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Tonkatsu Ramen Recipe: Delicious Homemade Guide

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delicious Tonkatsu Ramen

Tonkotsu ramen is a beloved Japanese dish known for its rich and creamy pork broth. This savory soup is made by simmering pork bones for hours to extract a deep, hearty flavor.

Making your own tonkotsu ramen at home might sound daunting, but with the right steps and ingredients, you can recreate this comforting bowl of goodness. From preparing the broth to adding delicious toppings like chashu pork and soft-boiled eggs, you’ll learn how to craft each component.

Dive into this recipe to discover tips and techniques that will make your homemade tonkotsu ramen taste as good as any you’d find in a ramen shop. No need for fancy equipment—just a love for cooking and a bit of patience.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Making tonkotsu ramen requires specific ingredients for the perfect bowl. Here are the essentials and their substitutes:


  • Pork Bones: Use pork trotters or neck bones. Substitute: Chicken bones if needed.
  • Water: Mandatory for broth.


  • Soy Sauce: Adds depth. Substitute: Tamari for a gluten-free option.
  • Mirin: Adds sweetness and umami. Substitute: A mix of honey and rice vinegar.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning.


  • Garlic: Offers a rich flavor. No good substitute.
  • Ginger: Adds warmth. Substitute: Ground ginger (use sparingly).


  • Green Onions: For freshness. Substitute: Regular onions.
  • Charred Onions and Garlic: Adds a smoky depth.


  • Soft-Boiled Eggs: Marinated for taste. No good substitute.
  • Chashu Pork: Slices of braised pork belly. Substitute: Roasted chicken for a lighter option.


  • Ramen Noodles: Fresh or dried. Substitute: Soba or Udon noodles but keep in mind the texture will differ.


  • Seaweed (Nori): Adds a briny flavor. Substitute: Wakame seaweed.
  • Bamboo Shoots: For crunch. Substitute: Water chestnuts.
  • Sesame Seeds: Adds a nutty finish. No good substitute.

This mix of ingredients will give you a hearty and flavorful tonkotsu ramen. Enjoy your cooking!


  1. Prepare the Broth

    • Place pork trotters in a large stock pot.
    • Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
    • Remove from heat, drain, and clean bones under cold water.
  2. Make the Stock

    • Return cleaned bones to the pot.
    • Add fresh water, an onion, a carrot, ginger, and garlic.
    • Bring to a boil, then simmer for several hours until it thickens.
  3. Prepare the Toppings

    • Slice green onions and chashu pork.
    • Boil a few eggs and marinate them in soy sauce and mirin.
  4. Cook the Noodles

    • Boil water and cook the ramen noodles until tender.
    • Drain and set aside.
  5. Prepare the Soup Base

    • In a bowl, mix the soup base with hot water until dissolved completely.
    • Use a ratio of 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) of hot water per serving.
  6. Assemble the Ramen

    • Pour the soup into bowls.
    • Add cooked noodles.
    • Top with sliced chashu pork, green onions, marinated eggs, and any additional garnishes like nori or sesame seeds.

Enjoy your delicious homemade tonkotsu ramen!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Marinate Your Eggs: Make the ramen more flavorful by marinating the boiled eggs in a soy sauce mixture for a few hours before serving.

Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions can make a big difference in taste.

Skim the Broth: Skim off the foam that forms on the surface of the broth to keep it clear and clean.

Perfect Noodles: Cook the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water to prevent the broth from getting cloudy.

Right Texture: Make sure to cook the noodles just right – not too soft, not too hard. Usually, 1-2 minutes is enough.

Extra Fat: For a richer broth, add a spoonful of pork fat or the tiny nubbins of pork fat that float to the surface.

Mayu: Add a drizzle of mayu (black garlic oil) for an extra layer of flavor. It’s easy to make by frying finely diced garlic until black and then blending it with oil.

Storing the Broth: You can store the broth in the fridge for up to three days. In the freezer, it will last for about a month. Use airtight containers or freezer bags.

Storing Noodles: Store cooked noodles separately in the fridge for up to two days. Toss them lightly with oil to prevent sticking.

Reheating: When reheating, warm the broth on the stove and briefly dip the noodles in boiling water to refresh them.

Tables or bullet points help in ingredient preparation, such as:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil

Experiment and find what combinations you like best!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Tonkotsu Ramen can be customized in many delicious ways to suit your taste. Here are some popular variations and ideas for serving:

Alternative Toppings:

  • Menma (fermented bamboo shoots)
  • Nori (seaweed)
  • Narutomaki (fish cake)
  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds

Broth Variations:

  • Spicy Tonkotsu: Add chili oil or spicy miso paste.
  • Garlic Tonkotsu: Mix in roasted garlic or garlic oil.
  • Miso Tonkotsu: Blend miso paste into the broth for extra umami.

Protein Options:

  • Chashu Pork: Traditional braised pork belly.
  • Chicken: Use shredded or grilled chicken instead of pork.
  • Tofu: For a vegetarian twist, add marinated or fried tofu.

Garnishes and Add-Ons:

  • Soft-Boiled Eggs: Marinate in soy sauce and mirin for extra flavor.
  • Corn: Adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Butter: A pat of butter melts into the broth, adding richness.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Individual Bowls: Serve ramen in deep bowls for a cozy, restaurant-style experience.
  • Family Style: Place the broth, noodles, and toppings on the table so everyone can assemble their bowl.
  • Paired with Sides: Serve with gyoza (dumplings), edamame, or a simple green salad to complete the meal.

Experiment with these ideas to create your perfect bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.