japanese chashu (porkbelly)

sliced chashu

Japanese chashu is commonly eaten with Japanese ramen though I am sure it might also be eaten with other foods (rice?). I have seen it at the Japanese grocer but decided to try and make it on my own. The recipe is relatively simple but requires some babysitting. I had to turn the pork once every half hour to ensure even cooking. After slicing the pork, soak it in the cooking marinade to help it develop more flavour.

We served our chashu porkbelly atop some ramen we bought in Japan.

ramen with chashu, tamago, pickled ginger, spring onions, bean sprouts and nori (seaweed)

Japanese Chashu Pork Belly

(taken from Serious Eats; click here)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound slab of boneless pork belly, skin-on
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 6 whole garlic cloves
  • One 2-inch knob ginger, roughly sliced
  • 1 whole shallot, split in half (skin on)

Method:

  1. Lay pork belly on cutting board and roll up lengthwise, with skin facing out.
  2. Using butchers twine, tightly secure pork belly at 3/4-inch intervals.
  3. Preheat oven to 275°F. Heat 1 cup water, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, scallions, garlic, ginger, and shallot in a medium saucepan over high heat until boiling. Add pork belly (it won’t be submerged). Cover with a lid left slightly ajar. Transfer to oven and cook, turning pork occasionally, until pork is fully tender and a cake tester or thin knife inserted into its center meets little resistance, 3 to 4 hours.Transfer contents to a sealed container and refrigerate until completely cool.
  4. When ready to serve, remove pork belly and strain broth. Reserve broth for another use (like making ajitsuke tamago, (ramen egg)). Slice pork belly into thin rounds (it might help to cut it in half lengthwise first).
  5. Reheat pork belly slices in soup broth with noodles and other garnishes. Alternatively, heat a small amount of reserved broth in a skillet and heat pork slices in broth until hot or reheat with a blowtorch, charring its surface. Serve.
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