Easy Japanese Recipes

Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) 角煮

Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) #recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com Kakuni (角煮) is Japanese braised pork belly, and it literary means “square simmered” referring to the shape of this dish.  I’m not usually into fatty meat but there is something about this dish that I cannot resist.  No, not just because eating collagen is good for beauty …okay, that’s part of it (the pork belly is loaded with collagen, which is good for your skin and complexion*).  Cooking slowly turns the meat into a delicious creation.

Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) #recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

For my day to day cooking, I enjoy experimenting with existing recipes to see if I can improve them.  I had been cooking this Kakuni recipe until one day my husband asked if the meat can be softer after I made it.  I kept experimenting different methods and changing the ingredients’ portions, and I think I finally got the recipe that will melt in your mouth.

The key for good Kakuni recipe is the initial simmering.  For this recipe, I spent 2-3 hours of simmering the meat, but you could spend additional hours doing so if you have the time.  This important process renders out the majority of fat from the pork belly and makes the meat and the fat have that melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) #recipe | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Although it takes hours of preparation (unless you have a pressure cooker) which requires you to stay around the kitchen, the result is really worth it.  If you plan to cook this for your family, I would recommend you to make double portion.  Since you have to spend hours in the kitchen anyway, you might want to make extra for a second meal.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

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Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 3-4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pound the pork on both sides with a meat pounder (or edge of knife (not the sharp side)).
  2. Then mold the meat back into the original shape with your hands, and then cut into 2 inch pieces.
  3. 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.
  4. When the meat is nicely browned, transfer it to paper towel and wipe off excess fat.
  5. Slice the ginger and cut green part of Tokyo Negi into 2 inche pieces.
  6. With the white part of Tokyo Negi, make Shiraga Negi for garnish (See How To Make Shiraga Negi).
  7. In a large pot, put the browned pork belly, green part of Tokyo Negi, half of sliced ginger (save some for later), and pour water to cover the meat.
  8. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally (if you want really tender meat, cook for at least 3 hours). When the liquid is running low, keep adding water (or hot water) to cover the meat.
  9. Meanwhile make 3 hard boiled eggs (Check How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs).
  10. After cooking for 2 hours, take out the meat and wipe off excess oil with paper towel.
  11. 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.
  12. Add sugar, soy sauce, the rest of ginger slices, and the red chili pepper (I remove the seeds for my kids.).
  13. When boiling, lower the heat but keep simmering. Place Otoshibuta on top (If you don't have an Otoshibuta, make one! See How To Make Otoshibuta). We’ll be cooking for 1 hour.
  14. After cooking for 30 minutes, add the hard boiled eggs. Remove otoshibuta and continue simmering.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
Notes
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

* Not supported by any scientific research.

Leave a Comment


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  • cheapethniceatz December 11, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Pork Belly is the one more fatty meat I can eat. I cannot eat anything else fatty but this one is a treat for some reason. I think the time invested in this great recipe is totally worth it.

    Reply
  • Sandra's Easy Cooking December 11, 2012, 1:46 pm

    I grow up on pure pork belly, and my grandpa even served it for breakfast which my kids would find it now not as appealing. My mouth started watering as soon as I saw your final plating. Very delicious!!!!

    Reply
  • Mr. Three-Cookies December 11, 2012, 1:46 pm

    I think I can see myself eating some braised fatty pork in the near future. The health benefit is an added plus:)

    Reply
  • Shirlene December 11, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Yeah!!! thank you!!!

    Reply
  • The Life of Clare December 11, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Oh how I love braised pork belly! I’ve never tried to make it before but order it all the time.

    Reply
  • Sammie December 11, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Hi Nami! Kakuni is one of my favourite Japanese dishes! It’s very similar to a Chinese dish but you can definitely taste the sake and mirin in the Japanese one! hahaa.. Whenever I go to an Izakaya restaurant I definitely will order Kakuni! And my favourite ones are the ones that absolutely MELTS in your mouth! just like yours!! I shall try your recipe one day! Thanks for sharing and experimenting!! <3 xoxo

    Reply
  • Ramona December 11, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Looks scrumptious!! :)

    Reply
  • kat December 11, 2012, 2:50 pm

    love buta kakuni & the okinawan version (rafute)!

