This was our third attempt at making tonkotsu from scratch. The results of this effort were truly delicious in terms of the flavor and thickness of the broth. The only complaint we had was that it was a bit sticky. This stickiness is due to an imbalance in the broth: an overabundance of gelatin (thanks to Ramen_Lord for a brief explanation). *We tempered this by diluting the broth with water before serving, at about 1 part water : 3 parts broth. The broth did not suffer and we were very happy with the result.
Another note on this attempt: we did not use special butcher shop pork bones. We sprung for packs of $1.99/lb mixed bones from our local H-Mart. About 12.5 lbs meaty pork bones total, plus about 1.5 lbs miscellaneous chicken bones we had been saving in a freezer bag from a few months of cooking. There were no off-putting smells or tastes that made us regret this decision.
- 4.3 lb meaty pork leg bones
- 4 lb meaty pork neck bones
- 4.2 lb meaty pork back bones
- 1.5 lb misc chicken bones
- 32 cups tap water
7pm. Add bones to a large stockpot with enough water to cover and leave in the fridge to soak overnight.
7am. Drain water from the pot. Add fresh water. Bring to a boil, and while skimming, boil until scum and coagulates stop rising to the surface (about 30 minutes). Drain water and rinse bones under fresh water.
9am. Return the blanched, cleaned bones to the pot with a fresh 32 cups of water. Start the long boil. Bring to a steady boil with good agitation and cover the pot. Stir every 3-4 hours to help move the bones in the pot.
10pm. Reduce to a simmer before you go to sleep for the night. This is for safety reasons only.
7am. Turn off the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes. Remove the bones from the broth using a spider skimmer, straining over a bowl (reserving the small amount of broth that accumulates), and then tossing into the garbage. Continue until all bones are disposed of. Then strain the tonkotsu broth through a strainer lined with a fine cheese cloth.
Our yield: 3 air-tight freezer containers of about 4 cups each, or 12 cups total. *When diluted with water (see note above) this will yield a bit more for serving.