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Japanese Braised Pork Belly

By Chef John Ash

Tender, juicy chunks of pork belly that have been braised until tender and glazed in a braising liquid made from soy, ginger, sugar, and soy sauce. There is something wonderful about the velvety texture and flavor of pork belly. This is a very traditional method from Japan. Try it with the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 3 hours

    Prep Time 15 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    1 lb pork belly, skin removed

    2 tbsp sugar

    2 green onions, cut into rough pieces

    6 uarter size pieces of fresh ginger (no need too peel) 1 star anise

    3 tbsp dark soy sauce

    2 tbsp sake or dry white wine

    2 tbsp 1/2 tsp fennel seed

    1 small orange or tangerine cut in to wedges

    2 c water


    1. Cut the pork into cubes about 1-1/2 inch inches or so square. Heat a large pot with a heavy bottom. Sauté the pork belly cubes, without any added fat until browned. When the meat is browned, push it to one side and put the sugar in the fat that’s accumulated on the bottom, and stir around until it’s a bit caramelized.

    2. Stir and toss so the meat gets coated with the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Put a lid on and let it simmer gently for about 3 hours, turning occasionally.

    3. To serve, dredge the pieces carefully out of the very oily cooking liquid. Strain removing as much of the fat as you can. Drizzle a little bit of the remaining cooking liquid over the cubes. Serve with Udon noodles or steamed rice.

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