Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Good Taste: Morimoto's tonkotsu ramen

Morimoto´s tonkotsu ramen is a rich soup of pork broth, scallion, pickled red ginger, soy-marinated egg, pickled turnip, bork belly, and bok choy.  ( Matthew Hall / Staff Photographer )
Morimoto's tonkotsu ramen is a rich soup of pork broth, scallion, pickled red ginger, soy-marinated egg, pickled turnip, bork belly, and bok choy. ( Matthew Hall / Staff Photographer )

Now that Philly's ramen scene is finally rolling with noodle counters from Chinatown to University City, it's easy to overlook an obvious stop for one of our very best: lunch at Morimoto.

The Iron Chef's long been noted for his chicken soup ramen, but has added some other tremendous variations, including a pork belly bowl I crave.

The little touches - the vivid green plume of steamed bok choy, the creamy-yolked four-minute egg, the tangy pickled turnips - all add spark.

But the fundamentals are what really help this bowl sing: an intensely steeped broth of pork, beef and chicken bones, enhanced with a soy-kombu reduction, and so cloudy and rich, it clings to the snappy, imported alkaline noodles.

The thick slices of pork belly were so tender - the result of a slow braise in nuka, the enzyme-rich bran of rice polished from brown to white in Morimoto's basement.

- Craig LaBan
Pork belly ramen lunch, $15, Morimoto, 723 Chestnut St., 215-413-9070.

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