Japanese-inspired Tonkotsu with a twist

in Photography Lovers2 months ago (edited)

Made with much labor of love

And if you combine that with a love for Japanese culture, you can make an extraordinarily delicious Tongkotsu Noodlesoup yourself. This Ramen is not for those who don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If you want to prepare a traditional Tonkotsu from scratch you will have to get ready to spend 1 or 2 days in the kitchen minimum.

I love Ramen (and Udon), and I love noodle soup. Actually, I love good soup any time of the day. They are full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that can help you a lot when you feel or starting to feel sick. Bone broth, also known as Tonkotsu in Japan (not to be mistaken with Tonkatsu) is a traditional Japanese Ramen. I have tried to make something close to a Shio broth before but without seaweed. Even though I haven't used pork bones in my Tonkotsu (I didn't even know I was making Tonkotsu, I just wanted to make a bone broth lol).

Anyway, I will show you the recipe that I made today, starting from this morning till literally just 5 minutes ago. I just finished two bowls and I'm actually surprised at how stuffed I was after I finished them. Delicious! The blog is full of photographs that documented almost the entire process.

Hope you have fun!

List of ingredients:

1) Tonkotsu (10-12 hours)

  • Pork or (big) Chicken Bones
  • Yellow onion
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Green onion
  • Nappa Cabbage
  • Bok Choy (optional)
  • Vinegar

2) Hot Spicy Oil

  • Sunflower oil
  • Chaotian dried chili
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Green onion
  • Garlic

3) Pork (4-8 hours)

  • Honey
  • ABC Kecap Manis
  • Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Brown beer

4) Eggs (6 hours)

  • ABC Kecap Manis
  • Brown Sugar
  • Fried Bruised Garlic
  • Fried bruised green onion
  • Fried Chaotian dried chili
  • Water

5) Garnish (10-15 minutes)

  • Wakame (Seaweed Salad)
  • Nori
  • Uzumaki Crabcake
  • Sesame seed
  • Raddisj
  • Green onion

6) Preparing the Udon (5 minutes)

  • Thicc Udon noodles
  • Rice vinegar
  • Fish sauce

Tonkotsu (Bone Broth)

Since I made my Bone Broth a few weeks ago and froze it. I've done a lot of work for making my Tonkotsu Udon soup. This process can take up to 12 hours, or even more, depending on the technique you used. If you want to learn how to make Bone Broth, you can find more information about it here. Just swap the chicken bones with pork bones, and you should be good to go. Since not everybody eats pork, it is nice to know it is also possible to make bone broth with chicken bones.

Since it was my first time making a bone broth and made a very clean version of it, I knew I had to add more flavor to it by adding fresh vegetables and putting it to a simmer for 45 minutes. Since we always freeze our freshly cut vegetables, it was easy to add some Bok Choy and Nappa Cabbage to the broth.

If you're planning to make some hot oil, don't throw away the vegetables after you're done infusing the flavors of the vegetables in the Tonkotsu.

Some ways to add extra flavor to your bone broth:

  • 1 whole Yellow onion
  • 3 bruised garlic cloves
  • A bit of green onion, whole
  • 1/2 Nappa Cabbage
  • 1/2 Bok Choy (optional)

Unfortunately, my Bone Broth was just a little bit over 0.5 liters, so I had to add more water to it. Hopefully, it won't affect the taste too much.


If you've seen my Soto Ayam Chicken Soup recipe, you should know by now that skimming and straining your soup is very important. So, it almost goes without saying, but after having the vegetables in the Tonkotsu for 45 minutes to an hour, you will need to strain the broth again to make it clean and clear.

Bring to a simmer, right before dinner!

At this point, you can leave the Tonkotsu as it is. You're going to be doing a lot of work for the rest!
Right before serving, you can bring back the Tonkotsu to a simmer.

Spicy Oil

I have saved and used just the green onion and garlic that have been in the Tonkotsu to quickly infuse the sunflower oil. To prevent the chili and cayenne powder from burning I added a little bit of water. This also makes it a bit easier to for making the hot and spicy oil.

Since I'm using the same green onion and garlic that I've used to enhance the flavor of the tonkotsu, I don't have to get much stuff done in the kitchen. If you're not using these greens, adding these vegetables is optional. You can also try other vegetables, or flavor enhancers like lime leaves, lemon grass, or even coconut flakes (they do burn fast).

  • 3 tsp. of sunflower oil
  • 3 Chaotian dried chili
  • 2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 1 or 2 green onion
  • 3 cloves of bruised garlic

5-10 minutes infusing, and... straining!

