I’m in the finishing stage of making my tonkatsu soup base for ramen, and I’m very pleased with the results! But I’m wondering, is it a stock, or a broth?

Stocks are made with bones, and broths are made with meat, although bones can be present as well. And stocks typically aren’t flavored, while broths typically are. But I found this in Food and Wine:

According to Heddings, “Broth is something you sip and stock is something you cook with.” Stock is used as a base in sauces and soups, but its role is to provide body rather than flavor. Broth, on the other hand, is designed to be flavorful and tasty enough to simply drink by itself, which is why the additional salt is so important.

So, my soup base is made with bones, but it also has fatback or salt pork in it for the fat content. And it’s also seasoned with garlic and ginger, but there’s no mirepoix. And it can be used to cook with, but it’s main purpose is as a ramen base - when it’s finished, it needs no more preparation in order to add your ramen ingredients. It can be “sipped” as is, or used as an ingredient in other recipes.

So, is my soup base stock or broth? Or neither? Or both?

Sorry if this is kind of a silly question, but, as a food blogger, the difference is important to me. I don’t want my multitude of followers (I think I’ve got, maybe, 30?) to be mis-led.

1 Answer 1


I think I’ve answered my own question. Since this ramen liquid has elements of both stock and broth, I’m going to call it soup. And I’m sticking with it!

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