Chashu pork is ridiculously easy to make at home. Rolled pork belly braised to delicious melt in your mouth perfection. The tender slices of charred goodness that crown a bowl of piping hot ramen. There is no excuse to not have some on hand, especially as slices can be frozen and on hand when needed.Start this recipe the day before.
Place pork belly on a cutting board underside up. Roll up tightly.
Wrap kitchen string/butcher’s twin around one end of the rolled belly. Tie a double knot to firmly secure the string. Loop the string around the belly a finger spacing away from your initial knotted loop. Thread the string under the loop just created and pull tightly. Continue this until you come to the other end of the belly.
Once the string has been wrapped around the pork belly you need to secure the ends. Loop the string over the end of the pork roll, tucking in the end of the pork. Run the string down the middle of the roll, threading the string through every few loops as you go, pulling tight.
Do the same for the other side of the rolled and tied belly
Cooking the Pork Belly
Add oil to a large nonstick frypan placed over medium heat. Put rolled pork belly in the frypan and brown all the surfaces. You aren't cooking it at this stage, simply trying to get good caramelisation.
While the pork belly is browning add all other ingredients (including water) to a large dutch oven. Stir with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved.
Place browned pork belly into the dutch oven with the braising liquid.
Place lid on the dutch oven and place in the oven on the middle shelf.
Cook for 40 minutes then turn the pork belly over and continue cooking. Continue turning the pork belly every 40 minutes for 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Remove pork from the oven and turn one final time. Leave to rest with the lid on for 1 hour.
Rest & Set Chashu
Remove pork from the braising liquid, set aside to cool slightly. Reserve the braising liquid, do not throw it away (see notes).
When it is cool enough to handle wrap chashu tightly in a few layers of plastic kitchen wrap.
Place chashu in the fridge overnight.
The Next Day
Remove chashu from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap.
Carefully remove the kitchen string from the chashu. Using a sharp knife cut. into 2-3mm (⅛ inch) slices. Reserve ends to use in another dish.
Place slices of chashu on top of ramen and eat.
For storage and reheating please refer to below notes
Pork BellyAsk your butcher to remove any bones and the skin from the pork belly and keep them. You can use the bones to make pork stock or when making ramen from scratch. The pork skin can be used to make scratchings/pork crackling.I highly recommend using pork belly for this recipe. It is the fat content that makes the chashu incredibly tender. A lot of it will render away on cooking, but it will still be fatty. This isn't a bad thing considering you will only be using a few thin slices at a time.You could try using a piece of pork scotch (collar butt) which works well for longer cooks. Pork fillet (loin) is a no no as it will dry out.Storing ChashuAny pork not being used within a couple of days freeze. To freeze sliced pork place on baking paper with a piece of baking paper between each slice. This prevents the slices sticking together.The chashu pork slices are then placed in a zip lock bag. Extract as much air as possible to help prevent freezer burn. I also store the chopped ends in an zip lock bag in the freezer.Reserve Braising LiquidPour the leftover braising liquid into a large jug through a fine mesh sieve. Once cooled, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. The fat will come to the top and solidify. This makes it easy to spoon off the fat to discard.Use it to make Ajitsuke tamago (ramen eggs), as a sauce for stir-fries, marinade, noodle dipping sauce, or drizzled over chilled tofu. You can also use a little of the sauce to reheat slices of chashu pork.Reheating the SlicesMy preferred method is by fire, using a kitchen butane torch. The smell is incredible and adds a wonderful charred flavour to the chashu pork.You can also reheat using a little of the braising sauce. Or simply place slices directly into your hot steaming bowl of ramen. If using from the freezer, defrost the pork first.Cooks NotesAll oven temperatures are for a conventional oven, if using fan forced lower the temperature by 20 Deg C (70 Deg F).All measurements are Australian tablespoons and cups. All measures are level, and cups are lightly packed unless specified;~ 1 teaspoon equals 5ml~ 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml (Nth America, NZ & UK use 15ml tablespoons)~ 1 cup equals 250ml (Nth America use 237ml)~ 4 teaspoons equals 1 tablespoonI use the below unless specified in my recipes;~ Herbs are fresh~ Vegetables are of a medium size~ Eggs are roughly 60 grams in weight (large)