I have been making Shio Ramen all this month, so I decided to mix things up this Chinese New Year weekend. I had some Tonkotsu broth tucked away in the back of my freezer that was calling my name. I decided to start experimenting on my version of a Tonkotsu Gyokai Ramen Broth, which is a blend of a pork bone and seafood broth.
Instead of making a separate seafood broth, I steeped niboshi and katsuobushi into my tonkotsu broth to maintain the thickness and even added a potato to the mix to give it extra mouth feel. I should have weighed the potato, but I added a potato the size of my fist into about a liter of tonkotsu broth. I was worried that the potato starches would make the broth grainy, but it added to the opaqueness of the broth and a some smoothness. I probably could have used another potato for the batch. I might try blending the potato into the broth to fortify it further. It seems like the Tori Paitan that I had at Mensho Tokyo in San Francisco does something similar as it has a graininess to it.
Overall I think the broth had a complex fishy, bitter, and smokey flavor. I tried both the shoyu and shio tare in my fridge, but they were pushed to the back by the niboshi flavors. I think a sweeter tare with some caramel or molasses flavors will help balance the bowl.