    Reply
  • A_Boleyn December 11, 2012, 3:24 pm

    In spite of the hours spent simmering the pork belly and rendering the fat, I suspect there’s still a lot left. :) The dish looks wonderful though.

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet December 11, 2012, 3:26 pm

    OMG This would be such an amazing dish to have for dinner! Succulent pork belly MEAT! I am so jealous of your husband and children as they get to eat all your yummy dishes! SIGHHHHH i’m not sure that I will have the skill or patience to make this but put it on my list and maybe one day!

    Reply
  • Sandra December 11, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Very nice, we would really enjoy this. It looks well worth the time.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen December 11, 2012, 3:59 pm

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is amazing. Anything with pork belly will surely make my family excited at the dinner table. The first part of your cooking, I thought I was seeing our own Filipino Lechon, crisp pork belly. But then I see you made a nice broth for it to go into. I must make your recipe – will bookmark this. I think 1 lb. is not enough for my hungry family — might make it 2-3 lbs. Thanks for sharing, Nami. I’ll let you know how my dish turns out.

    Reply
  • Mel December 11, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Pork belly dish always interest me because pork belly is one of my favourite ….. I don’t mind how long this pork belly gonna cook in long hours because I know this is superb tasty and delicious!!! And yes worthy to give this a try.

    Reply
  • bakerbynature December 11, 2012, 5:04 pm

    As if I didn’t love pork belly (and YOU) enough already, you’re telling me eating it will make me more beautiful!? Um, pass the pork, please!!!

    Reply
  • Choc Chip Uru December 11, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Pork belly has never looked so deliciously appealing my friend :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  • Juliana December 11, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Nami, this is one of my favorite way to eat pork belly…I can have lot of rice bowls with it…yum!
    Have a great week :)

    Reply
  • win December 11, 2012, 5:55 pm

    Thank you for the recipes.

    Reply
    • Nami December 12, 2012, 11:22 am

      Hi Win! Thank YOU for following my blog. :) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

      Reply
  • Baby Sumo December 11, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Hi Nami, I love kakuni as a topping with my ramen. If I see it on the menu, I will order it. I think this dish is quite similar to the braised pork belly with soy sauce that the Chinese do. We also simmer it for 2-3 hours to get the soft melt-in-yr-mouth texture.

    Reply
  • mjskit December 11, 2012, 7:58 pm

    It is fun taking older recipes and improving upon them. It’s our mama’s food, but not the dish our mama made. :) I tried braised pork belly a couple of month’s ago and found it too fatty; however, it didn’t look like yours at all. Yours looks like the fat has been rendered perfectly! I could definitely enjoy this dish!

    Reply
  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 11, 2012, 9:08 pm

    Oh my goodness – this is just my type of dish! I haven’t had pork belly in ages and I was beginning to have pork belly withdrawal but I think I just found my fix! :)

    Reply
  • nipponnin December 11, 2012, 9:19 pm

    私の角煮とは違って、かなり手が込んでますね。とても参考になります。本当に美味しそう。

    Reply
  • Belinda @zomppa December 11, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Soft, tender pork belly – you are speaking my language!

    Reply
  • Helene @ French Foodie Baby December 11, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Oh this looks so delicious Nami. I love pork belly, and do believe even one melt in your mouth bite might just be worth hours in the kitchen! ;-)

    Reply
  • Reem | Simply Reem December 11, 2012, 9:55 pm

    We dont eat pork but this does sounds yum!!!
    I am loving the pics!

    Reply
  • Lail | With A Spin December 11, 2012, 11:06 pm

    I don’t eat pork but love beef belly. Do you think this can be cooked with beef belly?

