Ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen-Professional Recipe

Here is the “professional Recipe for Tonkotsu Ramen as promised!

INGREDIENTS: (will provide 3.5 litres of soup, enough for quite a few servings!

-Pork bones: 5 (2500 g)
-Water: 13 litres


Bring frozen bones to room temperature in plenty of water.
It should take about 2 hours. If you cook frozen bones directly, the blood will solidify and will be very difficult to get rid of.
If you can get fresh bones, skip this step.

Fill a very large cooking pot with water and bring to boil.

Switch off fire as soon as the water boils. Drop in the bones and let cool. This process will help you get rid of the blood and blood vessels easily.

Leave it to cool down for 30~40 minutes.

Drain the water off the bones in a large strainer.
Throw off the water.
Check and take off any blood or blood vessels for the bones.
Don’t forget to clean the pot!
Break all the bones in two with a hammer.

Fill the pot again with clear water and bring to boil.
Drop the bones inside.

Keep cooking over a strong fire and scoop out foam and unwanted matters coming up on the surface (this should take 20 minutes at the most).
As the bottom might get hooter than near surface, stir with a large ladle from time to time.
If the inside of the pot over the water surface gets clogged with matter or gets dark, switch off fire, clean with a clean cloth and switch fire on again.

Above picture shows the soup after all unwanted matters have stopped coming up.

Cover with a lid and a weight to prevent steam coming out from under the lid. Keep simmering on a low fire.

That’s how it looks after 1 hour.
Keep cooking.

That’s how it looks after 3 hours.

That’s how it looks after 6 hours.

That’s how it looks after 10 hours.

And after 12 hours (start early in the morning!)!

Keep cooking. Remember you are aiming at 3.5 litres of soup.
After 12 hours you may raise the fire to accelerate the cooking.
Keep the lid on!

This is what you are looking for!

This is how the bones will look after 15 hours of cooking!
Cooked at last!

Filter the soup and here you have your tonkotsu base soup ready!
After that it is up to you and your preferences: add miso, tofu, salt, sesame oil, garlic chips and your little secrets!

Now what secret ingredients have I thrown in? LOL

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42 thoughts on “Ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen-Professional Recipe”

  1. I made this once before, and it’s amazing. A couple followup questions: If you add katsuobushi, at what point does it go in? Also, do you ever add onions or garlic?

    Merci bien d’avance!


      1. Before the first boiling? But all that water is poured out, n’est-ce pas?

        If this is only the basic recipe, would you care to share a more … um … advanced recipe for the more intrepid readers?

        Encore merci!



      2. Sorry, my apologies! I was not properly awake yet!
        You are right, if you want add the katsuo bushi do it during the second boiling but don’T forget you will have to filter them at some time or they will ene up as too much residue.
        I’m glad to to provide all the information I know but keep in mind I’m a gastronome out to help, not a chef! Although I could become one easily.
        This said the Japanese add most of their secret ingredients in the bowl before pouring the soup on top or the very end of the process.
        This might include a lot or little: soy sauce, ponzu, lard, seaweed, and what else!


      3. Outstanding. I will try it this weekend. I can get pork bones at the local Chinese supermarket. Merci mille fois!


  2. look delicious. what are the secret ingridient you add on the soup which made the colour turn to white-brown look?did u use katuobushi, sababushi, or nibobushi?thanks


  3. Recipe looks good, but my question is, how do you make the egg? How do you make the brownes color to sip into the white egg? How do you prevent the shell from cracking at high heat? because my understanding is, high heat in short time will produce soft yolk with hard egg white.


      1. It is obvious they are made separately, but how do you cook the egg so the ‘brownes’ is sip into the white while the yolk is still soft? Thanks, and cheers.


  4. hi, guys I have so thankful that I learned more about…. now I work here in the Philippines as a head cook in a Japanese Restaurant.


  5. Hi Robert,

    Great recipe! If you don’t have a gas heater; just a touch sensitive electric one, can you get the same results with the broth? Is it safe to leave an electric stove simmering for so long? Do you have a recipe for homemade ramen or is store bought stuff ok?



  6. Finally a good tonkotsu recipe. Once I did tonkotsu ramen but I didn’t had the courage to cook it for so long, but only 6 hours…!
    Thank you very much for posting that recipe, it seems delicious.
    I’ll try it!
    Terry from Italy.


  7. Out of curiosity if I were to use a pressure cooker, can I save myself the 12 hours of boiling? Imagine the gas bill after all of the boiling was done!


  8. One question. Say one prepares Tonkotsu in a regular cooking pot, and just ads water every 2-3 hours, to compensate for the smal space. Will one have the same results?


  9. Holy moly, thanks for providing these instructions. The tonkotsu broths at my local shabu shabu / ramen places are not up to par to my standards, taste more artificial than the supposed results of 12+ hours of simmering bone marrow. Hope my batch comes out as nicely as yours…I’m apprehensive of breaking those big leg bones though.


  10. Robert, you never cease to amaze me! The photo on the top of the article, is this soup really yours? I can’t comment as I can’t give away my trade secrets (tonkotsu will be my signature) but the resulting soup looks terrific. You’ve chosen your noodles (straight thin) right too. Who are you??!!


    1. LOL
      This is basic general knowledge.
      I’m a teacher, tanslator and freelance writer, nothing else.
      The photo at the top is basic tonkotsu soup (taken quite sometime ago) mixed with crushed white tofu and miso,some sesameil,salt,pepper an galic.


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