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Japanese Chashu Pork

28 Jun

Chashu is the sliced pork served with Japanese Ramen noodles nine times out of ten. When properly done, Chashu is tender, succulent, infused with taste, the opposite of everything you’d normally expect of pork. The secret is in the recipe of course, and this is where you’ll learn to do it easily, and perfectly. The use of Chashu is not restricted to Ramen. You can also serve it as a main course of stewed pork belly by carving it into blocks or you can do Chashu sandwiches. A useful by-product of cooking Chashu is the stewing sauce, which can be used in a number of different ways.

IngredientsChashu on Ramen

  1. Laminated Pork Belly (400-600g)
  2. Shallots (6)
  3. Garlic (6 cloves)
  4. Ginger (1 slice)
  5. Soya Sauce (1/4 cup)
  6. Mirin (1/2 cup)
  7. Sake (1/2 cup)
  8. Sugar
  9. Butter
  10. Five Spice Powder

Preparation

  1. The first thing to do is to choose the right sized bakeware for your pork. For 400g of pork belly, its best to use bread loaf shaped bakeware that is just slightly bigger than your meat. This way the pork will not be exposed while it is stewing.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200oC (390oF).
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of Mirin, 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of Soya Sauce into your baking container. Stir in 2T sugar, 1t five spice powder and a knob of butter. Place the pork belly into the stewing liquid.Raw Chashu
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and 6 shallots. Also peel a thick slice of ginger about 2 inches long. Fit them into whatever space that is left (see picture).
  5. Cover the baking container snugly with aluminium foil and place it in the oven. Total baking time is 2 hours.
  6. When the aroma of the stewing pork is noticeable, this means it is boiling, reduce the oven temperature to 150oC (300oF).
  7. After the 2 hours are up, turn the oven off. You may remove your Chashu from the oven immediately or leave it in the oven (the preferred option) to cool for several hours. Seperate the meat from the liquid when they are at room temperature and place them both in the fridge.
  8. When the meat is chilled, cut it into slices. Place the Chashu on the cutting board with the skin facing up and slice from top to bottom, this solves the problem of the skin being of a different consistency from the meat. You can make the slices larger by slicing diagonally.
  9. When the soaking liquid is cold, a layer of lard will form on its surface, you should spoon it out, to discard or perhaps add to your Ramen soup. Put the stewing sauce through a strainer and keep it in the fridge for later use; it should keep for quite a while.
  10. To reheat, simply drench the Chashu slices repeatedly with the boiling soup from your Ramen. If you wish to go the extra mile, glaze individual slices with a bit of the stewing sauce in the oven/toaster oven or with a kitchen torch.

Notes Chashu 1100

  • It is essential that you let the Chashu get thoroughly chilled before cutting or slicing it. It is really tender and will fall apart otherwise. The stewing sauce will congeal into a jelly in the fridge, so thats why it needs to be seperated from the meat before going into the fridge.
  • The commercial Chashu you normally see is round. This is achieved by rolling up your pork belly, skin facing out, with butcher’s twine before stewing it. You’ll need a slab of pork belly that is 2kg to do this. It is not practical to do this at home unless you happen to be inviting 20 people over for Ramen. If you are starting a Ramen restaurant, then by all means.
  • If feel very strongly that pork belly has too much fat, the alternative cut to try would be pork shoulder.
  • The colour of your Chashu will depend on the age of your mirin. The mirin that I used was dark, resulting in a darker Chashu. If you want light coloured Chashu, use a fresh bottle of mirin.
  • If you are serving your Chashu western style, i.e. in blocks, you can use the braising sauce to cook additional vegetables like brussel sprouts or turnip. The braising sauce is also ideal for making  Ajitama, a seasoned semi boiled egg that normally comes with Ramen.
  • If you are interested in Ramen, you can refer to this post.
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1 Comment

Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Appetizers, Japanese, Oriental, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , ,

One response to “Japanese Chashu Pork

  1. Yaya

    October 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Tried on Monday and it’s soooooo yummy! Can’t wait to try another one!!
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

     

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