    Reply
    • Nami December 16, 2012, 12:00 am

      Hi Lail! I’m not familiar with beef belly. Are they pretty fatty?? If it gets very tender by cooking for a long time I think it’s a good substitution. :)

      Reply
  • Lynna December 11, 2012, 11:24 pm

    Omg, this looks soo good. It looks and reminds me of a Vietnamese dish my mom and grandmother makes. Looks delicious!

    Reply
  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats December 12, 2012, 12:03 am

    This is a favorite dish of mine. Served with a warm bowl of rice is just comforting. My mom makes braised pork belly once a while, the chinese style ;) of course and the herbs and aroma is intoxicating. I definitely can imagine yours to be seriously drool worthy too. Have a great week! Hugs, Jo

    Reply
  • amy @ uTryIt December 12, 2012, 12:09 am

    I make a Chinese version of this dish from time to time, especially in the winter. ;) It’s really good and warm up your whole body. And I’ve tried the Japanese version at a restaurant a while ago. It was just as delicious, if not better. I think most of the ingredients are the same. Except the Chinese one use ShaoXing cooking wine (plus rock sugar) and the Japanese one use mirin. :) I really love this dish. I love your food styling too. It’s not easy to make a brown piece of meat looks wonderful in pictures and you did it!

    Reply
  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade December 12, 2012, 12:41 am

    Mmm slow cooked meat is the best!!!

    Reply
  • Katerina December 12, 2012, 12:47 am

    Shimmering is a very good way to make any meat tender! I do that with veal which is quite tough! This is a very tasty dish Nami!

    Reply
  • DAnielle Smithers December 12, 2012, 1:14 am

    I make a dish very similar and my family and friends love it.

    Reply
    • Nami December 16, 2012, 12:02 am

      Hi Danielle! It’s always popular among my friends and family too. :)

      Reply
  • Fern @ To Food with Love December 12, 2012, 2:46 am

    Anybody who loves pork belly is my friend! :-)
    Whenever I eat this, I always have extra helping of rice. And it’s also a favourite with the kids. Will try this recipe next time :)

    Reply
  • Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings December 12, 2012, 5:44 am

    wow- this looks so delicious!

    Reply
  • Candice December 12, 2012, 8:20 am

    I normally don’t like eating meat, let it alone fatty meat. However this dish looks absolutley divine. I would definitely invest time into preparing this dish on a weekend. =)

    Reply
    • Nami December 14, 2012, 11:35 pm

      Thank you Candice! It’s a guilty pleasure for me too. Today I had Chinese version at my favorite Chinese restaurant and that was excellent too! :)

      Reply
  • john@kitchenriffs December 12, 2012, 8:53 am

    I love braised pork belly! I usually cook it using the Chinese red-cooking method, but this look tastier and a bit lighter. Good stuff – thanks.

    Reply
  • Rosa December 12, 2012, 11:52 am

    Oh, marvelous! I love pork belly and that dish looks ever so good.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals December 12, 2012, 11:55 am

    Hi Nami, long time no talk! Looks like you had a great trip at Taiwan, lots of yummies.

    I am making a much much more simplified braised pork recipe right now, in fact the slow cooker is doing all the work, I am sure your pork belly dish has a much better flavor depth though!

    Are you getting ready for the holidays? Our house is officially done, I signed off on the repair works yesterday, Jon’s been obsessed with cleaning the floor since the dark laminate got put in. He mentioned how much pet hair there is, I told him sorry we are not getting rid of the pets due to the mess they make. Haha!

    I am taking it easy with work during the Month of December, still designing here and there, though mostly just reading, learning, and gearing up for the new year. Though I do wonder what’s going to happen on December 21 (Mayan Calendar), maybe all these prep is unnecessary if the calendar is correct. Hope not!

    I have been enjoying the newly renovated kitchen, though still not posting on my blog. Facebook makes it so convenient to share photos, so my lazy bone is winning the battle, and I just can’t get into the swing of writing blog postings. Maybe I will pick it back up in 2013.

    Have a great week!

