Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Chashu is Japanese BBQ pork. It's extremely delicious and tender. It's great by itself, but it's also the perfect pork to add to your ramen. This is the last piece of the puzzle before I put out my ramen recipe. I hope the wait has been worth it!

This recipe calls for using a unique piece of hardware called an otoshibuta. An otoshibuta helps your food cook in a steam environment, but allows enough vapor loss to reduce a sauce. It's placed directly on the cooking liquid, which helps keep big bubbles from forming so delicate foods aren't broken apart.

Don't worry, I don't have one either, but it's extremely easy to make one out of parchment paper and here is a link to the instructions. I don't recommend making one out of tin foil because aluminum and acid doesn't mix well.


1 lb pork belly
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ c water
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup sake
¼ cup dark brown or demerara sugar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 scallions, sliced
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2" piece of ginger, sliced


Salt both sides of the pork belly. Pour the olive oil into a cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the oil starts to lightly smoke. Lay the pork belly in the oil, fat side down, and sear for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Remove from the skillet and let it rest.

In a heavy-bottom pot, like a dutch oven, add the remaining ingredients and the pork belly. Bring the whole thing to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover with the otoshibuta and simmer for 1 hour, turning the pork over every 10 minutes.

After an hour, you should have a thick sauce. Roll the pork belly in the sauce to make sure you have even coverage on all sides. Take it out of the pot and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes before slicing thin and serving by itself, over noodles, or with ramen.

For some added flavor and color, lightly sear under a boiler or with a propane or culinary torch.

If you plan on storing for later, place your slices in a zip-top bag with the remaining sauce. Make sure you get most of the air out so the slices get good, even coverage. They should keep for about a week in the fridge.

To reheat, just pour your piping hot ramen broth on top or lightly sear in a medium-heat skillet.

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