Love the gorgeous braised, sliced pork served with Japanese ramen? My version of chashu is so simple, although it does need some forward planning, so be sure to leave time for overnight cooling. Try serving this epic, soft pork belly with steamed rice or salad, too. Get ready to roll, people!
1.2kg (2.6 lb) pork belly
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup mirin*
1/3 cup sake
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
4cm (1.5 inch) piece of ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
Roll the pork belly up tightly to form a cylinder shape. Tie string around the pork belly at regular intervals so that it keeps its shape while cooking (see the recipe video for Marion’s technique for this).
In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake and 1 cup of water.
Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep , oven-proof pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the pork belly and sear on all sides for about 2 minutes per side or until evenly golden in colour. Pour over the soy sauce mixture. Add the ginger and garlic. Then top up with extra water until at least half the pork belly is submerged. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours, turning the pork every half an hour. Alternatively, cover and reduce the heat to low on the stovetop and simmer for 3 hours, turning every half an hour.
Let the pork and braising liquid cool to warm. Then transfer both to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the fat from the top of the braising liquid. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Remove the string and slice into thin pieces. Before serving (either with ramen or with rice) heat the pork slices in a non-stick frying pan until golden.
Tips & Tricks:
– Reserve the braising liquid and use it as a master stock or use it to add extra flavour to soup broths.
– Chashu pork can be frozen in slices or as a whole piece for up to 2 months.
– Mirin is a type of Japanese cooking rice wine (it has less alcohol than sake but is sweeter). It’s available in the Asian aisle of some major supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store.