Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kakuni Braised Pork Belly




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.

Taste wise, I find the Kakuni sweeter than Tau Yew Bak or Dong Po Belly but texture is quite comparable. You might want to try the Japanese version for a change the next time you plan to braise the belly.


Kakuni Braised Pork Belly
(Adapted from Just One Cookbook by Nami with changes in BLUE)

Ingredients

1 lb pork belly
Thumb-size ginger
1 Tokyo negi (Japanese long green onion) (I used leek)
3 eggs
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


Method

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.

41 comments:

  1. Ooooo...what is that? I super-duper like!!! Slice it and eat with mantao or kompia... Simply out of this world! Slurpssss!!!!!

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  2. This looks really GOOD either on rice or mantou. If Im having this, I think I go for another second.

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  3. Hi Alvin, thanks so much for your support! Your braised pork belly look so good! I would love the sauce with rice.

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    1. Hi Mich! No worries... We all love to cook! :D

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  4. Hi Alvin, this is especially ho jiak! Wow, I love it with hard boiled eggs too. Extra rice, pls,,,,,

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  5. Mmmm looks mouthwatering! I am going to post my kakuni recipe today too.. hehe ;) I also agree with you... Chinese braised pork belly definitely much easier.

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    1. Hey Yen! High Five!!! Love your kakuni too!! :D

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  6. Your pork belly looks so tasty, Alvin! I think I can eat two bowls of rice with this!

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  7. Waaa... another pork belly dish that makes me drool again ! LOL Looks so yummy, rice please! :p

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  8. i was also looking at this recipe earlier to see what to make for aff.....nope, i didnt make that and made some chicken wings instead :) pork belly..and more pork belly...so more time at the gym after all the pork belly-ing?

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    1. Hahaha Lena! I'm worried!!! Too much pork belly and good food lately... plus I'm down with flu.. So I have not been working out lately. Can't wait to hit the gym again to lose some kgs!

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  9. We can never get enough of pork belly, can we? haha! Have seen this dish at Yen's too. Everyone wants two bowls of rice, me too!

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    1. Hi Joyce! Yes, pork belly is one of my weaknesses! :D

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  10. Surprise to see a chinese word from your blog, hahaha! I have been seeing quite a number of friends cooking Japanese lately, next week will join you guys too~ By the way, I'm salivating by just looking at your braised pork belly, would like to have some minus the fat, hehe!

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    1. Hi Jessie! I'm Chinese!!! :D

      Always so good but always in a dilemma because of the fat layers... when it comes to eating pork belly!

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  11. I made braised pork belly for dinner but yours look so much better :D After several hours of cooking it , imagine all those flavors blending in together , the taste must be wonderful !

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    1. Hi Anne! It's the taste that counts not just the look! :D I'm sure yours tastes good too!

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  12. oh... nice pork belly, i think this is some more like the dongbo pork is it.

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    1. Hi Xing Hui! Similar but different. This is sweeter.

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  13. Alvin, I can't stop drooling... Looks so good! It takes time but it's so worth it at the end. Wish I have even just one piece from your dish! :) Thank you so much for trying this recipe! xoxo

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    1. Hi Nami! Thanks for your recipe! It's Japan this month for the Asia Food Festival and I'm sure many of your wonderful recipes will be used. :D

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  14. Good idea to kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Looks good considering that there's so much effort put into it.

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  15. Sedap....now my waist will increase to two inches. It will be a big problem. Eat first, then go to gym later, am I right?

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  16. Hi Alvin, love all your delicious pork dishes and their exquisiteness. Thumbs Up!

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  17. Alvin, sorry for this late visit :) Ah...is there a pork belly fan club somewhere? Tau Yew Bak is one of my favorite dishes. Must try this Japanese version :)

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    1. Hey Phong Hong! Pls don't say that! I understand... I am guilty of not visiting more frequently many of your beautiful blogs too... Everyone has his/her own commitment. :D

      Oh yes... this is many's favourite!

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  18. Hi Godson, look inviting but can cook this dish for me using lean meat only. :))
    As usual excellent click!

    Have a nice day.

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    1. Lean meat without any fats will not be as nice! :D

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  19. I don't think I can find Japanese braised pork in Japanese restaurant here. I think have to cook at home to find out how really it tastes. But for sure the sauce is really goes well with rice :)

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  20. Hi Alvin,
    You so pandai, kill two birds with this irrestible and yummulicious braised pork belly!!
    I am a big fan of pork belly too.....
    Like Vivian mention that we can't find this in the Jap restaurant here.
    Must try to cook this at home :D

    Thank you so much for sharing this to LTU.
    mui

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