Sweet soy and stout-braised pork belly

Sweet soy and stout-braised pork belly

Buta kakuni

By
From
JapanEasy
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

This recipe is perhaps more Chinese than Japanese, but it’s common in both casual Japanese restaurants and home kitchens. I don’t want to say it’s the best pork belly ever… but I guess I just did. If the addition of stout sounds strange, consider it has some of the same treacly-savoury flavour as soy sauce, but without the salt.

Completely not difficult

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500g pork belly, rind removed, cut into cubes
1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half around its middle
300ml stout
100ml dashi
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons mirin
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
water, as needed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130ºC.
  2. Put the oil in a deep flameproof casserole and set it over a medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the pork belly and brown on all sides. Remove the meat and drain excess oil from the pan, then add the onion and garlic and brown them all over. Pour in the stout, dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce, and add the star anise and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and add the pork belly. If the liquid does not cover the meat, add water.
  3. Place a circle of baking parchment or foil over the meat, put a lid on the casserole and place in the preheated oven. This will take probably 4–5 hours to braise, but start checking it after 2 hours. If the liquid is reducing too much, top it up and turn the oven heat down – the liquid should be at a bare simmer. The pork is done when it is very, very soft. Remove it carefully with a slotted spoon, then pass the braising liquid through a sieve into another saucepan. Skim as much fat off the surface of the sauce as possible, then bring to the boil and reduce to the consistency of thin syrup. Pour the sauce over the pork before serving. Enjoy with rice or noodles, and savoury green vegetables such as broccoli or bok choi.
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