Ramen is my current obsession, with tonkotsu ramen (aka pork ramen) being my favourite, and the most important topping for a good pork ramen is melt in your mouth chashu, aka Japanese marinated braised pork belly. Chashu is pretty easy to make, though it does take some time, and it’s well worth it! You simply roll a pork belly and tie it up before slowly braising it in a sweet and salty marinade until the pork get so nice and tender and good! The marinade typically consists of soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar along with garlic, ginger and onions for seasoning. The best, and easiest, way to cook the pork belly is to slowly braise it at a low temperature in the oven for several hours. Because the pork will be so moist and tender after braising it’s a good idea to let it cool completely so that you can more easily slice it for serving in your bowl of ramen! Whenever you make chashu make sure to keep the chashu sauce (marinade) with all of the pork juices in it for other things like marinating ramen eggs!
What is chashu? Chashu is pork belly that is braised or simmered in a sweet and salty liquid consisting of soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar until it melt in your mouth tender!
Use leftover chashu to make rice bowls, aka chashu don!
Melt in your mouth marinated braised pork belly is the perfect topping for tonkotsu ramen!
Reheat by simmering the slices in some of the reserved braising juices or broiling!
I tried cooking the chashu pork sous-vide style to compare and it turned out a little moister and more tender but it had absorbed less of the marinades flavour. In the photo below the one on the left was the once cooked in the sous-vide and the one on the right was braised in the oven. You can also make chashu pork in the slow cooker!
Chashu Pork (Marinated Braised Pork Belly)
Melt in your mouth tender slices of seasoned pork belly that is perfect in a steaming bowl of ramen!
- 2 pounds pork belly
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup sake
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Tightly roll the pork with the ski side out and tie with butches string.
- Mix the soy sauce, sake, minion and sugar in a large oven safe pan, add garlic, ginger green onions and pork.
- Briase in a preheated 275F/140C oven with the lid slightly ajar for 3.5 hours, flipping the pork once half way through.
- Let cool completely, optionally chilling over night in the fridge, before slicing and enjoying!
Tip: Save the cooking juices to season ramen broth or to marinate eggs in to make ajitsuke tamago, aka ramen eggs. (Optionally chill in the fridge overnight and remove the fat from the top before using.)
Tip: Reheat the pork slices by simmering in a sauce pan with some of the reserved cooking juices, or under a broiler or in a piping hot bowl of ramen!
Option: Place the pork belly, 1 tablespoon sour sauce, 1 tablespoon sake and 1 tablespoon mirin in a sealed plastic bag and cook in a sous-vide 155F for 36 hours for even more tender pork!