Once you're ready to add the paste, turn down the heat so they don't burn. You can try to boil it a little bit longer so you get even more taste and color.

Set aside and save it for now and later

After straining it a couple of times, you will have a clean oil with tiny bits of cayenne pepper at the bottom. That's ok. Set the spicy oil aside, and use it as a garnish for your dish. If you love spicy infused oil like this (just try it first with a bit), you can also make a lot more of it for later, or to cook in.

You can also boil and clean the steelpan with a bit of water. You'd be surprised how much spiciness is left in the pan.

Above is oil, below is water, gonna try them out both, starting with the oil of course.


I never really thought about re-using some ingredients in my dishes until my father showed it as if it was super normal. From that moment I realized I could do this a lot more instead of throwing it away and using another one.

That being said, I'm using the same Chaotian dried chilies and Garlic for the egg bath. Now they even give more flavor since I fried them in the hot spicy oil. These eggs are going to sit in this bath for about 6 hours, so they are going to be delicious!

This is an improvised recipe that I just thought of on the spot. The main ingredients however are brown sugar and kecap manis. You can literally add anything to the bath as you like. Life is amazing, you only have to take a bath.

Paste for the egg bath

  • 2 tsp. spoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. ABC Kecap Manis
  • Spicy fried Garlic
  • Spicy fried Chaotian dried chili

Turn around every 30 minutes

You should turn the eggs around every 30 minutes, or every hour if you're busy doing other things. This will make sure

Bake/fry them for 5 minutes

When you're almost ready to eat, you can bake and fry the eggs in the marinade for 5-10 minutes.


All right, this is going to be amazing. I've made it before and I truly loved it. But man, what a lot of work, so I'm going to keep this one a bit more simple.

So, here's the thing, right? Since my liver values are high, I shouldn't (can't) really drink alcohol anymore. Not until my values are back to normal that is. So, in this case, I'm just going to use a tiny bit of beer as it is a secret ingredient not many people dare to use.

So, due to the liver situation, I didn't bother to get some heavy brown beer and decided to go for a blond beer that I already had in stock.

Just a little... (actually I took a sip and got caught by Lackofcolor... fml)

"Oops". I spilled.

Oh, noes... I kept spilling on accident. "O nooo..." (said no one ever). What you gonna do about it @Lackofcolor, gonna prevent me from making this stuff too delicious? Huh?! Yeh. I don't think so.


Don't blame me. Blame the recipe that I made (not an improvisation, I promise).
I can't drink beer anymore due to my liver... but no one told me something about infusing my pork with it... * hic *

For the pork marinade:

  • A fair chunk of ABC Kecap Manis
  • 1 bottle of Heavy blond Beer 6%+, or even better heavy brown beer 10%+
  • A fair amount of brown sugar
  • Few splashes of vinegar to blend with the sugar and thicc honey
  • Squeeze a decent amount of honey
  • 6 cloves of garlic (no less)

Marinade for 4-8 hours

This marinade is fairly easy, I might need to adjust it with salt, but I don't want it to kill the taste of the Tonkotsu. At this point, I'm considering whether I should use the air fryer or grill to prepare it... well, since I have to marinate it for 4-8 hours, I have enough time to think about it.

Don't throw the marinade away. When you're ready to cook/grill/fry the meat, scoop a little bit of the marinade in a bowl, add more kecap manis and honey to it, and

Fry it in a pan

When you fry the pork in the pan, or whatever item you use, it is important to use a bit of the marinade that we made earlier. Every 5 minutes, we are going to brush the pork with some of that marinade. It's a time-consuming process, but luckily for us, pork doesn't need that much time to get ready.

What to use as a garnish?

There are so many ways to garnish your Udon soup. It is a personal dish, so you can add anything you want, or keep it minimalistic to fully enjoy your healthy broth. Here are some ideas for you to add to your bowl of Tonkotsu!

1) Narutomaki Fish Cake

I never had this, since it was a bit hard to get where I'm from. But luckily we have an Asian store that sold it. This is going to be my first try eating it, but it does look awesome as it reminds me a lot of Naruto Uzumaki and his love for Ramen.

Narutomaki is a Japanese traditional Fish Cake that is unmissable as a topping for your noodle soup!

2) Nori

Nori is a great way to garnish your noodle soup. It adds a lot of flavors, and the smell is just too good.

3) Wakame salad

Wakame salads really give a kick to your bowl of noodle soup. Don't overdo it, just a tiny bit will be more than enough!