    Reply
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 12, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I wish I could say that I didn’t love the jellied, fatty texture but I do! :P And you know I never thought about the collagen but I’m going to stick to that reasoning :P

    Reply
  • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 12, 2012, 4:00 pm

    I love the simplicity and purity of ingredients in this recipe and what amazes me most I think about Japanese cuisine generally, is that despite this simplicity, there is enormous flavour through the use of key ingredients… a pretty wonderful return. Your step by step illustrations are so helpful Nami. Great recipe.

    Reply
  • Bam's Kitchen December 12, 2012, 4:23 pm

    Gorgeous presentation. You make even brown food look good. How do you do that!

    Reply
  • The Squishy Monster December 12, 2012, 5:31 pm

    As a loooover of bacon, I can’t see how this couldn’t be even MORE amazing. Lovely, Nami!!

    Reply
  • Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers December 12, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Even if I like healthy food, I cannot resist pork belly! This looks delicious Nami!

    Reply
  • Yelena December 12, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I had a pork belly ones at Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia, it was divine, very soft. You have the most interesting recipes here. I would love to learn to cook Japanese food, maybe one day when I visit you and we can cook together!

    Reply
  • yummychunklet December 12, 2012, 7:06 pm

    How very flavorful this looks!

    Reply
  • Shut Up & Cook | The Attainable Gourmet December 12, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I am pork belly obsessed, so this is right up my alley. Looking forward to a quiet winter weekend when I can give this a try. YUM!

    Reply
  • Jeannie December 13, 2012, 1:19 am

    I can only drool over your photos lol! I am lost here, too many steps!

    Reply
  • hui December 13, 2012, 3:25 am

    you had me at pork belly and melt in the mouth! ^^ initially i thought it’d be something like the braised pork belly served in most chinese homes, but it isn’t. your recipe sounds interesting and i’d really love to try this ^^

    Reply
  • Liz December 13, 2012, 4:24 am

    Oh, this tender pork sounds fantastic, Nami! Can I come for dinner????

    Reply
  • Rena December 13, 2012, 5:08 am

    Hi Nami
    I just bought dashi in a box that
    stated 4gram per packet,I was
    wondering how many cups of water
    should I dilute with?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Nami December 16, 2012, 1:15 am

      Hi Rena!

      Sorry for my late response. My dashi pack is 9 gram per packet and I use 3 cups of water. Your package might have instruction written in the back (but could be in Japanese?), but you probably need 1 1/2 cup.

      Hope this helps! :)

      Reply
  • All That I'm Eating December 13, 2012, 5:16 am

    What a great recipe, really useful pictures too. I don’t cook enough pork belly so I need to remember this one!

    Reply
  • Linda | The Urban Mrs December 13, 2012, 11:18 am

    Yummy! We sometimes enjoy this in our family, as our cozy lazy dinner menu. :) Pretty much just place everything in the slow cooker and let the magic happens. I definitely love your version by having sake and mirin. Yum!

    Reply
  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) December 13, 2012, 11:39 am

    I didn’t realize that pork belly is essentially bacon, haha. Oh goodness do I love bacon… this would be heaven.

    Reply
  • Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen December 13, 2012, 11:48 am

    Nami, I will make sure to order some pork belly to try this dish. I absolutely adore these flavours and to hear that it is good for the skin? Even better!

    Reply
  • Sissi December 13, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Nami, I also love pork belly… Smoked or not, I love it as much as ribs. I have never tried slowly braising it, however. It sounds very intriguing and tempting!
    And if it’s served with eggs, then it is definitely my kind of meal.
    I had no idea about the collagen in pork belly. It will be probably an excuse next time I buy it ;-)

    Reply
  • Martyna@WholesomeCook December 13, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Mmm pork belly! This sounds like a good dish to make while doing other things – homework, washing, etc as it cooks itself! Must try :-)

    Reply
  • Jenn and Seth December 13, 2012, 2:32 pm

    oh gosh, braised pork belly is absolutely wonderful and yours looks and sounds divine!

    Reply
  • tigerfish December 13, 2012, 3:09 pm

    I am into fatty meat, I am telling ya, esp. pork belly. What is braised pork belly without the fats? Thanks for sharing the step-by-step instructions including the photos. The Chinese also braise pork belly, and often five-spice is being used in the braising liquid.

