29 years of imagining, and then converting into one of my hobbies... I hope you'll enjoy it... (^.^)/ , by Marina

July 3, 2012

Tonkotsu Ramen #3: Meat

Among all the toppings in your Ramen, one is surely very important - the meat.
A bite of a tasty piece of meat can change the whole experience when eating Ramen. For this reason I prefer slow cooking my meat, allowing it to drink up all the juices and taste.

Professional chefs surely know how to accomplish it in an instant. I'm not such, so I rather go the old fashioned way :).

This is a part of a longer post: Tonkotsu Ramen
  1. Intro
  2. Soup Stock
  3. Noodles
  4. Meat
  5. Toppings

Japanese Pork

Depending on the quality of the meat this recipe varies a bit. If it's a thicker piece, or if it marbled with fat and collagen, you need to cook it for at least an hour, if instead you're using thin strips of tender muscles, do not cook them for too long or it will harden.

So:
  • Thick or fatty piece: slow cooking, always covered in thin layer of juice, for at least an hour or until a fork passes easily through the meat
  • Thin, tender, young meat: first prepare the souce and simmer it until thick, then quickly stir fry the meat in it on medium to high heat, no longer than few minutes (depending on the thickness). Mind to use much less soup stock in this case, the amount of sauce you wish to achieve before adding the meat is just the right amount to cover the slices' lower part. That should give you enough juices to turn around the meat when done, and still leave you with few spoons of liquid.

Serves: 2
Difficulty: moderate, time demanding (with thick meat)
Total time: 90' (for thick meat)

Ingredients:
- 200 gr pork steak - soup stock (about 200ml)
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs miso
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs mirin
- 2 tbs sake
- 1 knob of ginger sliced (~4cm knob)
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 12 white pepper corns

In my first attempt I used pork cutlets, ~0,8mm thick, and simmered them in sauce for about 90 minutes. It turned out that wasn't the best choice, so next time I'm surely going with a thicker piece, or thinner :).

For the soup stock, you can add the Tonkotsu soup stock (even the currently boiling one, if you're making it, will be good). If not you can use water, or add dashi to your water.
  1. Prepare all you ingredients, and a pan that will of the right size to accommodate the meat.
  2. Place the meat in the pan and pour over it just the right amount of soup stock to almost cover it all. Add now the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low to medium heat.
  3. Check from time to time if the meat is covered. If needed add small amounts of soup stock.
  4. Cook like that until tender (thick meat - at least 1h up to 90min, thin slices - a couple of minutes should suffice).
  5. When done, set aside to cool down.
  6. When cooled remove the meat (which you will cut just before serving, in case you're using a thick steak), and separate the extra sauce left in a small container. You will use that sauce to add flavour to your Ramen. Mmmmmmm :)

    TIPS:
  • In my case I overcooked the initial few minutes, so now I had to over-overcook it for another 2 hours until I was satisfied with its tenderness. Yet again wasn't my best attempt.

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