I love it. And of the many kinds of ramen, I'll make mine Tonkotsu. Mmm...that rich melted pig flavor...yeah.
So being the moron I am, I tried to make it. And I'll tell you what. No matter the results, I'm not sure it's worth the work. But more on that later.
But back to the point. It's a massive amount of work.
And I'm not talking noodles, I'm just talking broth. Let's start here.
Those are ham hock. NOT smoked ham hocks. Do NOT make that mistake, or you will end up with something that is most definitely not Tonkotsu. Oh by the way...this
Those are all the pieces of meat that came off of the ham hocks. The first photo is the assorted gristle and sinew and fat that came off the bones after they had been dunked in boiling water. This is the initial boil that removes some blood and assorted gunk in an effort to clean the bones and keep the soup pure.
The meat in photo 2 actually came off before any of the boilings. As I said, massive work. I also started with 8 bones.
Bones in the pot. Boil. Skim. Skim again.
Yeah, and skim some more.
and keep on skimming until it's white and milky. Yeah I know, "how does stock made from pork bones turn white?".
There's a secret. Marrow. Recipes recommend that bones are either cut in half crosswise or shattered with a hammer. Thankfully mine were short bones, with the marrow already exposed. But I tried anyways. I mean the more marrow you can get out the better right?
Wrong. Have you ever tried to break a bone with a hammer? Don't answer. It's ridiculous. Those bones do not break, or my technique sucks. Either way, no go.
So you simmer for hours. And hours. And more hours. And you end up somewhere over 12 hours.
And then...Taa Daa!
Okay I skipped a couple steps. There's no pics of the simmering. There's no real photo of the lovely white broth (other than above). Some things got added to the soup towards the end etc etc. There's no mention of how I made the pork slices (I did reuse the meat from earlier). Blah blah. If you're curious ask me.
But here's the deal. It was good. I'd go so far as very good. If I did it again I think I would be really happy with it. But. And it's a big BUT.
It was soooooo much time and effort. 8 Bones, ended up with just enough soup for 2 bowls of ramen. 24 hours of my life. If you live in Japan there's just no need for this amount of time and effort.
Tsukumo ramen, I appreciate you even more now.