Chashu チャーシュー

Jump to Recipe Discussion
  • Learn how to make easy, melt-in-mouth Chashu pork belly recipe at home! Braised in a sweet and savory sauce, you can now enjoy the tender slice of meat as topping with your ramen!

    Sliced Chashu on a white plate.

    What is your favorite topping in your ramen?  For me it is the perfectly cooked soft-boiled marinated egg (Ajitsuke Tamago), however for most people including Mr. JOC, it is the melt-in-your-mouth juicy, tender, and flavorful slices of braised pork belly known as Chāshū (チャーシュー, 焼豚).

    Watch How to Make Chashu チャーシュー・煮豚の作り方

    Chashu – Melt in your mouth pork belly braised in sweet and savory soy sauce based sauce. Sear with torch to enhance flavor and enjoy with ramen!

    Sliced Chashu on a cutting board.

    Origin of Japanese Chashu (Pork Belly) 

    The origin of chashu came from Chinese barbecued pork called Char Siu (叉燒).  Traditionally Chinese char siu is marinated in soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, rice wine, five spice powder and red food coloring, and then roasted in a covered oven or barbecued over a fire.  You have probably seen the slabs of barbecued pork hanging in Chinese deli shop windows.

    On the other hand, Japanese chashu served with bowls of ramen are actually braised in soy sauce, sake and sugar at low temperature.  Then it’s kept marinated in the sauce till serving.  Chashu is sometimes called “nibuta” (煮豚) in Japanese, literally meaning “simmered/braised pork”.

    Sliced Chashu on a plate.

    How to Make Melt-in-Mouth Chashu Recipe at Home

    Typically, chashu is prepared by rolling the pork belly into a log with butcher’s twine for the shape as well as keeping the pork moist.  As the pork belly block I buy from the local Japanese supermarket is a little too short for making into a log, I don’t do this step in my recipe.  However, if your pork belly piece is long enough, you could cut it into halves or roll into a log (in that case, use a smaller pot or increase the sauce portion so the sauce will cover the meat).

    Speaking of pork belly, that’s actually my favorite pork cut for chashu.  There are other pork cuts that are used for chashu, such as pork shoulder and pork loin.  So if you can’t get pork belly (be sure to ask the butcher – sometimes it’s in their freezer), you can also make this recipe with other pork parts.

    Sliced Chashu and a half ramen egg on a plate.

    Tips & Techniques

    First we sear the meat over high heat to caramelize the surface of the meat.  A cast iron pan is my go-to choice for browning meat.  With cast iron, you can really turn up the heat and food comes in direct contact with an evenly heated surface.  This step definitely makes a difference with the finished dish enhancing it with complex layers of flavors.

    After browning the meat, it is then braised in soy sauce based seasoning at a low temperature for about 1 hour.  The pork will slowly soak up all the flavors in the pot.  Ginger and Tokyo negi helps remove the unwanted meat taste and adds more depth to the sauce.

    When the sauce is reduced, it’s ready to serve.  Slice the chashu thinly but thick enough for the texture.  If you really want to take it a step further, use a propane torch to sear the slices to add smoky charred flavor.

    Chashu on a wire rack.

    Besides enjoying chashu with ramen or by itself, you can also use chashu as topping for other noodle dishes including Hiyashi Chuka and Tsukemen, make sandwich with buns, or use it for fried rice, which is my favorite way to use up the broken pieces or edges of chashu.

    I’ve been cooking this quick chashu recipe for over 10 years and my family loves it.  Chashu served at ramen shops braise the meat for several hours and then marinate the meat in the refrigerator overnight to intensify the flavors.  This recipe is a shortcut version for those who want a quick and easy chashu recipe.  It takes less time to prepare and it’s much simpler, yet the final result is pretty phenomenal.

    I originally shared this recipe back in 2011.  Since then many readers have tried this recipe and given me great feedback.  So this time I came back with a video and new sets of photography.

    If you make ramen at home but don’t want to spend hours for chashu, I hope you try this recipe!

    Chashu on a cutting board.

    Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

    3.89 from 18 votes
    Chashu #ramen | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Chashu
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr 25 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 30 mins
     
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Servings: 4 as ramen topping
    Ingredients
    • ¾ lb pork belly block (340 g)
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt
    • ½ Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    • 2 inch ginger (sliced)
    • 1 Negi (Leek/Green Onion) (or leaks/green onions)
    Seasonings
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Chashu Ingredients
    2. Cut negi into 2 inch lengths and separate the green parts and white parts. For white parts, make an incision lengthwise and remove the soft green core. Keep it with the green part, which will be used later on for cooking.
    3. Stack up the white part of negi and slice thinly. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain well. Put it in an air-tight container or cover with plastic wrap. We will use this for garnishing chashu later.
      Chashu 2
    4. Peel and slice ginger.
      Chashu 3
    5. Sprinkle and rub the salt on the pork belly. If your pork belly block is big, you have two options. Cut into smaller pieces or roll it into a log with butcher’s twine, keeping the thick fat on the outside. Start tying from the center of the log toward left and right.
      Chashu 4
    6. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (or regular frying pan) over high heat and brown the fat side first, then flip over to brown the other side. It’ll take about 10 minutes.
      Chashu 5
    7. While browning, put all the ingredients for seasonings in a heavy-bottom pot (or regular pot).
      Chashu 6
    8. Place the pork belly in the pot and add ginger and negi and bring it to a boil.
      Chashu 7
    9. Place an otoshibuta (drop lid) on top of the meat. If you don’t have one, make one out of aluminum foil (and here’s how). Do not use a regular lid. To learn more about what Otoshibuta does, click here.
      Chashu 8
    10. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer, occasionally turning, for about one hour or until there is ¼ inch liquid left in the pot.
      Chashu 10
    11. Remove the otoshibuta and reduce the sauce until you can see the bottom of the pot when you scrape the sauce. Stay in the kitchen as the meat can easily get burnt if there is no liquid left. After 15-20 minutes or so, bubbles start to appear. You are getting close to the end. Turn off the heat when you see the bottom of the pot when you slide the meat around. The sauce is now thickened and meat is shiny.
      Chashu 11
    12. Take out the meat and cut into thin slices.
      Chashu 12
    13. This is an optional step, but use a propane torch or broiler to sear each slice of pork belly to enhance the flavor.
      Chashu 13
    14. Transfer to a serving plate and top with Shiraga Negi and Shichimi Togarashi. Or serve with ramen.
      Chashu 14
    15. If you don’t use the chashu right away, pack the chashu and the sauce in an air-tight plastic bag to give it more flavor all around. You can store it in the refrigerator up to 5 days and 3 weeks in the freezer.
    Recipe Notes

