Tateno uses chicken feet to add collagen for texture--rather than dumping in lard.
Tateno uses chicken torsos and pork backbones to flavor his broth.
Both ingredients go into giant drums. (Here they're being cooked separately, but usually Tateno cooks them together.)
Soon the scum appears. This is the chicken broth.
And this is the pork.
Skimming the scum is hot work! Tateno skims both drums constantly for about 45 minutes, and then checks them periodically throughout the day.
On Wednesday night, the broth is frozen until Saturday. All the fat rises to the top. But on Tateno's broth, it's a very thin layer.
Chashu! (...Is someone talking about me somewhere?)
On Thursday, Tateno makes the chashu, or pork topping. First he rolls up a huge slice of pork belly. Then he cooks the rolls with spices.
The chashu simmers in a combination of soy sauce, raw sugar, garlic, red chilies, tare seasoning, and the leftover liquid from last week. Each new batch has some of the old one. In fact, Tateno has been saving the liquid for over two years. So when you eat the chashu, some molecules in there may be years old...
On Friday, Tateno mixes flour, eggs, water, moroheiya, and kansui (a Japanese salt) into his noodle dough.
Each weekend the restaurant serves two out of the three ramen flavors: miso, shio, and shouyu. Different-colored bowls are prepped with different spices. In the kitchen Tateno's assistant prepare the chashu and other toppings. Tateno heats up the noodles. Unfortunately, a long hallway separates the kitchen from the front of the shop, so the assistants have to hurry when taking orders and delivering ramen.