I am very happy to share this Ramen Pork Chashu recipe with you today. Recently, I have started pottery classes so I have some authentic Japanese ceramics to use in my food photography. One of the pieces I have made was a ramen bowl, and it turned out quite nice for the first attempt!
So of course, the best use for a ramen bowl is to serve Ramen in! And if I am going to share a Ramen recipe with you, I had to share Ramen Pork Chashu first. You can’t have Ramen without the key ingredient: Ramen Pork Chashu!
The pork meat in ramen is commonly called “Chashu” and it means grilled or fried pork. Chashu is the Chinese reading of Kanji script 焼豚 but it can also be read as Yakibuta in Japanese. Despite the kanji reading of “yaki”, which means grilled or fried, the pork meat you usually find in ramen is more like a braised pork in a soy sauce base.
I wanted to make something perfectly round, the same shape as what you will find at ramen shops. I used pork belly, but really any part of pork meat can be used for ramen pork. However more fatty the meat, the more melt in your mouth texture you will create for your Ramen Pork Chashu. Leaner meat tends to dry out, so you have a Ramen Pork Chashu that is maybe a little healthier, but not so decadent.
I made this Ramen Pork Chashu in a slow cooker as I wanted to make sure the Chashu had a melt in your mouth effect. The recipe itself is very easy and simple to follow: throw everything in a slow cooker and leave it. However, tying the meat might be a little difficult if you have not done this before, so I have included a photo tutorial as well as a mini movie below to help you.
In the example, I used 2-3 tea towels to show the process above and you can practice with something similar before you tackle the real meat. The length between the cotton is about 1.5 cm (about 0.6 inches). When the meat is cooked, it will shrink a little, so you need to ensure that it is wrapped up tightly. This process can be checked against the mini movie at the end too.
Now of course as the name suggest this Ramen Pork Chashu is the most common ramen topping, but you can also eat this as main dish with rice or Donburi (bed of steamed plain rice topped with Chashu). After I refrigerated the meat over night, I removed the fat and discard the spring onion and ginger slices. I then placed the liquid that the pork cooked in from the slow cooker into a small saucepan, and simmered it down until it was reduced and thickened.
The sauce can be used if you are not using this Chashu as ramen topping. If you don’t have a slow cooker, after the pork meat is browned outside to seal the juice, you can simply simmer it in the sauce for 2-3 hours, whereas if you are using a slow cooker it will cook very slowly over 7-8 hours.
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- 1 kg pork belly tied round
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup sake
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 80 g spring onion White part
- 10 g ginger sliced
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Remove the pork skin.
- Roll the pork belly into a cylindrical shape.
- Tie up the pork belly tightly with cooking string so the meat holds its shape (see the photo instruction in the post or watch the mini movie above).
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, brown the outside of the tied pork belly.
- Transfer the pork belly into a slow cooker.
- Add sugar, mirin, sake, soy sauce, water, spring onion and ginger and slow cook for 7-8 hours.
- After the meat has been slow cooked, place the cooked pork belly in a small container. Ensure the meat is covered with the sauce.
- After the pork belly and the sauce cool down, refrigerate it overnight.
- Take the pork belly out of the container and cut the string to remove.
- 10. Slice the pork belly thinly, garnish with finely chopped spring onion.
- Cooking string (Cotton thread) must be used to tie the meat.
- If you don't have a slow cooker, simmer the pork belly on low heat for 2-3 hours on the stove top.
- If you are going to eat the Chashu as a dish, remove the fat and discard the spring onion and ginger cooked with pork in the slow cooker. Drain the sauce with a sieve and pour the liquid into a small sauce pan. Bring it to boil then, reduce the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer the sauce until it is reduced and thickened. Pour this over the sliced Chashu and serve.