Category Archives: Stocks

Pork Ramen Broth

If you’ve been following faithfully, you will be ready to make the most important ingredient in the magic that is Ramen, the broth.

Broth
8 lbs. pork neck bones, cut 2”

Oil a roasting pan, then spread the bones out evenly.

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Roast at 350 until deeply colored throughout the thickness of the bone, about 2 hours. Transfer to the pot.

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Add:
4 ½ qts. chicken broth (frozen is fine)
4 ½ qts. dashi (make the dashi fresh and strain directly into the pot with the bones.)

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Place the empty roasting pan over a burner, then add:

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2 cups sake (cheap stuff)

Using a spoon, loosen all drippings from the pan, then scrape the mixture into the pot with the dashi and bones.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce to the slowest of simmers. Cook for eight hours, skimming foam occasionally, but leaving all fat.

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Then add:

2 oz, green onion, coarsely chopped (one nice bunch)
3 ½ oz. carrot, coarsely chopped (1 large)
2 ½ oz. celery, coarsely chopped (1 stalk)
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, whole
1 head garlic, cut in half through the equator

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Bring up to a medium simmer, and cook for two hours.

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Strain into a second pot, leaving all fat on the top of the liquid.Then add:

1 lb. smoked bacon

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Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for one hour. Strain. Cool then refrigerate. When cold, skim the congealed fat off of the surface and reserve. (You can also add the bacon to the first boil.)

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Transfer the strained bacon into a small pot and add the skimmed fat from above. Place over low heat and cook, stirring.

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Cook until the bacon is completely brown and rendered.

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Strain and reserve. Next up, the meat…

Dashi

The next ingredient in my Ramen Broth recipe is dashi. Like chicken broth, I use it in numerous other recipes, but unlike chicken broth, I do not make it and freeze it. It is quick to make, and the subtle aromatic nuances seem to disappear when it gets frozen and defrosted.

Dashi
6 qts. Water, cold
1 ½ oz. kombu

Combine the kombu and water in a suitable pot, then slowly heat the water over low heat.

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It will rehydrate and expand as it heats, slowly rising to the surface.

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It should be just thinking about simmering in about 30 minutes. Remove kombu just when the water begins to simmer. DO NOT ALLOW TO COME TO A BOIL.

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Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, then add:
3 oz. katsuo

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Reduce to a simmer. Cook for five minutes, then turn the heat off. During the simmering, the bonito flakes should slowly settle to the bottom of the pot.

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Allow to sit until the katsuo sinks completely to the bottom of the pot, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pot.

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At this point I use the dashi to make miso soup, to make sauces like ponzu, or as the second ingredient for my ramen broth!

Chicken Broth

This is the first in a series of posts covering my exploration of ramen. During my visits to Tokyo, I neglected to properly appreciate the complexity of technique and the numerous variations available on most any block for a few bucks. When I set out to make my own ramen, I discovered so many recipes, all differing in one or two details, but resulting in very different broths. The noodles are more or less a given, and I didn’t find much difference, if any, between my home-made noodles, and the fresh ones that I buy at Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley. The broth is where it’s at. First step for my ramen broth:

Chicken Broth
5 lbs. chicken drumsticks, I buy one of the packages at Costco for about $10
11 qts. cold water1 T. kosher salt

I put the drumsticks, juice and all, into my 12 Qt. All Clad stock pot, and fill it almost to the top with cold water. Add the salt, give it a good stir, and place it over high heat. It eventually starts to simmer, then eventually begins to boil. I give it another good stir just before it boils, then allow it to come to a full boil for about 2 minutes.

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After the pot has a good boil for a couple of minutes, I reduce the heat to barely a simmer. During the boiling, the dissolved proteins in the water will coagulate and rise to the surface where I can skim them off. They look like foam at first, and eventually they become more solid. I skim the pot to remove the foam, fat, and any chunks that rise to the surface several times during the cooking process, which lasts five hours. It’s important to maintain that bare simmer or you will end up evaporating most of your broth.

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At the end of the cooking process, I put the top on the pot and use it to hold the bones in the pot while I drain the broth through a fine sieve into a smaller pot. If I was paying attention and boiled, simmered and skimmed properly, I will have a clear, amber broth that I will freeze in 6 cup tupperware for use in more ways than I can count. One of those ways is to make Ramen Broth.