Chashu Pork | Japanese Pork Belly Recipe

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This easy chashu pork is so good with tonkotsu ramen.

If you go to the trouble of making homemade tonkotsu broth for your tonkotsu ramen, you might as well make this chashu pork to serve with it! 

Tonkotsu ramen is a masterpiece ramen and in my opinion, homemade chashu pork is a must! Allow the pork to marinate overnight of up to 24 hours for the most amazing chashu pork experience. 


Braised chashu pork




Your chashu will look like this when cooked.

What is chashu pork?

Chashu pork, also known simply as chashu, is a popular Japanese dish that involves braised or roasted pork belly or pork shoulder. It is a key component in ramen dishes and is known for its flavorful, tender, and slightly sweet taste.

Chashu is typically prepared by rolling the pork in a tight cylinder, braising it, and then slicing it into thin rounds.

Pork shoulder vs pork belly.

Although both of these cuts of pork work well, I prefer using pork belly. Pork belly is used most often to make chashu but I have used both and they are both good.

For ease, ask your butcher, to roll the shoulder or pork belly for you.

How do you make chashu pork marinade?

This is really easy. It is literally just a matter of whisking a few, easy to find ingredients together. 

Here’s a general overview of how chashu pork is often made:

Ingredients:

  • Pork Belly or Pork Shoulder: Typically, pork belly is used for its rich, fatty texture, but pork shoulder can also be used.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds saltiness and flavour.
  • Sake: A Japanese rice wine that contributes to the dish’s aroma.
  • Mirin: A sweet rice wine that adds sweetness to the marinade.
  • Sugar: Balances the flavours and contributes sweetness.
  • Garlic and Ginger: Freshly minced for aromatic flavour.
  • Green Onions: Some recipes include green onions in the marinade for additional

How do you prepare and cook the chashu?

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, minced garlic, minced ginger, and green onions if using.
  2. Roll and Tie the Pork: Take a piece of pork belly or pork shoulder, season it with salt, and roll it into a tight cylinder. Tie it with kitchen twine to hold the shape. It’s much easier to have your butcher do this.
  3. Marinate the Pork: Place the rolled and tied pork in a zip-top bag or a dish, and pour the marinade over it. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  4. Braise in a Dutch Oven or Pressure Cooker: Instructions on both methods are below.
  5. Slice and Serve: Once the pork is cooked, remove the twine, and slice it into thin rounds. The resulting slices of chashu are often served on top of ramen noodles such as tonkotsu ramen as a flavourful and tender topping. Char the meat under your grill (broiler) for additional flavour.

Braising the chashu in a pressure cooker.

This is my cooking method of choice as it is a lot faster and the results are the same. If you have a countertop pressure cooker, place the meat in it and cover with the marinade. The meat will not be completely covered.

Pressure cook on high for about an hour and then let the pressure reduce naturally which will take another 30 minutes. Remove the meat and place in the fridge for an hour or longer to chill and then slice it thinly.

Braising the chashu in a Dutch oven.

Preheat your oven to 120C/250F.

Place the pork in a Dutch oven and cover with the marinating liquid. The liquid will not completely cover the meat. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and place in the oven to braise for 2 hours, fat side down. Then turn the pork over and continue cooking in the same way for another 2 hours or until the pork is really tender.

How long can you keep the marinade in the fridge?

You can keep this marinade in the fridge for about 4 days before using. Once you marinate the chashu and cook it, you can strain all the solid ingredients and discard them. Place the remaining marinade in the fridge until the fat forms at the top.

Scrape the fat off the top and you can keep this marinade in the fridge for another week.

Can you freeze the marinade?

Yes. You can freeze this for up to 4 months. Then just defrost and use.

Step by step photographs.


Ingredients for chashu pork.


Get all your ingredients together. You don’t want to forget any of them!


Wet ingredients for the marinade whisked together.


Whisk all of the liquid ingredients together with the sugar until the sugar dissolves.


Adding the spring onions (scallions), garlic and ginger to the wet marinade ingredients.


Add the spring onions (scallions) garlic and ginger and whisk them into the marinade.


Pork bellies marinating in the chashu marinade.


Place the pork in the marinade. I marinated two at the same time. You can still use the same amount of marinade if marinating two.


Chashu pork


Place the chashu in a pressure cooker or Dutch oven and braise it until tender. Full instructions in the recipe card.


Braised chashu pork




Your chashu will look like this when cooked.


Chashu pork resting in a bowl before slicing.


Allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.


Sliced chashu pork


Place the cooked chashu in the fridge to chill for about an hour and then slice it thinly.


Grilled chashu pork.


Place the pork slices on a grate and place under your grill (broiler) to char to your liking. A couple of minutes should do the job.

Have you tried this chashu pork recipe?

If yes, please give it star rating in the comments below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you. 

Prep Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time
1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400ml (1 1/2 cups) cooking sake
  • 400ml (1 1/2 cups) marin
  • 250ml (1 cup) light soy sauce
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) ginger (Sliced and smashed)
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced in half
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped
  • 2.5kg (5 lbs) rolled pork belly

Instructions

  1. Whisk all the liquid ingredients together with the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Your marinade is now ready and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week before using.
  3. Place the pork in the marinade in a large bowl or freezer bag and allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight. You can go straight to cooking if in a rush but the longer marination time will benefit the flavour

BRAISING THE PORK IN A PRESSURE COOKER

  1. Place the marinated, rolled pork in your pressure cooker and cover with the marinade. The marinade will not completely cover the meat. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release which will take about 30 minutes.

BRAISING THE PORK IN A DUTCH OVEN

  1. Preheat your oven to 120C/250F.
  2. Place the pork in a Dutch oven and cover with the marinating liquid. The liquid will not completely cover the meat. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and place in the oven to braise for 2 hours, fat side down. Then turn the pork over and continue cooking in the same way for another 2 hours or until the pork is really tender.

TO FINISH

  1. Remove the meat from the liquid and allow to cool in your fridge for at least an hour to chill. Then slice it thinly. For additional flavour, you can char the meat on a rack under your grill (broiler) to your liking.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 65Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

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