For this recipe, you can use shop-bought ramen noodles and concentrate your efforts on the meaty broth and deep-fried pork.
For this recipe you will need a pressure cooker and deep-fat fryer.
For the tonkatsu sauce
- 200g/7oz sugar
- 200ml/7fl oz white wine vinegar
- 3 chillies
- 5g fresh root ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
For the broth
- 900g/2lb beef shank
- 550g/1lb 4oz oxtail
- 450g/1lb chicken backs, cut into pieces (alternatively use chicken neck or wings)
- 450g/1lb pork bones (preferably neck bones, but you can use hocks)
- pinch salt
- 225g/8oz pork fat from the back (Optional. You will only need this if your other meat is very lean)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
- 1 tbsp sake, to taste
- 1 tbsp mirin, to taste
For the breaded pork cutlet
- 75g/2½oz plain flour
- 4 free-range egg whites
- 150g/5½oz breadcrumbs
- 2 x pork cutlets, flattened
- ¼ daikon, grated
- ¼ small white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 400g/14oz ramen noodles (preferably freshly-made alkaline noodles) or run frozen ramen dough across a mandolin to make big coins or strips
- ½ bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
- 100g/3½oz napa cabbage, sliced
- 150g/5½oz beansprouts
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 100ml/3½fl oz ponzu sauce
For the tonkatsu, put the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to cool and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
For the broth, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Heat the beef shank and oxtail with 2.25 litres/4 pints water in a pressure cooker. Once the pressure has risen, cook for 15 minutes over medium-high heat. Release the pressure and return the cooker to the stove, or transfer the broth to a bigger soup pot. Simmer for at least 30 more minutes over a medium heat.
While the beef cooks, spread the chicken back pieces and pork bones out on a baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until everything is well browned.
Once the shank and oxtail have finished simmering, remove them from the cooking liquid and set aside. Add the roasted chicken and pork bones to the cooking liquid along with 1.2 litres/2 pints water and a large pinch of salt. Add the pork back fat, if using, and bring the stock back to a simmer. Cook uncovered, with the pot steadily bubbling but not boiling, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove the chicken and pork and set aside. Strain the stock to remove any large bits of gristle, then return it to the pan. Season the broth, to taste, with soy sauce, sake, mirin, and more salt, if desired. Keep the broth hot.
For the breaded pork cutlet, put the flour, egg whites and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dust the pork cutlets in flour, dip in the egg whites and then coat in breadcrumbs.
Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Deep fry the pork for 4-6 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, boil the noodles in a saucepan of salted water and drain well.
Shred the meat from the reserved beef and oxtail. Divide the broth between 4 warmed ramen bowls and add the shredded meat. Add the noodles. Garnish with spring onions, cabbage, beansprouts and garlic.
Slice the pork cutlets and arrange on a serving board with the daikon, cabbage, tonkatsu sauce and ponzu sauce. Serve with the hot noodle broth.