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.
Chashu pork is a popular ramen topping throughout Japan. It’s made by slowly braising pork belly to make it melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Chashu pork is adapted from its well-known cousin, Char Siu which is the Chinese BBQ pork that you can often find at your local Chinese takeaway or restaurant, or within the pillowy goodness of a BBQ pork bun at a dim sum lunch.
While Char Siu is roasted over a high heat to give it that signature smokiness, Chashu pork is slowly braised in a mouthwatering soy sauce and sake-based marinade, giving it its ultra-tender edge.
However, if noodles aren’t your thing, Chashu pork belly also makes an epic addition to your fave rice bowl or salad of choice.
Chashu lasts in the fridge for about 4-5 days if sealed in something airtight, and it also freezes exceptionally well. If you want to freeze Chashu, I’d recommend cutting it to your desired thickness first, then freezing around 3–4 slices at a time in sealable bags so you always have the perfect portion to hand. You’ll have restaurant-style Chashu to level up your ramen every time!
When you are undertaking making Chashu pork at home, ensuring you have the right cut of meat is vital!
Chashu pork is most commonly made using pork belly, which helps it get to that super delicious, melt-in-your-mouth level of tender thanks to the fat content. If you can’t get your hands on pork belly though, you can use pork shoulder or pork loin for your Chashu pork.
Do keep in mind though that using a cut other than pork belly for your Chashu pork may not produce the same insane tenderness that pork belly does!