Experience working with noodles (specifically speaking...Japanese Tonkotsu Ramen)

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by thanoushef, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. thanoushef

    thanoushef

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    Hello all,

    I have worked in a few chinese kitchens here and there so just letting you know that I have had experience working as a cook.

    Now, I have an unhealthy obsession with japanese ramen.  Just came back from japan and for months now have been trying to recreate Tonkotsu Ramen.  I tried using some techniques I learned from working in a chinese restaurant but I still can't get it down.  I also found this recipe online: http://norecipes.com/2009/12/30/tonkotsu-ramen-recipe/ but things didn't work out so good.  I know this type of cooking is usually regarded with secrecy but could anyone offer useful or essential advice into making Tonkotsu Broth.  I have tried and tried again to recreate what I know and love as tonkotsu broth.  The milky white hearty soup topped with fatty pork chunks and what not is so amazing to me.  I hope i'm not wasting time posting this in the professional chefs forum but I just felt that I wouldn't get the same response in any other thread.  Please advise.

    Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu.
     
  2. leftblank

    leftblank

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    Have you tried a broth base that you add water too?
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I know a very little about this, probably less than you. 

    You're right about great broth recipes being closely guarded secrets.  In addition, it's my impression that broth styles tend to be very regional. 

    What is it you don't like about the pressure cooker recipe you linked? 

    BDL
     
  4. I'm not experienced in making ramen, but it all the milky ramen broth I've had has been in miso ramen (with clear to brown broth being soy sauce ramen).  Try dissolving white miso into the stock just before serving.  It also seems like they roast the bones rather than boiling before making the stock (at least that's what it tastes like to me), and use long onions/leeks as opposed to regular ones.

    Good luck!

    Justin
     
  5. leftblank

    leftblank

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    Yes they do roast the bones before making the stock. I work in a Japanese kitchen we serve ramen we get the broth from a company called united pacific out of portland. that being the tonkatsu broth anyways the pork based one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    With all due respect and deference to experience using packaged broth in a Japanese kitchen -- I'm no expert, but have good reason believe roasting the pork bones prior to making the tonkatsu is non existent -- or at least very, very rare.  Blanch yes.  Roast no.  Tonkatsu broth is naturally quite pale and bears no visible indicia of pre-roasting.

    I think the variations in flavor result from whether or not you use any chicken bones (Hakata style is all pork, neh?); the aromatics -- leek or onion, raw or softened, etc; and from umami additions like kambo or dried fish near the end of the cooking period; all of which are subsequently strained out. 

    The turbidity is controlled by how much meat you use (as opposed to just bones which make a completely clear broth), and for how long and how vigorously you boil.  That's independent of the cloudiness which comes from adding miso at service.

    Apropos of nothing, we had brunch at Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda Heights today.  Linda had tan tan mein (ramen) and I had ebi wan tan mein (ramen).  Hers started as tonkatsu, and mine stayed a straight shiro tonkatsu all the way through.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  7. titomike

    titomike

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    I know nuthink!.... but I was intrigued by this recipe/method, seems to be well researched & thought out and the comments deal with some issues arising. As BDL has said before...for a 'blanc' you do have to be careful with every step...what happened with you?
     
  8. kongfeet

    kongfeet

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    Hi. One difference between French stocks and Chinese/Korean/Japanese stocks, for meat stocks anyway, is that CKJ stocks are made from non roasted bones. Instead, they're soaked in water overnight to remove excess blood and then blanched the next day.

    Another difference, more important than the first one, because French veal stock can be made with non roasted veal bones, is that CKJ stocks require constant boil, not simmer, with the lid on. Shantong stock, Sul lung tang broth, and tonkotsu ramen broth are all made the same way. Only after at least 12 hours (and quite easily over 24 hours) of constant boil, you can get that creamy and sticky broth.

    Yet another difference, more subtle than the previous ones, is that aromatics are used quite sparingly. Lots of veggies in boiling water results in cloudy broth, and that's not a good thing. While there are many variations and you can add onion, carrot, leek, scallions, and/or garlic, traditional sul lung tang broth features only a head, shank bones, brisket, and fat of beef.

    For tonkotsu broth, it is quite common to use konbu and katsuobushi (and ginger and scallion), although the traditional way, again, is just pork bones and chicken bones with a small amount of miso to rid of too much porky/chicken - ness.