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I sometimes make a Tonkotsu broth for Ramen, but whenever I do, it seems to turn out very fatty (and basically tastes like gravy). It's so fatty you can feel the fat all over your lips after eating a bowl of it. But when I eat Tonkotsu ramen in a restaurant, it doesn't feel that way.

To try to reduce the fattyness, I always pour the broth into tall glasses, let it cool, then spoon the fat off the top, but it's still too fatty. What am I doing wrong?

To make the broth, I go to my local street market where the butcher has a stand, and buy two bags of miscellaneous pork bones, I blanch them to remove the blood, then boil them for about 10 hours.

Questions:

  • Is there something I can do to reduce the fattyness of my Tonkotsu broth?
  • Would is be less fatty if I used a specific part of the pig (e.g. the trotter as called for in the recipe?)
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    You are basically asking how to make your ramen worse. The reason the restaurant one isn't like yours is because it's quickly made mediocrity.
    – eps
    Oct 31, 2023 at 17:13
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    Can you share the recipe that you used? Someone who’s more familiar with making tonkotsu might be able to tell if it’s a typical variation or not, or see any steps that might not be explicitly mentioned
    – Joe
    Oct 31, 2023 at 23:24
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    @eps de gustibus non est disputandum
    – fectin
    Nov 1, 2023 at 1:08
  • @eps - I've had Ramen a number of times from what I understand are good restaurants. One of them is A place in Taipei, which the locals told me is good. Another is a chain called Tonkotsu in London. Nov 1, 2023 at 10:47
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    How big (in kg) is your "bag of random bones" from the butcher, and how much broth do you have (in L) at the end of your 10h process? It might be that you aren't adding enough water for the amount of bonestuffs you have. Nov 1, 2023 at 23:15

2 Answers 2

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It sounds like what you're describing as "fattiness" is really gelatinousness. Your long-simmered bones will release a lot of gelatin, which gives broth a thick, sticky, unctuous texture. It's definitely my preference for ramen, but it sounds like it's not yours.

To reduce the gelatin content, use fewer bones, simmer them for a shorter amount of time, and use meatier bones and other ingredients to make up the deficit in flavor.

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    Agree - and the mentioned trotters would result in an even more gelatinous broth.
    – Stephie
    Oct 31, 2023 at 9:40
  • So, I should use more meat and less bone. How about using something like a slow cooker? Would that change the amount of gelatinousness? Oct 31, 2023 at 11:49
  • @Rocketmagnet Possibly, though it doesn't strike me as the most obvious thing to change.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 31, 2023 at 12:15
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    Hocks and shanks are generally my preference for a (non-gelatinous) broth, ~2 hours simmered. Oct 31, 2023 at 14:55
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If it is truly the fat that is an issue, chill your stock in a large container over night in the refrigerator. The fat will harden on the surface. Then, carefully spoon off and discard the hardened fat.

These types of stocks generally contain a high amount of gelatin from the cuts of meat that are used. The gelatin contributes to the richness and mouthfeel, and is generally supposed to be present.

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  • Thanks. I already do this, but it doesn't seem to be enough to stop that fatty face feel. Oct 31, 2023 at 21:11

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