If you buy 7-Eleven Hawaii’s new Tonkotsu Pork Ramen, do not look at the nutrition facts affixed to the bottom of the bowl.
I repeat. Do not look at the nutrition facts on the bottom of the bowl.
This warning is being stated for two reasons. 1) There’s a particular number among the nutrition facts you might want to avoid looking at. 2) Even though it looks like there’s no broth in an unheated container, you should know there’s broth under those noodles. So tipping it would not be wise. But now that I’ve made such a fuss about it, you’ll most definitely look at it.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Every single thing you need to know
7-Eleven’s Tonkotsu Pork Ramen features ramen noodles, green onions, pork shoulder butt pieces, and bamboo shoots in a broth that’s made using a combination of pork and chicken stock. The word “tonkotsu” translates to “pork bones” in English, and the broth is made by boiling pork bones for several hours.
I do not know how long the pork bones were boiled to make this broth, but I do know it takes two minutes to heat the ramen in the microwave. Once this is done, the cloudy broth comes into view. It’s tasty and rich with a mild pork flavor. It’s also very greasy looking because of the oil drops that cover the broth’s surface. The pork pieces are not the most attractive cuts of meat. Instead of clean slices one would get with most ramen, they look more like unmarinated pieces of teri beef. But, even though they don’t look too appetizing, the pieces are tender, flavorful, and I wish there were more of them.
Like with 7-Eleven’s pho, I thought the straight, thin wheat noodles might become a little overcooked from the microwave, but they had the right amount of chew. Among the various shades of brown that float in the ramen, the bright green onions add a bit of color and a bite that helps cuts through the rich broth. As for the bamboo shoots, I was skeptical about them at first, because I’ve never had them with ramen before. But my first experience was a positive one as their flavor goes well with the other ingredients.
7-Eleven Hawaii could’ve gone the simple route and started off with a shoyu or miso ramen, but instead went for a broth that’s a bit more complex and did a respectable job with it. With colder and wetter days ahead of us, this tonkotsu ramen is a decent way to warm up.