Chashu Pork

Several weeks back an entire weekend was spent making a bowl of (ramen) soup.  I personally think the best part of ramen is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly floating on top of the broth and noodles.  We used the following recipe to make the pork for our ramen.  The recipe was inspired by Serious Eats.

Sous Vide Chashu Pork

Ingredients:
1 kg pork belly, skin removed
100 g sugar
50 mL dashi
125 mL usukuchi (light Japanese soy sauce)
250 mL mirin
250 mL sake
1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped
2-3 shallots, coarsely chopped
7-10 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 inches of ginger, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except pork belly and heat until the sugar dissolves.  Cool.  (Don’t worry if you don’t have usukuchi, regular soy sauce is fine.  There is a little less salt in the dark soy so taste the mixture to make sure the flavour balance is okay.)
  2. If needed, trim the pork belly to make a regular, rectangular shape.
  3. Seal the braising liquid and the pork in a vacuum bag.  If you don’t have a chamber sealer, you can use the water displacement method with a Ziploc bag.  If you have the skin, you can add that to the bag to increase the gelatin content of the cooking liquid.
  4. Cook the pork belly sous vide at 60 C (140 F) for 72 hours.
  5. Cool.  Remove from package and slice thinly.  The braising liquid can be strained and used as a sauce.  Alternately, you can reduce it down to make a nice glaze.

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