Easy recipe for delicious pork broth noodles with pro tips from a Japanese chef.

There are few things better to warm you up on a cold wintry day than a piping hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen. Only problem is, mastering the pork broth has always seemed to be a feat far out of reach for us ordinary home cooks.

As it turns out, though, anyone can make tonkotsu noodles at home, and after consulting with a chef and a contact of ours who had experience working at a ramen restaurant, our minds were put at ease with their following sage advice:

“There is no correct way to make ramen broth.”

Like obedient students listening to a martial arts sensei, we contemplated this statement and found it contained a lot of truth — just as there are various types of soups, there are also various types of ramen broth, ranging from clear and thin “assari” styles through to thick and rich “kotteri” styles. One style isn’t necessarily better or more “correct” than the other; regardless of whether you like your broths rich or light, the only real measure of success is how well the final result suits your taste.

That’s not to say you can’t start with a go-to recipe from which to grow your skills, and that’s what we have for you today. Like all good things, this broth takes time to make, but the good news is it’s not your time — once you’ve added all the ingredients to the pot, you can just leave it to gently boil away as it infuses itself with bagfuls of flavour!


Pork Knuckles: 5-6
Leeks: 3-4
Ginger: 1
Garlic: 3-4 pieces
Onion: 1
Sake: To taste


1. Rinse as much blood and dirt from the knuckles as possible, place them in a pot filled with water and boil for 30-40 minutes.

▼ We used a bag of locally sourced pork knuckles designed for making tonkotsu broth.

Parboiling the knuckles helps to remove impurities, which can be seen rising to the surface as the water boils.

2. Discard the hot water after boiling. Rinse the knuckles with cold water and scrub them well to remove coagulated blood and other impurities.

3. Add the ginger, garlic, onion, and the green part of the leeks in a pot filled with plenty of water. Add a splash of sake, bring to the boil and then keep it on a gentle boil for 7-8 hours.

4. Check the pot occasionally and add water each time it runs low to ensure the bones remain covered. You can skip this step if you prefer a darker broth, but be sure to stir the pot regularly so the ingredients don’t burn.

5. Once the bones become soft, remove them from the pot, place them in a plastic bag and crush them roughly with a hammer or meat tenderiser before returning them to the pot.

6. Once the 7-8 hours of total cooking time is up, remove the pot from the heat.

7. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove bones and other ingredients and the broth is complete!

Seeing as it takes a number of hours to cook the broth, that gives you ample time to prepare extra ramen ingredients like char siu and even noodles from scratch, to really enhance the flavour.

▼ We made some non-orthodox noodles with a mix of regular flour, strong flour, baking powder and eggs.

To make the ramen, add a few ladles of broth to a bowl, then add the noodles and place your desired ingredients on top. According to our ramen sensei, those who prefer clear broths can use the soup as it is, while those who prefer a cloudy broth can blend a little lard into the mix with a hand blender before ladling it into the bowl.

▼ We went for the clear broth, and it looked amazing!

We took a taste of the ramen and were immediately blown away. It was full of delicious pork flavour, with rich, hearty aromas and just the right amount of fat to make it feel neither too heavy nor too light on the palate.

▼ We did it! We actually made tonkotsu ramen at home!

Our ramen turned out to be insanely delicious, with a delicate flavour profile that somehow made it feel healthier than other tonkotsu noodles we’ve tried in the past.

The whole process for making this tonkotsu ramen is surprisingly straightforward and fuss-free. Plus, once you’ve made the pork broth, you don’t have to make ramen with it — you can simply add a splash of dashi broth and enjoy it as a fast and simple tasty soup.

If you’ve got a craving for tonkotsu ramen, and a leisurely day at home to make it, this recipe will definitely reward you with warming flavours, especially on a cold winter’s day. And don’t forget you can always finish it off with a decadent dessert of self-isolation tiramisu.

Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!