4) Sesame seed

Sesame seeds are also a common topping for your bowl of noodle soup. It also makes it look pretty good.

5) Radish

Personally, I love radish. It's also a pretty healthy red root. Rich in calcium and potassium, which has all sorts of benefits. Honestly, I don't eat a lot of radishes, and I usually would eat them together with a potato salad or something like noodle soup.

6) Green onion

Another famous one is the Green onion, chop it up and use it as a topping. Easy peasy.

Bringing everything together

O wait... LOL... I almost forgot about the Udon... I was so busy cooking and writing down the recipe I almost forgot about the actual 2nd most important thing about Tonkotsu... Udon Noodles. See, I shouldn't have taken that one sip (or two, I can't really remember) of beer.

The Udon noodles!

For this noodle soup, I wanted to use thick Udon noodles. They are my favorite and they soak up the flavor of the noodle soup. I added a little bit of the spicy oil to the water (probably not going to any wonders, but who knows) while boiling them.

Just boil the udon noodles for about 5-7 minutes in boiling water.

At the same time, you can heat up (again... be careful not to do it many times) the Tonkotsu, so you will have it ready with all the other ingredients.

Bringing everything together!

For the base of the Tonkotsu, I decided I wanted to add a little bit of rice vinegar and Fish Sauce before pouring everything into one bowl.


  • All of the above
  • 1 tbsp. Miso / Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbs. Fish Sauce

Mix the Miso and Fish Sauce well before you pour and mix the Tonkotsu in the bowl as well.

Just add everything (sorry, but I'm starving, I've been in the kitchen the entire day, and looking at these pictures while cooking is just torture) to the bowl and make it look nice.



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Hey there! 😁

I made one batch of bone broth maybe a week ago and I thought it is perfect! 100%. But after seeing your post....I'm like "Really?...🤤...Is this all I can do?". Your Japanese Bone Broth is another level and like Kim said, this could trend in Foodies for days or even weeks.

It looks really amazing. I've read this post a couple of days ago and today, after having a few TBsp of the "glorious" gel, I remembered about your recipe and I consider your post should get at least another comment, so to speak. So yeah, great photos and recipe.

Ohh and I've read another food blog of yours about bone broth and you mentioned you didnt know about the collagen thing until your uncle teached you? (I HOPE I'm not mistaken, It's been more than a week since I scrolled down your blog). 😁😋
Its cool you found it. I've made a lot of research on the theme and apperently, bone broth, especially made from marrow bones, are amazing for bone health and cartilajes. So keep it up and keep making BB. 😁

Cheers from Romania

Haha yeah, you are absolutely right, I had no idea the broth would become gel before I talked with my uncle, so that was perfect timing when I started talking to him. I've heard about it before, and about the health benefits but I didn't expect it to turn into gel.

Thank you so much for dropping such a nice comment! You're quite the chef yourself, love your photographs (they're so clean). Do you mean the Soto Ayam recipe, or just the bone broth? xD


Hey 😊
No worries for my comment, I happily "dropped it" 😅😋.

No, I meant about the regular chicken broth post. I've seen the Soto Ayam too, its quite exceptional. I'm not that familiar with Japanese or Asian food in general, but the way you presented, it looks amazing. Definitely would try it if I ever have the chance.

I mostly do bone broth from marrow bones, but I add chicken bones too, especially we have bones from home raised chicken without all those preservatives and additives found in the supermarket meats.

Thank you also for your nice appreciation about my photos. I only use my phone to take pictures. 😌

I can't read because of my food coma, but I agree with all the above. So good!😫

 2 months ago (edited) 

I'm still stuffed, and I agree too 😆. It was good :D

Fuck me I was already hungry why did I open this

Lmao. Man, imagine... you're hungry, cooking, making photographs, writing about it, post-processing these images, going back to cooking some more, can't eat it because of... time?... all at the same time, for 8-10 hours straight.

This is better looking than a lot of the Japanese places I eat at here. I love a good Tonkotsu and I usually eat it a few times a month. I have never made it at home before because it is so much work. I made pho a few times and made my own bone broth and that is a very long process as well, but this is a whole new level. The amount of time and care you put into everything, even the eggs, is pretty cool to see. This looks delicious man.

Thanks man, that's a pretty big compliment! tyty. I love to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and cook something extra nice from time to time (wouldn't be able to do this every day though). Yeah, if I would make everything from scratch, it would take me definitely two whole days.

