Bring the taste of your favorite ramen-ya home with this authentic tonkotsu broth. Creamy, lush and packed with savory umami, tonkotsu broth makes a perfect base for any ramen.

Tonkotsu Ramen Broth

Recipe presented by Jay Andrews

Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 18 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 19 hours
Servings 6 people


  • 5 lb Pork femurs, neck bones or trotters, or a mix of all three (have the butcher cut the bones crosswise into 1-inch pieces for you)
  • 2 Large yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 10 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 oz Button mushrooms or mushroom scraps
  • 1 lb Pork fatback
  • Vegetable oil, as needed


  1. Soak the bones in cold water in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse the bones and add them to a large stockpot. Cover the bones with a couple inches of cold water and boil them for 30 minutes.

  2. Skim impurities (coagulated blood and other proteins) from the surface of the water frequently. Heat the oven’s broiler.

  3. Coat the onions and garlic with vegetable oil. Broil the garlic and onions until charred, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Drain the bones and scrub them. Wash the pot and return the bones to it along with the onions, garlic, mushrooms and fatback.

  5. Cover the bones and fatback with water and bring it to a low simmer (barely bubbling). Cover the pot with a heavy lid.

  6. Simmer the bones for 4 hours and remove the fatback, garlic, mushrooms and onions using a slotted spoon. Reserve the fatback for another use (like an ingredient for your soon-to-be ramen).

  7. Continue simmering the bones for 12 to 16 hours. Add more water as needed to keep the bones submerged. You can break this up into two days, if necessary. If you do, store the broth in the fridge overnight.

  8. Remove the bones with tongs and discard them. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. You can store the broth up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • If using frozen bones, allow them to thaw before starting.
  • If you don’t have a butcher to slice the bones for you, wrap them in a clean towel and break them up using a kitchen mallet.
  • Wipe the dark material from the inside the walls of the pot as it collects.

Everything you need to make the perfect ramen