So here we are at tonkotsu ramen attempt three. It’s been a fun journey thus far. Though I still haven’t produced a result I consider comparable to that found at my favorite slurping grounds, I’m learning much about making stock in the process. In this post I’ll skip over some of the intermediate steps to keep things compact, but you can see them all in the full photo set, as well as the previous tonkotsu posts Tonkotsu Ramen and Tonkotsu Ramen 2.

The first photo is our pork shoulder that has been seared and is about to go into the oven to braise.

Finished chashu.

One thing I did differently this time was to reduce the leftover braising liquid to a syrup consistency, creating tare (concentrated soup flavor) to later add to the stock.

I also was able to get an early start and simmer the pork bones for several more hours, releasing more of the collagen and marrow.

I used less liquid, particularly the soy sauce, to make the menma (seasoned bamboo shoots).

Soaked and rinsed kikurage (wood ear mushroom).

A big pile of green onion, fresh from the garden. Hope no one is going on a date later.

Yes, that is a mound of chopped up back fat, and it’s all getting whisked into the stock for the final soup. Don’t judge.

Staging of the toppings. This time I dropped the benishoga (pickled red ginger) and added nori (dried seaweed sheets).

The soup after being strained and combined with final components and flavors.

Finished bowl.

Many thanks to my lab rats taste testers.