Oh man, I think Pho is just similar to making Shio or Shoyu, right (in terms of time)? Haha, a lot of people make it in 10 minutes, but if you wanna do it properly it can cost you a day xD.

The eggs are pretty easy to make, just boil, ice bath, peel, make a few incisions and put them in the egg bath, and let it sit for 8 hours or something, turn a few times, and they can really taste next level xD.

When I made pho, it took about a day and a half to make the broth. That was the hardest part. It turned out really good, but it was just so much work. lol

Yeah man, it kinda makes you think about making extra broth to freeze in for later :P
I like the way how the broth reflects the quality and care that you put into making it. I've been skimming so much, I really had to try hard to get any dirt out of it lmao.

We should do that hotpot thing sometimes man. But then spend a few days cooking and doing it ourselves.

Hot pot is the best

looks tasty

Jesus the amount of time needed for this. Damnnn but it looks so good. That broth looks like it’s so full of flavor. Now I’m hungry for some ramen but only a few restaurants serve good ramen here 😭

Also I can imagine it was quite exhausting to take pics while making all these

Haha yeah, it is insane... when I'm sick, I'm pretty motivated to try to spend a bit more time on what I eat. It's also a lot of fun! I'm such a idiot, I thought Udon was just a different type to make Ramen, but Ramen is the noodle XD

Taking photographs during all of it was pretty nice (even though sometimes chaotic), but it gave me some room to think about what to write.

It's kinda funny though, at the start you can see the clear daylight in the pictures, and by the time when I was done cooking, it was dark :D

Appetizing! The ingredients for the spicy oil and paste for the egg bath, and then the udon noodles are top tier. Since it took ages for the photos to load at my end, I saw the last photo much later and I was blown away by the whole ensemble. This can kill all the posts of Foodies Bee Hive in one swoop.

Oh snap, yeah... there are a lot of photographs in this post. It's ~11MB worth of MB without the compression of imgurl. Thanks! And it may be a good idea to set that as the featured image, so I changed that. Good idea :D.

I wonder though, did you came here through Photography Lovers, or Foodies Bee Hive, as I usually don't do a lot of cross-posting, and most of my blog is about the photographs that I take.

It was shared by @derangedvisions in #alien-curation (it's a secret society of aliens and other life forms).

Rule Number 1 in Hive: Always set your best photo as your thumbnail.

Alright! I just made that up.

It looks delicious, but it's not "Japanese".
I know because I'm Japanese.
Noodle and some seasonings are incorrect.


 2 months ago  

Dude, (castleberry here) this is the best food post i have seen on Hive ever!

Thanks man! That's a huge compliment, because I've seen a lottt (better) food posts on Hive :P

Buttt, ngl, I'm pretty proud of myself too haha!

Wow Ruben, I am more astonished by your cooking skills than the (once more) gorgeous shots!

Haha thank you! It was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it ^^

Never tried Japanese food so far but it makes me really interested in it with every post seen on the chain lately :)

It looks delicious, hahaha I still see that it is quite laborious, I congratulate you 😍 for your dish

This dish looks yummy 🤤

It was really tasty!

I can imagine

Just looked I’m really interesting in that on my vacation I will test to make it

Are you going to Japan? I'm jealous! I bet you will enjoy tasting the real Tonkotsu!

Hi @rubencress , Im so interested in your ramen recipe and delicious ramen picture. Thank for sharing, It's time to eat ramen right now :)))

Thank you! It's a inspired bowl of happiness :D

Sheeesh! you make me hungry, craving activated

I hope you just started the day, so you can eat right away haha!

haha yes Bro

It's midnight here now and I am feeling hungry just by seeing the picture... The Ramen looks delicious...

ahh thank you Priya! Sorry for making you hungry!

:P Food Order time :D

I hate this, made me hungry..! this is so rich.. I can't say no to this especially I love all the spices.
You have to love cooking in this case understand the preparation time and effort. Worth it. Burp! Burp!👌

I absolutely loved it, it is my second or third time to make something like this. But I never have made Tonkotsu (the traditional one is made with pork). Oh yeah, the preparation took me an entire day (without the actual bone broth xD) Thank you!

That's what makes the food taste delicious- PASSION. 😄



Fideos mi favorito, muchas gracias por tu receta me dio hambre y a ver que tiene tocinos mucho mas, en la foto esta muy provocativa, gracias 👍

OMG! This looks delicious!! It made me hungry! 🤧🤧 . This post really inspired me for food photography. Thank you so much for sharing this my friend. Great post! !PIZZA

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