    Reply
  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover December 13, 2012, 4:55 pm

    This is very similar like Chinese braised pork that we usually like to cook, next time I must try this recipe as my family love braised meat and eggs.

    Reply
  • Mi Vida en un Dulce December 13, 2012, 6:58 pm

    We know fat is not good, but is soooooooooo good, it makes the meat to have more flavor.

    Reply
  • Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings December 13, 2012, 9:06 pm

    I LOVE buta no kakuni! And I’m always looking for a good recipe! Definitely a must-try…I can’t wait to try this, Nami! I can eat pork belly all day long…if only they’re not so fatty…I guess moderation is key. But my oh my, I can eat LOTS of this. I have a hard time controlling my appetite when faced with a delicious kakuni dish like this! Will actually try this this weekend! I need to buy one of those otoshibuta! I don’t know why we don’t use this more! It really helps the meat to become more tender.

    Reply
  • vivala-b.bird December 13, 2012, 9:20 pm

    Looks really yummy! :) Oh Nami, you make something I would never even attepmt to cook look so simple!

    Reply
    • Nami December 14, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Thank you Vivi! Hope you will give it a try. It’s delicious!! :)

      Reply
  • Janet@FCTC December 14, 2012, 11:04 am

    This looks absolutely amazing. I recently bought some pork belly for the first time and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. This may just be it!

    Reply
  • Charles December 14, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Ooh, I have a pressure cooker and we almost never use it… I want to make more stuff with it. Does using a pressure cooker have any negative effects compared to the slower method? I’d really like to give this a try – looks so yummy

    Reply
    • Nami December 14, 2012, 11:03 pm

      Hi Charles! I don’t think so… Some people use a pressure cooker to cook and I wish I have one too! Let me know how it goes if you decide to make this dish. :)

      Reply
  • wok with ray December 14, 2012, 6:28 pm

    I love pork belly and I don’t care being greasy because fat is what make it very juicy, tender, and flavorful. You cooking this twice must be almost like silk in tenderness. Beautiful dish, Nami. Making me hungry. :)

    Reply
  • Kathy Esguerra December 15, 2012, 12:21 am

    oh gosh, i miss pork so much…i already bookmarked this so that when we go to Philippines for vacation, i can try this :D you’re making me drool Nami by just looking at the pictures :)

    Reply
    • Nami December 16, 2012, 2:06 am

      Thank you so much Kathy! I hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

      Reply
  • Rhonda December 15, 2012, 11:07 am

    I had no idea about the skin benefits of pork belly, I just know I love it. This looks fabulous.

    Reply
  • Raymund December 15, 2012, 11:42 pm

    I know I will love this as I tried making some before. Yours look even better!
    here is my version http://angsarap.net/2012/05/04/japanese-braised-pork-belly-buta-no-kakuni/

    Reply
  • Kristy December 16, 2012, 9:20 am

    Wow! I love pork belly. I had it for the first time in Hawaii this year. It’s amazing! This looks like a great treat for the family. Good idea to make leftovers since it does take so long to make. I bet it’s well-worth it though. :)

    Reply
  • Andrea December 17, 2012, 12:43 am

    Nami, what an intriguing recipe – you really explained all the steps so well, there is nothing that can go wrong when trying this recipe – it is rather easy to find porc belly around here (we are a nation of devoted porc eaters after all) and this would just be perfect for a meal during the holidays when we spent some time at home and lots of it in the kitchen. Very lovely!

    Reply
  • Food Jaunts December 17, 2012, 11:42 am

    Um yum! I love pork belly but my husband is very picky about his pork belly – I think he’d go crazy for this!

    Reply
  • Stephanie December 18, 2012, 7:14 am

    I just had to order this when I was in Vegas this past weekend. It’s one of my favorite cuts of pork!

    Reply
  • Lyndsey @TheTinySkillet December 22, 2012, 2:01 pm

    How good do we have it? We get to come in and use your recipes that you have tweaked to perfection! It looks amazing Nami! Thanks!

