Tonkotsu Ramen: A Short Overview

What do tonkotsu means?

Frequently confused with tonkatsu, but here’s the difference: Tonkatsu is fried pork cutlets, whereas tonkotsu is a type of broth made with pork. Although the Japanese word for tonkotsu literally translates to “pig bone” or “pork bone,” you won’t be ordering a pig bone for dinner. As a result, “tonkotsu” is typically used to refer to a broth made from pork bones in Asian restaurants.

Tonkotsu ramen is a specialty dish in both Fukuoka and Kyushu, and it is a type of ramen that originated in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture on the Japanese island of Kyushu. The dish is traditionally topped with sliced pork belly and served with ramen noodles that are hard in the middle. The soup broth is made from pork bones and other ingredients that are typically boiled for several hours. Tonkotsu ramen is also known as Hakata ramen in Fukuoka, Japan.


What is tonkotsu made of?

Tonkotsu ramen is a type of Japanese noodle soup that is made with bone broth from pork. The collagen in the connective tissue transforms into gelatin when collagen-rich pig parts like pork trotters and neck bones are cooked in water at a high temperature, giving the bone broth its silky texture.

Tonkotsu, which translates to “pork bones” in Japanese, is the name of the broth used to make tonkotsu ramen. The soup broth is made by steeping pork bones in water for up to 18 hours, and the resulting broth is typically cloudy in appearance. Onion, garlic, spring onions, ginger, pork back fat, pig’s trotters, oil, and chicken carcasses can all be added as additional broth ingredients. Slices of roasted or braised pork belly and cooked ramen noodles are added for serving, along with optional extras like kombu, kikurage, shyu, chili bean paste, sesame seeds, and others.

Read more: The 5 Components of Ramen



To make tonkotsu ramen, the ramen noodles are traditionally cooked until they are hard in the middle. Customers can choose the degree of firmness for the noodles at some ramen shops, with options like futsu for regular or standard, harigane for extremely hard, barikata for al dente, and yawamen for soft. In a practice known as kaedama, some eateries will also fill a customer’s request for a second order of noodles.


Is tonkotsu ramen broth healthy?

Tonkotsu has a delicious umami flavor, but it also has many health advantages over other bone broths. Well, rich, hearty, delectable ramen soup doesn’t seem particularly healthy, does it? However, broth made from pork and chicken bones is actually very beneficial for your health. The digestive tract lining, immune system, aid in overcoming food allergies, and joint health are all said to benefit from the bone’s collagen.



Here are some excellent nutrients found in ramen broth.

  • Amino acids like glycine and proline
  • Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Collagen
  • Glucosamine, and chondroitin


Health Benefits

As a result of these nutrients, for instance, glycine and proline are the ingredients used in the biosynthesis of DNA and protein. Your nervous system, as well as the development and maintenance of your body, depend on it. Additionally, proline and glycine reduce inflammation in the digestive and respiratory systems. You will have better immunity if you can improve your intestinal health, which will prevent you from getting sick as frequently. Additionally, ramen broth enhances the health of the bones, joints, skin, and hair.

Related: Different Types of Ramen