By now, many of you would have known that I love pork belly. When I was cracking my head thinking what dish to cook for this month's Little Thumbs Up (LTU) and the Asia Food Festival (AFF) events, the image of fatty belly kept appearing in my mind! So I thought this Japanese Kakuni braised pork belly would be the perfect recipe to submit to both events.
Kakuni (角煮) literally means "Square Simmered" in Japanese. Personally, I feel that the Tau Yew Bak that most of us are very familiar with is easier and more straight forward to cook compared to this Japanese version which requires the belly to be browned before being simmered/braised twice for a total of 3-4 hours. First in plain water with ginger and spring onion and then in soya sauce, mirin and sake mixture.
Kakuni Braised Pork Belly
(Adapted from Just One Cookbook by Nami with changes in BLUE)
1 lb pork belly
1 Tokyo negi (Japanese long green onion) (I used leek)
2 1/2 cup dashi stock
4 Tbsp. sake
3 Tbsp. mirin
4 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 slices ginger
1 chili pepper
Shichimi Togarashi for taste
Pound the pork on both sides with a meat pounder (or edge of knife (not the sharp side)). (I skipped this)
Then mold the meat back into the original shape with your hands, and then cut into 2 inch pieces. (I skipped this)
Heat oil on the heavy skillet over medium high heat and put the fattiest part on the bottom. Cook the meat until all sides are nicely browned. To prevent from oil splatter, you can use a splatter screen.
When the meat is nicely browned, transfer it to paper towel and wipe off excess fat.
Slice the ginger and cut
green part of Tokyo Negi leek into 2 inche pieces.
With the white part of Tokyo Negi, make Shiraga Negi for garnish (See How To Make Shiraga Negi). (I skipped this)
In a large pot, put the browned pork belly,
green part of Tokyo Negi leek, half of sliced ginger (save some for later), and pour water to cover the meat.
Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally. When the liquid is running low, keep adding water (or hot water) to cover the meat.
Meanwhile make 3 hard boiled eggs.
After cooking for 2 hours, take out the meat and wipe off excess oil with paper towel.
In another large pot (I use a cast iron pot), put the pork belly, dashi stock, sake, and mirin. Start cooking on medium high heat.
Add sugar, soy sauce, the rest of ginger slices, and the red chili pepper (I remove the seeds for my kids.).
When boiling, lower the heat but keep simmering. Place Otoshibuta on top. We’ll be cooking for 1 hour.
After cooking for 30 minutes, add the hard boiled eggs. Remove otoshibuta and continue simmering.
Simmer for another 30 minutes. Once in a while pour the sauce on top of the meat and rotate the meat and eggs. Make sure you have enough liquid so they won’t get burnt. When the sauce gets reduced and the meat has nice glaze, it’s ready to serve. Serve the pork belly and eggs
with Shiraga Negi on top.
If you prefer this dish to be less oily and have more flavor, wait for another day. Cool down the pot completely and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Next day take out the pot from the refrigerator and remove the solidified fat before heating up. Heat thoroughly and serve the pork belly and eggs
with Shiraga Negi on top.
I am submitting this post to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.
This month's event is hosted by Mich from Piece of Cake and Soya Bean is the theme for October. You can join in the fun and contribute your recipes here.
I am also submitting this post to the event, Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013 : Japan hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies.