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.
Well, at least it was edible this time… Nate here with my second tonkotsu experiment. While not a complete failure like last time (we were able to have it for dinner without feeling sick), I wouldn’t call this a complete success either. There was a mild tonkotsu flavor back there somewhere, but it was still heavy, and dark. Not that milky white tonkotsu is known for.
I’ve made plenty of shoyu batches over the years, but I’ve never made my other favorite kind of broth: tonkotsu. Harder to find in years past (it wasn’t until the last five years or so that tonkotsu became readily available in Charlotte), tonkotsu is a rich, pale white pork broth that is savory and soulful. It’s Hsien’s favorite kind of ramen, and my second favorite, so in preparation for our eventual RamenCon, I wanted to try my hand at it. This first batch was a complete and utter failure in flavor, look, and design, but I learned a lot in the process for batch 2.
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.