Recipes Chashu


Chashu, also known as braised pork belly, is a popular topping for ramen and a delightful addition to many Japanese dishes. This tender, flavorful meat is marinated and slow-cooked to perfection, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience. In this article, we will cover the ingredients needed, the preparation process, tips for perfecting your chashu, variations you can try, and nutritional information.

Ingredients

For the Chashu

  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 2 green onions, cut into pieces

For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices ginger

Preparation

Step 1: Prepare the Pork Belly

  1. Roll and Tie the Pork Belly: Roll the pork belly into a cylinder and tie it tightly with kitchen twine. This helps the meat maintain its shape during cooking.
  2. Sear the Pork Belly: Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and sear the pork belly on all sides until browned. This step adds a rich flavor to the meat.

Step 2: Braise the Pork Belly

  1. Combine Braising Ingredients: In a large pot, combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, water, sugar, garlic, ginger, and green onions.
  2. Add the Pork Belly: Place the seared pork belly into the pot, ensuring it is submerged in the liquid.
  3. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, turning the pork occasionally, until it is tender and flavorful.

Step 3: Marinate the Chashu

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, water, sugar, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Marinate the Pork Belly: Remove the cooked pork belly from the braising liquid and place it in a resealable plastic bag or a container. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring it is fully covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 4: Serve the Chashu

  1. Slice the Pork Belly: Remove the pork belly from the marinade and slice it into thin pieces.
  2. Heat the Slices: Optional, you can briefly sear the slices in a hot pan before serving to add extra flavor and texture.

Tips

  1. Marinating Time: The longer you marinate the pork belly, the more flavorful it will be. Aim for at least 8 hours, but overnight is best.
  2. Braising Liquid: Save the braising liquid to use as a base for ramen broth or to flavor other dishes.
  3. Serving Suggestions: Chashu is commonly served as a topping for ramen, but it also works well in rice bowls, sandwiches, or as a standalone dish.

Variations

  1. Spicy Chashu: Add a few dried chili peppers or a tablespoon of chili paste to the braising liquid for a spicy kick.
  2. Honey Glazed Chashu: Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the marinade for a sweeter flavor.
  3. Smoky Chashu: After braising, briefly smoke the pork belly using a smoking gun or a smoker for a smoky flavor.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (100g of Chashu)

  • Calories: 290 kcal
  • Protein: 12g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Sodium: 850mg

Conclusion

Making chashu at home is a rewarding process that results in incredibly tender and flavorful pork belly. Whether you're adding it to your homemade ramen or enjoying it in a rice bowl, chashu is sure to elevate your dish. With these ingredients, steps, tips, and variations, you can create your own delicious chashu and impress your family and friends. Enjoy!

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