    Reply
  • ChopinandMysaucepan December 23, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Dear Nami,

    Isn’t braised pork belly one of the wonders of the food world?! Looks absolutely delicious and I recently discovered that awesome combination of braised pork belly with a green apple slaw that is so delicious and dangerous coz I am still trying to resist not cooking it too often.

    http://pinterest.com/pin/305611524683237306/

    Reply
  • Duckie1601 January 3, 2013, 8:00 pm

    Dear Nami,
    You have inspired me so much in cooking. Def gonna try this:)

    There is something I want you to know, I recently found this recipe of yours on one Onl Magazine, wondering if they ask your permission yet since they erase your watermark :/

    http://kenh14.vn/made-by-me/thit-kho-trung-kieu-nhat-dua-com-cuc-ki-20130102101244580.chn

    Reply
    • Nami January 3, 2013, 9:01 pm

      Thank you SO much for letting me know. I emailed the site and ask them to remove my content and pictures (I found at least 3 of my posts were stolen by this site). It’s such a shame for a pretty well-known website to steal someone’s contents which have copyright. If they won’t remove my site, I’ll report to Google and other search engines. Thank you very much for noticing and letting me know.

      Reply
  • Baby Doctor January 8, 2013, 6:34 am

    Hi Nami! I tried this recipe for dinner tonight. It tasted so Japanese! I couldn’t believe it. My husband liked it too. I love Japanese food, and I can hardly find a restaurant in Singapore serving authentic Japanese food. Tonight I cooked one. Thanks a lot!

    I’ve been familiarized with Japanese taste when I was still working in a manufacturing plant in the Phils. (a Japanese company’s subsidiary). Japanese bosses and friends would bring me to restaurants serving authentic Japanese foods both in the Philippines and in Japan (when we have business trips).

    Oh, we have a common friend, Yukako. In fact, I learned about your website through her FB acct. So grateful to her for introducing your website to me.

    Reply
    • Nami January 8, 2013, 10:14 pm

      Hi Baby Doctor! Thank you so much for writing. Yukako mentioned a long time ago that you are very good friend of her, so I was happy when I received this message. I’m really thrilled to hear you gave my recipe a try and liked it! She was actually here in the US on vacation and she left for Japan when I received your message. What a coincidence! Thank you for following my blog! :)

      Reply
      • Baby Doctor January 10, 2013, 4:53 am

        Yukako just sent me an e-mail telling me about her vacation. I miss her a lot.
        Call me Baby (I know it’s strange, but it’s part of my first name). Doctor is my husband’s surname. Haha! I tried your other recipes before but I didn’t get the authentic Japanese taste. Well, it’s because I didn’t follow the recipe (I substituted some ingredients). This is your first recipe that I followed 100%. I learned my lesson. I’ll let you know when I try your other recipes again.
        Keep up the good work!

        Reply
        • Nami January 11, 2013, 10:58 am

          Hi Baby (that’s right, Yukako call you “Baby”)! She’s my best friend from college here. :) Thanks for your kind words and hope you enjoy other recipes as well!

          Reply
  • Natalia February 4, 2013, 3:03 pm

    I bought pork belly today and look forward to making this recipe. Have you ever tried to do the braising in a slow cooker? I’m tempted as I would like to cook this on a weeknight but don’t want to sacrifice taste. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nami February 5, 2013, 11:03 am

      Hi Natalia! I don’t own a slow cooker, so I’ve never tried making it. However, I’m sure you can use it from Step #11. I don’t know if you need more liquid to cook for a slow cooker, but you can also put otoshibuta inside the slow cooker to make sure the flavors go around evenly. Hope it will work out. :)

      Reply
  • Jacqui March 2, 2013, 4:53 am

    Hi Nami,
    Last night was the first time I have ever cooked Japanese following your instructions for Yaki Udon. This is a simple and easy to follow recipe and most of all it was so scrumptious (my youngest son went for second! He is extremely fussy!) and I could easily take this to work instead of buying takeaway!

