, I’ve tried, in actuality, two ramen recipes. One I found on the internet about a decade ago, and the other is my current Easy Ginger Broth recipe, which is actually modified from the original recipe. I like my easy ginger broth, but it is by no means the best ramen in the world. The previous recipe included a step to make your own dashi before adding it to store bought chicken broth, then adding two tablespoons of shoyu at the end. It was okay, but not great. I simplified it by using Hon Dashi rather than making your own dashi, mostly to save time – real ramen takes days to make. However, I decided that I need to take my ramen making to the next level, so I decided to go back to the “from scratch” recipes, this time doing something I’ve never done before: made my own stock. Here’s what I did.
Hi, guest contributor Hsien, here. Nate invited me to post about my first attempt at making ramen-style chashu (shoyu-braised pork belly). Nate doesn’t have ready access to pork belly, and I do, so I’m gonna be the guinea pig.
This is my go-to recipe for ramen broth. It’s a fairly simplistic recipe as far as ramen goes – I’d place it somewhere between a real, multi-day broth cook, and a decent packaged broth. For what it is, my family and I find it to be quite delicious, and it doesn’t require hours upon hours of work, which is sometimes a necessary consideration when you have a toddler and a baby running and crawling around and you have a craving for ramen. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years, and this is my current version. It’s very adaptable, the base components being the Hon Dashi and chicken broth. Other than those two things, you can do just about whatever you want to it!
A good sliced pork recipe can elevate your homemade ramen to a savory meal in ways just adding hard-boiled eggs can’t. Pork slices add to the flavor of the broth, give a more robust visual aesthetic, and taste damned delicious. You can even use it for packaged ramen. This is my personal recipe for a braised pork using a center loin. It may not be the most ideal or traditional cut or recipe for a ramen, but it works for me, and it can double as an anytime-recipe outside of ramen prep, which is ideal when coming up with meals for your family.