imPASTA! Tonkotsu Ramen
2 lbs. chicken back and carcasses – skin and excess fat removed
3 lbs. pig trotters – split lengthwise into 1-in disks
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion – roughly chopped
12 garlic cloves – chopped
3-inch ginger – roughly chopped
3 whole leeks – washed & roughly chopped
2 dozen scallions – white parts only
6 oz whole mushrooms
1 lb. pork fat back
2 imPASTA! rings – shredded
½ cup cabbage – thinly sliced & steamed
½ small onion- thinly sliced & steamed
4 button mushrooms – thinl7 sliced & steamed
4 eggs- soft boiled & peeled
4 scallions – thinly sliced for topping
8 tsp Chili Crisp
2 lbs. Chashu (braised rolled pork belly), thinly sliced
1. Place chicken and pork bones in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and dump water down the drain.
2. Carefully wash all bones under cold running water. Make sure to remove any dark morrow or blood. This is very important to achieve the light cloudy stock. Bones should be uniform in color (grey or white) after they have been scrubbed. Use a small toothbrush to help remove small bits of dark marrow from inside the trotters or around the chicken spine. Set cleaned bones aside.
3. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over high until slightly smoking. Add onions, garlic and ginger. Toss occasionally until deeply charred on most sides, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
4. Return bones to pot along with charred vegetables, leeks, scallion whites, mushrooms, and pork fatback. Top with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that appears (this should stop appearing within the first 20 minutes or so). Use a clean sponge or moist paper towels to wipe and black or gray scum off from around the rim of the pot. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and place a heavy lid on top.
5. Once the lid is on, check the pot after 18-20 minutes. It should be at a slow rolling boil. If not, increase or decrease heat slightly to adjust boiling speed. Boil broth until pork fatback is completely tender, (about 4.5 hours). Carefully remove pork fat with a slotted spoon. Transfer fatback to a sealed container and refrigerate until serving. Return lid to pot and continue cooking until broth is opaque with the texture of light cream. This takes about 7 to 8 hours longer. Keep topping up the stock with more water as necessary to keep bones submerged at all times.
6. Once broth is ready, cook over high heat until reduced to around 3 quarts. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot. Discard solids. Strain again through a fine mesh strainer or sieve lined with several layers of cheese cloth. Skim liquid fat from top with a ladle and discard.
7. Finely chop cooked pork fatback and whisk into finished broth.
8. Season broth with condiments of your choice (salt, soy sauce, miso, sesame paste, grated fresh garlic, or vegetables for instance) and serve with imPASTA! spaghetti squash and toppings as desired. Don’t forget the chili oil or chili crisp!
(Pictured: Steamed sliced cabbage, steamed sliced onion, steamed sliced button mushrooms, soft boiled egg, scallions, 1 tsp chili crisp)
Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories 157, Fat 12g, Fiber 2g, Total Carbohydrates 10g, Sugar 4g