    Tonight I made Pork Belly. Boy, that was a long process! I had to take a 20 minutes nap during the simmering stage! In between the simmering I also made desert which all came together at the same time.

    I have one issue. I did double this recipe as I have too many mouths to feed and I knew they would go for second. My concern is with the simmering stage I did not lose any liquid nor did I lose any at the time where you put the rest of the ingredients, therefore, the meat did not get the glazed. Are we suppose to put less liquid in when we are doubling and also less sugar? (it was quite sweet) All in all the Pork Belly was devine! It still melted in your mouth and the fat you cannot even taste, it just blended with the flesh, for the sweetness, I made a side plate of mixed steamed vegetables as well as rice. Thank you for sharing this and the many more recipes I have listed to try out on weekends. Happy Girls Day!

    Jacqui
    Melbourne, Australia.

    Reply
    • Nami March 3, 2013, 8:29 pm

      Happy Girl’s Day Jacqui! Thank you for writing, and I’m glad you enjoyed both Yaki Soba and the Pork Belly. :)

      Regarding the liquid that wasn’t reduced… it depends on the cooking heat, the size of pot, etc. Was it constantly simmering (not boiling, but simmering)? Between step 14 to 15, there is no lid (otoshibuta) required, so the sauce evaporates during this time. However, if you take a look at my last photo, I still have some liquid left. Since you double the amount of liquid, maybe you mean you had a lot more? As long as the meat does not overlap in your pot that you are using, you do not need to double the amount of liquid. You want to make sure that the meat is covered with liquid at least 80%, then otoshibuta will help the liquid goes around while simmering. I hope this makes sense… :)

      Reply
  • La cocina de Vero March 4, 2013, 8:19 pm

    Thanks! I’m so glad you made this recipe. Can’t wait to try it at home.

    Reply
  • GourmetGetaways March 7, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Oh YUM!!
    This looks like a labour of love and I can understand why, my mouth is watering!!

    Reply
  • sita March 25, 2013, 1:01 am

    I am obsessed with all of your recipes! This one in particular! The Okinawan Restaurant the boyfriend and I go to has a Shoyu Ramen that tastes just like this, the only thing is that they sear the pork belly at the end as well! I made this following the recipe but multiplied ingredients by four and used the liquid as broth for my Ramen. I only used a couple of pieces of pork belly for my ramen but I stored the rest for the next day to serve like in this recipe! The boyfriend compared it to our favorite Okinawan Restaurant and said it might even be better! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nami March 25, 2013, 11:59 pm

      Hi Sita! Aww thanks so much! I’m really happy to hear you enjoy my blog! Thanks for trying out this recipe. I’m thinking about making seared version this year… since I have to make use of my cooking torch. :D Thank you for your feedback. Now I want to go to your OKinawan restaurant… :)

      Reply
      • sita March 26, 2013, 12:48 am

        If you are ever in Orange County, CA then the name of the place is Habuya Okinawan Dining! It is a gem of a place!

        Reply
        • Nami March 27, 2013, 11:07 pm

          Thank you Sita for letting me know! I sometimes visit SoCal, so I’ll remember! I heard about this place before. I hope I can visit one day! :)

          Reply
  • KCinMelbourne December 31, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Thank you Nami for sharing this dish. I have made it 3 times and it is always a huge hit. I plan on making a book of all of my favourite recipes as gifts to my family and it goes without saying this will be in it. It was my number 1 dish of 2013!! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • John Magee August 18, 2014, 6:28 am

    I was Thinking about Trying Your same Method on how you cook the Pork Belly But Use an Slow Cooker and cook the Pork Belly???

    Reply
    • Nami August 18, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Hi John! Yes you can certain do that! I don’t own a slow cooker, otherwise I’d try it too. Please adjust my recipe as you need. :)

      Reply
      • John Magee August 18, 2014, 7:32 pm

        Hi Nami san, yes the next I make your recipe i’ll try this with an slow cooker and cook it for 6hr to 8hr on low

        Reply
        • Nami August 18, 2014, 8:14 pm

          I hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

          Reply