3 ways you can try now to advance your ramen soup to the next level

How to make your tonkotsu/thick ramen soup better


Many ramen restaurants struggle with production of thick soups. These types of stocks are notoriously time consuming and labor-intensive. But because they are actually most demanded and popular types of ramen soups, many go through all the troubles to make and serve them. But you may have asked yourself at least once, “isn’t there a better way to make them?” Because this is a daily job, you put in significant amount of time, labor, and energy/money to make your thick ramen soups over time.

Some findings from 20 years of teaching ramen soup from scratch

At Yamato, we have conducted professional ramen training courses over the past 20 years. Experiencing how labor-intensive and time-consuming ramen soup production is in classes conducted every month, we’ve developed ways that reduce the resources put into production.

  1. Learn the correct ways that reduce costs and boost the quality and taste
  2. Install a simple device that may save you a lot of money and improve the quality
  3. Start using a tool that may save you labor, time, and precious soup

Aren't you wasting a lot of your resources in ramen soup making?


There are things you may not be aware but drastically improve your ramen soups. You should stop and check if you are making your stock, following these tips because you may be wasting a lot of resources in making your ramen soups. At Yamato, we have been conducting a ramen school, intensive training courses that are based on scientific methods. Over the past 20 years, every month, we have taught production methods by actually making a variety of base stocks from scratch. Because we want to make high quality soups with consistency, we need to rely on things that do not change.
Image is measuring a ramen stock density on a refractometer. Using a proper measuring tool helps production quality consistent.

Digital cooking methods bring stability into your ramen soup

Measuring water level of the stock to maintain optimal water-to-ingredient ratio throughout cooking to ensure the efficient umami extraction

These things that remain constant are numbers. Weight of certain ingredients, temperature of cooking certain things, duration a certain ingredient is cooked, blending ratio of base stock, motodare, and flavored oils for your ramen soup, etc. When we measure and control everything by numbers, we can structure our recipes with more precisions and stabilities. We call this cooking method, “digital cooking”, which enables anyone (no matter what experiences one has) to make superb ramen dishes no matter how complex the recipes are. And we can make the same product with the same quality over and over. The consistency in the quality of what you serve is critical to your business success.

At Yamato, we’ve been conducting the intensive ramen training courses for years, and we are making them accessible to anyone anywhere in the world by going online. You can learn and study the most effective ways to make your ramen soups anytime no matter where you are.

The simplest action you may take to change your ramen soup is to change your water

ramen soup production
All the faucets shown in the picture run soft water, which makes a dramatic difference in the cooking speed/extraction speed of ramen stocks

Installing a simple device in your business may dramatically improve the quality of your ramen soup, production time, and production cost. Because making base stocks is essentially moving umami particles from the ingredients to water, the quality of water matters. For the speed of extraction. So, what kind of quality should we look for in the water we use to cook our base stocks? It is very simple. Hardness. Hardness of water determines how quickly we can extract umami essences from the ingredients. What does it mean water is hard? Hard water contains a lot of minerals, calcium and magnesium to name a few. Because there are a lot of these minerals floating in the water where ingredients are cooked, there is less space for umami essences to move to. Soft water on the other hand is basically empty. Because there’s much more room, extraction is faster.

porkbone stock
If water hardness is higher than a certain degree, it could take a couple of hours or even longer to get the same amount of stocks. This would translate into higher costs in gas/electricity, labor, and ingredient costs. Multiplied by the number of times this stock is made, the cost adds up over time.

You can measure the hardness of water, and how hard it is affects umami extraction speed greatly. How many particles of calcium and magnesium are in your water? It can be measured. There are several units of measurements. For example, Parts Per Million. If your water is measured to be 100 PPM, your water is moderately hard. Installing a water softening device would make a difference in the time it takes you to make your stocks. If it is over 120, then it would make a dramatic difference. Water softener is a simple device that filters out calcium and magnesium through ion exchange resin. It is a small investment you can make to possibly make a dramatic impact on the quality and cost of your ramen soup. If you are making 100kg of tonkotsu stocks over 12 hours everyday with water that’s 130 ppm in hardness, how much would you be able to save by reducing production time?

A simple device that may help you money on your ramen soup production

soup straining
Straining thick ramen stocks by hand is cumbersome and time-consuming. Depending on the quantity and density of stocks, it may take hours just on straining.

Making good tonkotsu stocks is time consuming and labor intensive with low productivity. If you are a ramen shop serving a tonkotsu soup or other thick soups, aren’t you spending long hours and labors to make your soup every day? If you are making your stocks from scratch, doing everything manually, the chances are there’s a plenty of room for improvement. At Yamato, through training courses we teach at our ramen school, we’ve been working hard to develop ways to produce highest quality ramen soups with the minimum efforts. Because soup production is a job done every day, you want to minimize your workload as much as possible and focus on other areas of your business.
Rich Soup, the soup straining machine may be just the product you need to improve your operation significantly. It may help you in the following ways. 

  1. Saves as much of your precious stocks as 20%
    (i.e.: 20% better yield – e.g.: before: 50kg of tonkotsu stock after: 60kg of tonkotsu stocks – equivalent of 33 servings worth of stocks from every batch made)
  2. Shortens straining time by 1/3
  3. Frees your stuff from labor-intensive jobs (improving employee morale)
  4. Makes your soup better with the power of centrifuge
  5. Improves production operation

Saving your precious stocks and labor

The picture shows how much stocks are still hidden in the leftover of strained ingredients. When squeezed by hand, there's still good amount of perfectly good stocks that come out. Depending on the conditions, the quantity of stocks that would otherwise be thrown away with the ingredients can be as much as 20% of the total yield!

Straining stocks by hand is a process where much of your stocks you worked for long hours to make may be lost. Straining thick stocks with remaining of the ingredients, such as pieces of bones and meat fibers is a slow process. The stocks, the liquid stay in the remaining of the ingredients. By hand-straining, the stocks retained in the ingredients may be overlooked and thrown away. This may amount to as much as 20% of the total yield. If your daily yield is 100 liters, that means 20 liters of precious pork bone stocks is lost in the straining. 20 liters! That’d be equivalent of over 60 servings of tonkotsu soup being thrown away just because we don’t know how to extract them. How much money would that be?

How long does your soup straining take? How much do you spend only on straining your thick ramen stocks? For some restaurants we interviewed, it takes them over 1-3 hours on a daily basis. Over one hour just on stock straining! And you may be losing around 20% of your production yield! The soup straining machine may save you the stock and time. Imagine how much money you can save every day. If you are struggling with your soup production every day, trying out one of the ways we suggested may be worth a try. If you are interested in giving the soup straining machine a try, please feel free to contact us.

Share this

Noodle Master: Akira Mii

Head of Yamato MFG International Dept., Ramen coach Thank you so much for your interest in Yamato Online Noodle School! My name is Akira. Over the past decade, I have been helping a great number of Ramen and Udon shops across the world. I am thrilled to use my experience and knowledge to help you along your journey of becoming a great Ramen master. Feel free to contact me!