Inspired by this article at The Food Lab on making tonkotsu ramen at home, but not inspired by the crazy prep time (12+ hours), I thought I would attempt speeding the process up with a pressure cooker, substituting a little chicken broth and skipping the chashu pork. It turned out pretty good, and took a fraction of the time. I started about 2PM and was eating by 6PM, my kids loved it, and I spent probably less than hour in front of the stove.
- 3/4 lb pig feet
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 celery stalks
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 4 tbsp miso
- 2 tbsp fresh finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp fresh finely chopped ginger
- 4 chopped scallions
- 1/2 lb thinly sliced pork, shabu-shabu style
- 4 oz white mushrooms, quartered
Rinse the pig feet in water, then place in the pressure cooker with the celery and fill half way with water. Add about a tsp of salt, then fire it up and walk away.
After about 2 hours take it off the heat and let it cool. Use a fat separator to separate the pork bits and vegetables from the broth, rinse out the pressure cooker and then return 4 cups of the pork broth to the pressure cooker. Keep a good amount of the pork fat in the stock, you’ll thank me later.
Add the chicken broth to the pork broth, toss in the mushrooms, onion and a slice or two of the pork and simmer at just under a boil.
At this point you’ll want to start bringing your pork up to room temperature. Later I’m going to ask you cook it in your bowl in the hot soup, and you’ll want it warmed up as much as possible so it cooks fully and doesn’t cool your soup too much. It this makes you nervous it also tastes great if you flash-brown the pork in the garlic-infused oil you’re left with following the next step, then set it aside in a covered bowl. Just don’t over-cook it.
Heat up a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the garlic and ginger, until it’s a crispy, golden brown. Then remove from the pan and set aside.
Let your stock go with the mushrooms and onion for at least 15 minutes. Once the mushrooms are soft and the onion is a little translucent add the miso. 4 tbsp is just a suggestion–I would recommend starting there and adding more to taste.
Now get your *noodles ready. You want them to be steaming when you pour the soup over them. I’ve done this a few ways: With pre-cooked soft noodles you can heat them with a few drops water in the microwave, or you can drop them in the stock for 15-30s inside a large colander ladle. (I wouldn’t recommend the later unless you plan to consume all of the stock immediately, as the stock will get starchier the more you do this). With fresh noodles you can boil them separately then strain them in a colander–just be sure they’re still hot when you assemble the soup.
To serve, put the noodles in a bowl and place some of that raw, thinly sliced pork on top. Pour the near-boiling soup in, then sprinkle on the fried garlic and scallions. I also like to add a little bit of pure chili paste on top.
See also: Mediocre Tonkatsu Ramen