In that time, you can catch up on much-needed sleep, clock in nearly two days’ worth of office hours, or fly from New York to London – and back.
Or you can slave over a boiling pot of tonkotsu ramen broth.
OK, so the fire was really the one flexing its muscles for 15 hours, while I cleared emails and pottered around the house. But many good hours of my life was certainly spent gazing into that magic pot, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the soup evolution.
I fell in love with tonkotsu ramen several years ago after my maiden encounter with its creamy broth in the winter cold, the perfect setting for piping hot soup. And since the first frost of the season has dawned upon us, it was time to try creating some of that collagen-y goodness.
Scroll down for pictures that chronicle the soupy evolution!
1 kg pork knuckles (or chunky leg bones), broken
500g chicken bones
1 bulb onion
1 bulb garlic
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
1 large carrot, sliced
4 sprigs scallions
Salt to taste
1. Bring pot of water to a boil, then add pork knuckles. Boil till much scum comes out from the bones.
2. After 15 minutes, dump the gunky water. Scrub remaining scum off all the bones and rinse thoroughly.
3. Resume boiling pork knuckles with fresh batch of water, till scum no longer floats to surface.
4. At 3 Hours, add chicken bones, carrots, shiitake mushrooms.
Fry garlic and ginger till fragrant, and add to pot.
Fry onions till caramelised, and add to pot.
5. At 6 Hours, add scallions.
6. At 9 hours, watch the broth start to turn creamy!
7. At 12 hours, sigh in wonderment at the thickness of the broth.
8. At 15 hours, add salt to taste, and turn off the fire! Scoop out oil from the surface.
9. The tonkotsu base is ready! Now add your extra secret ingredients (I’m still figuring mine out) to complete the tonkotsu soup.
10. Serve with ramen noodles, beautifully molten-yolked eggs (recipe to come!), corn and char siew. The meat should have been Japanese cha siu, but I copped out and used some Chinese-style char siew I’d made earlier that week.
Presenting, the Grand Finale…