Japanese Chashu

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Product name: Food Passport: Japanese Chashu
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Description: On the contrary, Japanese Chashu is usually rolled, pan-seared on the outside then slowly braised in soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar for a long period of time, until the pork roll is moist and tender.
Type: Dinner
Image:
Food Passport: Japanese Chashu
Published:
Time to prepare the recipe: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 120 minutes
Duration: 130 minutes
Servings:
Ingredients: pork belly, leek, ginger, garlic cloves, water, kikkoman soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar,
Instructions:

When it comes to Ramen, I wonder what would pop up in people’s mind. Is it the texture of the noodles, the richness of the soup, or that silky runny yolk of Ajitsuke Tamago? Well, for me it will always be the melt-in-your-mouth pieces of rolled pork belly – the Japanese Chashu.

So what is “Japanese Chashu”?

Japanese Chashu got its name from Chinese’s famous barbecue pork – Char Siu. Even though they share the same sound, the techniques to cook each one are different. Traditionally, Chinese Char Siu is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin, honey, Chinese’s wine, five spice powder and red food colouring to give its unique colour (which you will usually see in front of a Chinese restaurant). It is then hung and roasted in a specialised oven or barbecued over a charcoal flame. On the contrary, Japanese Chashu is usually rolled, pan-seared on the outside then slowly braised in soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar for a long period of time, until the pork roll is moist and tender.

Just in case you wonder why Japanese Chashu got it rolled shape. The reasons are not just for the presentation of a Ramen bowl. By rolling up a flat slab pork belly, you will promote even cooking throughout the piece of meat and prevent the meat from drying out. This also will ensure the melt-in-your-mouth effect that Japanese Chashu is well-known for.

Another important note that you should consider is to let the Chashu rest after its long hour “spa”. I know it is really tempting to cut into that beauty right away, but trust me on this one, my friend, you will want to savour it. Letting the pork roll to rest after cooking, the meat will retain its juice, absorb even more flavour from the sauce, and a proper chilled Chashu will not make a mess on your cutting board (cold meat is easier to slice than hot meat).

Hmmm…talking about Chashu does make me feel hungry. I think it is the “roll, roll, roll the pork time”!!! Below is the recipe for Japanese Chashu and I hope you would pair it up with a bowl of Tonkotsu Miso Ramen for tonight’s dinner.

Happy cooking friends and good luck!

(Recipe video below)

THE RECIPE

Japanese Chashu

Serving 2 people

Prep time Cook time
10 mins 2 hours

Ingredients:

Pork belly 600 gm
Leek 1 stalk
Ginger 1
Garlic cloves 5 cloves
Water 500 ml
Kikkoman soy sauce 1/2 cup
Mirin 1/3 cup
Sake 1/3 cup
Sugar 1/3 cup

Method:

1. Season in meat side of the pork belly with salt and pepper. Then roll it into a log shape

2. Cut 3 strings of butchet string, tie up both ends and the middle of the pork log.

3. Place a heavy bottom pot over high heat, wait until the pot start to smoke, add a little bit of oil then start searing every side of the pork.

4. After the pork is nicely seared, add in the measured ingredients. Cut the leek into chunky pieces, slice ginger, crush the garlic and everything go in to the pot.

5. Bring to the boil the reduce to simmer. Cover with a lid and let the pork braised for 2 hours. Remember to turn the pork occasionally for even cooking.

6. After 2hrs, remove the pork from the pot, and transfer to a container together with the cooking sauce. Place the container into the fridge until the pork is cooled completely or overnight.

7. After cooled, slice the Japanese Chashu thinly and enjoy with your Ramen bowl or rice.

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