Keyword: tonkotsu ramen, ramen with chashu, tonotsu chashu ramen, japanese ramen
Prep Time: 45minutes
Cook Time: 4hours15minutes
Total Time: 5hours
Author: Bee Leng
Even though it takes a while to prepare Tonkotsu Ramen with Pork Belly Chashu from scratch, nothing beats the satisfaction of sitting down for a family meal of home-made MSG-free ramen in a collagen-rich pork bone broth.
Clean the pork belly by rubbing all over with coarse salt to remove dirt, then wash thoroughly.
Pat dry and sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp fine salt on the pork belly on both sides
Remove the skin of the ginger and slice the ginger
Cut the leeks into 1 1/2" lengthwise
Then, cut the green onion into big chunks.
COOKING METHOD FOR PORK BELLY CHASHU
Heat up the skillet and place the pork belly skin down on a pan for about 10-15 mins till brown
Turn the pork over for another 5 mins. and turn off the heat. The skin should be nicely browned.
Place the pork belly skin down in the pan. Add the 3 cups of water, leek, ginger and onion and cook for a few minutes over medium heat.
Next add in the sugar, light soya and then the sake, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, transfer the pork mixture into a pot. Lower the heat and cover the pot, then let it slowly simmer for about 4 hrs, turning the pork occasionally. By the time the pork belly is done, the water should have dried up and you should be able to see the bottom of the pot.
Remove the pork belly onto a plate and cut into slices, but not too thin nor too thick
PREPARATION FOR TONKOTSU RAMEN (to be prepared while Chashu is simmering)
Prepare the ramen eggs using this Japanese Soft-Boiled Egg recipe. (Tip: You can also prepare this one day before for a more intense flavour). Once the ramen eggs are done, cut the ramen eggs into half.
Soak the black fungus in a bowl of cold tap water for 30 mins. Then wash and cut it into thin strips.
Wash the spring onion and cut into small pieces.
(Optional) Pluck the bean sprouts at both ends.
(Optional) Cut the fish cake into thin slices and set aside.
COOKING METHOD FOR TONKOTSU RAMEN
(Optional) Put the bean sprouts in a pot of cold tap water and boil. Once the water is boiling, leave it there for another 2-3 mins. Quickly remove and drain off the water. Run it under the tap for a minute to stop the cooking process. Remove and place in a bowl and set aside.
In a big pot, bring the pork bone broth to a boil.
In another big pot bring the water to a boil. Once boiling put the fresh ramen into the boiling water and cook for about 5 mins. Once cooked, place the cooked ramen into a bowl.
When ready to serve, pour the pork broth onto the noodle.
Garnish the noodles with the black fungus, ramen egg, chashu, spring onion bean sprout (optional) and fish cake (optional), and serve hot.
Buy fresh ramen with pre-packed pork bone broth concentrate from Japanese supermarkets like Meidi-Ya.
Remember that the most important part of the Ramen is the pork bone broth. Even though the pork bone broth needs to be prepared a day in advance, it is well worth the effort to take this extra step.
Save time for the beansprouts by plucking off just the head and not the roots of the beansprouts if you are not too fussy about it.
Prepare the eggs the night before so that they have more time to sit into the sauce.
Prepare the Chashu in advance and store in the freezer, which will come in handy for a quick ramen meal for busy days.
The cooking time for the ramen depends on how you want to be done. I prefer the ramen texture to be more bouncy. For softer texture, you will need to cook it a little longer than recommended in my recipe.