Master Chashu Pork recipe with links to:
- Ramen noodles
- soft-boiled and marinated eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)
- Soup (tare) (coming)
- Marinated bamboo shoots (coming)
The extended lockdown this year has got us longing for our favourite melt-in-your-mouth Chashu pork belly ramen. Thick, deep broth, tender braised pork belly with al dente home made ramen egg noodles…. Yum! It’s also easier than you might think and with all this time at home, it’s very possible to have this all the time.
An essential topping for our ramen is the “7-minute egg”: soft-boiled and marinated (Ajitsuke Tamago). This post has more details but in summary: Bring a pot of water to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and gently lower fresh eggs in. Cook for 6-7 minutes (6 for size 6 eggs, 7 for size 7 eggs), remove eggs with a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice water bath immediately to halt the cooking process. Once cooled, remove shells and add to a ziplock bag with cooled broth. Let it marinate overnight before serving.
Chashu is a term borrowed from the roasted pork with a golden red glint that’s famous in Hong Kong (叉燒). Japanese Chashu, on the other hand, is prepared by rolling the pork belly into a tight log before braising in a soy-sake-sugar sauce over a low heat.
I tend to make big portions (1.5kg worth of a big log or 2 – 3 smaller rolls of pork belly) each time – as much as my cast iron pot will allow. One portion for the freezer and two more in the fridge for repeats during the week.
For ramen, it is very similar to making pasta. See my home made ramen recipe posted earlier here.
- 1.5kg pork belly, skin removed (save for making crackling)
- 3 spring onions, chopped into short lengths
- 6 slices ginger
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 2 star anise and 6 cloves
- 3/4 cup Japanese cooking sake (or mirin)
- 3/4 cup light soy sauce
- 3/4 dark soy sauce
- 100g sugar (lumps of rock sugar from Asian grocers)
- Water to top up saucepan
- Roll up the pork belly, tightly, and wrap cottom twine around one end of the rolled log. Leaving a little length on the twine end, go under and over the point where the twine meet. Run about 1cm along and go around the log again. Repeat the “under and over” knots creating evenly spaced, tight wraps around the log.
- Heat oil in a cast iron Dutch oven over high heat. Pick one that will fit the pork log without much space left. Sear the rolled pork belly evenly until golden all over.
- Add spring onion, ginger slices, shallots, aromatics, sake, soy sauces and sugar to the pan. Top up with enough water to just cover the pork.
- Bring it back to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat to let it simmer on low heat for 2 hours, rotating pork belly every 30 minutes.
- The sauce should be reduced. Taste and add seasoning to adjust.
- Let the pork belly log cool a little, before transferring to ziplock bags with the broth to marinate overnight.
- Before serving, remove chashu from bag and cut the twine off.
- Slice thinly. Serve with ramen noodles and heated-up broth (with a little extra water) or make tare as soup.
- Add other toppings such as menma bamboo shoots, fresh spring onion, corn kernels, nori sheets and tempura crispy bites.