Cha Shu is a tender, salty, sweet, fatty, melt-in-your-mouth slices of braised pork belly. Though it originated in China, the Japanese adapted it and made it their own. It’s just the perfect topping for a bowl of lovely, warm ramen.
- 0.9 kg or 2 lb slab of boneless pork belly, with skin-on
- 120 ml or 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 250 ml or 1 cup sake
- 250 ml or 1 cup mirin
- 100 g or 3.5 oz sugar
- 5 scallions stem (aka the white part)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 thick slice of ginger
- 1 shallot
How to make it:
- If the pork belly you have is in a long rectangular shape, you can lay pork belly on cutting board and roll up lengthwise, with skin facing out, then tie it up using butchers twine. If you don’t have a shape like that, you don’t have to do this.
- Sear the surface of the pork belly until the sides except for the skin on top is browned. Then heat 1 cup water with the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, scallions, garlic, shallot, and ginger in a saucepan until boiling. Place the meat in sauce and transfer it to a 135C or 275F oven, turning pork occasionally, until pork is fully tender which should take about 4 to 5 hours.
- Place it in a sealed container (ideally something here the meat can be fully submerged in the sauce) and refrigerate until completely cool (ideally 20 hr so the meat can absorb the maximum amount of flavors)
When ready to serve, remove pork belly and strain broth. Slice pork belly into thin rounds, then heat the slices with a blowtorch, charring its surface, then serve.