Back

Ultimate Chashu Pork: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pork Belly for Ramen

Easy Chashu Pork Belly Recipe for Authentic Tonkotsu Ramen

Elevate your ramen game with this irresistible chashu pork recipe. Tender, juicy pork belly braised in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, sake, and mirin – it’s the secret weapon for restaurant-quality ramen at home!

Chashu pork is the crown jewel of a perfect bowl of ramen. This Japanese delicacy, inspired by Chinese char siu, has evolved into a sublime simmered dish that will transform your homemade ramen from good to unforgettable. Let’s dive into the art of creating chashu that’s so tender, it practically melts on your tongue.

The Science of Succulent Chashu

The key to exceptional chashu lies in the delicate balance between moisture and tenderness. We’ll explore the perfect cooking technique to achieve pork that’s both incredibly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth soft. Get ready to impress your dinner guests with your ramen mastery!

Shaping for Success

Rolled chashu isn’t just for looks – it’s the secret to locking in moisture. By rolling the pork belly, we create a shape that cooks more evenly and retains up to 18% more juiciness than a flat slab. Plus, keeping the skin on adds a luxurious gelatinous texture and helps insulate the meat for gentle, even cooking.

The Low and Slow Method

While high-heat cooking might be quicker, it’s the enemy of moist, tender chashu. We’ll use a low-temperature oven method that breaks down tough connective tissue without drying out the meat. The result? Chashu that’s fork-tender and bursting with flavor.

Flavor Infusion

Our braising liquid is a umami-packed combination of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and a touch of sweetness. Aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions add depth and complexity to every bite. The overnight chill allows these flavors to penetrate deeply, ensuring each slice is a flavor bomb.

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)

Directions

  1. Start by rolling your pork belly lengthwise, skin facing outward. This crucial step ensures even cooking and maximum juiciness.
  2. Secure your pork roll tightly with butcher’s twine at 3/4-inch intervals. This maintains the shape during cooking and ensures even slices later.
  3. Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, scallions, garlic, ginger, and shallot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Gently place the pork belly in the liquid (it won’t be fully submerged). Cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow some steam to escape. Transfer to the oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours, turning the pork occasionally. The pork is done when a cake tester or thin knife slides into the center with minimal resistance. Once cooked, transfer everything to a sealed container and refrigerate until completely cool.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, remove the chilled pork belly and strain the braising liquid. Don’t discard this liquid gold – it’s perfect for making marinated soft-boiled eggs (ajitsuke tamago). Slice the pork belly into thin rounds, cutting it in half lengthwise first if easier.
  5. To serve, you have three mouthwatering options: 1) Simply place the slices in hot ramen broth to warm through. 2) Gently reheat the slices in a small amount of the reserved braising liquid for extra flavor. 3) For the ultimate flavor experience, use a kitchen torch to lightly char the surface of each slice before adding to your ramen bowl.

Pro Tips for Chashu Perfection

  • Patience is key – don’t rush the cooling process. Overnight chilling allows flavors to intensify and makes slicing a breeze.
  • Leftover chashu? Lucky you! Use it to make incredible pork belly buns for a quick and delicious meal.
  • For a show-stopping presentation, invest in a small culinary torch to give your chashu slices a caramelized finish right before serving.

Exciting Ways to Use Your Chashu

  • Rich and Creamy Tonkotsu Ramen: The classic pairing for your homemade chashu.
  • Chashu Fried Rice: Dice up leftover chashu for an indulgent twist on fried rice.
  • Chashu Bao: Stuff pillowy steamed buns with slices of your succulent pork belly.
  • Chashu Donburi: Top a bowl of steamed rice with chashu, a soft-boiled egg, and a drizzle of the braising liquid for a quick meal.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
275 Calories
17g Fat
8g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 232mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: