How to Cook Pork Belly For Japanese Ramen
Although most people are familiar with Japanese chashu pork as their preferred ramen topping, it is actually the texture, which melts on the tongue, and the visual aspect that draws people in. Indeed, along with ramen soft-boiled eggs, ramen pork chashu is the most popular ramen topping! Making this luscious and delicate chashu at home is quite simple. Even though it takes some time to prepare, it is well worth your patience and effort since, when done perfectly, it literally melts in your mouth!
What is Chashu Pork?
The term "Chashu" or "Cha Shu," which means grilled or fried pork, is frequently used to refer to the pork used in ramen. Although chashu written in the kanji signifies "grilled" or "fried," the pork that is typically found in ramen is more like a "braised pork belly" with a soy sauce base.
The Japanese braised pork belly is a rendition of the Chinese char siu grilled pork. However, unlike its Chinese version, authentic Japanese cooking uses skinless pork shoulder that must be marinated and roasted over high heat, chashu uses skin-on and rolled pork belly which requires a lengthier cooking period in liquid. Moreover, this pork belly is gently simmered in a savory-sweet marinade that includes soy sauce, mirin or sake, sugar, ginger, garlic, and other ingredients to create the delicious, immensely flavored, and succulent meal known as chashu.
How to Make Braised Pork Belly?
Without a doubt, chashu is the most preferred ramen topping. It pairs wonderfully with the supply of ramen noodles. Add chashu pork slices, pickled bamboo, bean sprouts, egg, and freshly chopped green onion to your pork ramen. It's really easy to make this sweet and delicate chashu at home. It is worth your time and patience to take the time to prepare it. Here's a simple recipe to know how to make braised pork belly for ramen.
1. Roll and tie the pork belly
Cut the sides of the pork belly block into a rectangle after getting it from the butcher. The slab of pork belly should have enough length on the longer side to allow for a Swiss roll-style roll-up. You can save the cut-off parts for other dishes. The pork belly is then rolled into a log. A strong knot is formed by wrapping some butcher's thread around the bottom end. Replicate at the other end. The length of the rolled chashu should be wrapped using butcher's string, with each loop spaced about a third of an inch apart.
Fasten the ends of the string after it has been wrapped around the pork tightly. Wrap the string around the end of the pork roll and tuck it inside. Thread the string through a couple of loops on the roll as you move down the middle, pulling tight as you go.
2. Braise the pork belly with the seasonings
Combine all the seasonings in a saucepan, dutch oven, or slow cooker. Put the tied pork belly in the pot and fill it with just enough cold water to cover it. Let it boil on medium heat. Using a wire mesh strainer, skim the foam and scum that have risen to the surface of the boiling liquid. Ninety minutes later, turn down the heat to a low setting and braise the pork belly. To ensure that the browned pork belly absorbs all the flavors and cooks evenly, rotate it after 30 minutes. Remove the chashu after 90 minutes. Meanwhile, pass a wire mesh strainer over the braising liquid to remove the solids.
3. Rest & set chashu pork
Take the cooked pork belly out of the braising broth and place it aside to cool. Keep the braising liquid; do not discard it. Wrap the chashu tightly in a couple of layers of plastic kitchen wrap after it is cool enough to handle. Put the chashu overnight in the refrigerator. The meat will be simpler to slice and will marinate in the sauce more if it is set to refrigerate overnight.
4. Cut the chashu into pieces
Take the plastic wrap off the chashu and remove it from the refrigerator. Remove the chashu's cooking string with care. Slice into 2-3mm (1/8 inch) thin slices with a sharp knife. To use in another dish, save the ends. To improve the flavor, arrange the pork belly slices on a ceramic platter and sear them under a broiler or with a propane torch. Serve them on your ramen or consume them right away.
These crispy pork belly will suit every snack you decide to enjoy all night, from a chashu fried rice bowl, steamed rice, steamed buns, pork belly ramen or tonkotsu ramen bowl, and many instant ramen flavors. Visit the Sugoi Mart noodles collection now and combine it with tender pork belly slices for the best ramen experience ever.
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