    If your pork belly still has rind and want to remove it, check this video for directions.

    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.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally shared in May 2011.  New video and photos are added in September 2014.  Recipe is slightly adjusted.

    You Might Also Like...

  • Just One Cookbook: Essential Japanese Recipes

    Love Our Recipes?

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Discussion

  • kat wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Manu wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sissi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Sissi wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Three-Cookies wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lyn wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ellena wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Gourmantine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Adora’s Box wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Marsha @ The Harried Cook wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Chad @ thebreakupnote wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Allie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sandra’s Easy Cooking wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • demonangel wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Mika wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Happy When Not Hungry wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kay Ecker wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Dee of Deelicious Sweets wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Juliana wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sandra wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Maris (In Good Taste) wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mandy – The Complete Cook Book wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • tigerfish wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Liz wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Manu wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Tiffany wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Tina (PinayInTexas) wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Biren @ Roti n Rice wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Biren @ Roti n Rice wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Holly wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mary wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • rebecca wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Peggy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Delishhh wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Beth Michelle wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Firefly wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nami wrote:
  • Tiffany wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Tiffany wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Dennis wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Dennis wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
          • Dennis wrote:
            • Nami wrote:
              • Dennis wrote:
                • Nami wrote:
  • Nate @ House of Annie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cecilia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sandrine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Patrick wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • iLaShonda wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • matt wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ta ng wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Maggie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Alana wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Les Saito wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Constantine Aperio wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kristy wrote:
  • donna mikasa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • A_Boleyn wrote:
  • Gourmet Getaways wrote:
  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef wrote:
  • Veronica Cervera wrote:
  • Juliana wrote:
  • Hotly Spiced wrote:
  • The Ninja Baker wrote:
  • easyfoodsmith wrote:
  • Elizabeth Ann Quirino @Mango_Queen wrote:
  • [email protected] Taitai wrote:
  • Baby Sumo wrote:
  • Maggie wrote:
  • Sandra | Sandra’s Easy Cooking wrote:
  • Mi Vida en un Dulce wrote:
  • Steve Salloom wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Steve Salloom wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom wrote:
  • Monica wrote:
  • Joyti wrote:
  • TheKitchenLioness wrote:
  • Rosa wrote:
  • [email protected] Chef wrote:
  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure wrote:
  • Bam’s Kitchen wrote:
  • mjskit wrote:
  • Choc Chip Uru wrote:
  • Kelly wrote:
  • Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania wrote:
  • Raymund wrote:
  • Sissi wrote:
  • ellie | fit for the soul wrote:
  • Terra wrote:
  • Jungwoo PARK wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sandra wrote:
  • Stefan wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Culinary Flavors wrote:
  • Jin-chan wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ray Tokumoto wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings wrote:
  • Amy Tong wrote:
  • Jie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Fern wrote:
  • gilding wrote:
  • Jan A wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lukas william wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Faith Williams-Terrell wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • George Gale wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Harumi Sharp wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sammie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nico wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Veronica Christin wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sherie Rodrigues wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Carol wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jen wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Connie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Den wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Darlene wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Katie wrote:
  • Hamad wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Trudy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Trudy wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
          • Trudy wrote:
            • Nami wrote:
  • Ellen wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Laura wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Tiphanie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Drisdy Kee wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Tina wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Iker wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Max wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Adri wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • kessia wrote:
  • Melisa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Melisa wrote:
  • Teo ai li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Teo Ai Li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Rylsngrd wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nikita wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • kat wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Aaaaa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Wendy Lai wrote:
  • Erin wrote:
  • Keith wrote:
    • Kiethb wrote:
    • KIethb wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kiethb wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lindsay wrote:
  • Chloé wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Teresa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • nia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Larissa Morrison wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Claire wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jodel Nomura wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Danh wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Teo Ai Li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Amanda wrote:
  • Darlene wrote:
  • Herny wrote:
  • Josh wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Brenda van Vugt wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sam wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Vira wrote:
    • Vira wrote:
      • Nami wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ruthie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • KATHERINE M wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Arulselvi Selvaraja wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cameron wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Amber Garrison wrote:
  • Rob wrote:
  • Eli wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Rolanda Teruzzi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nienke wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Stephanie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Teo Ai Li wrote:
    • Nami wrote: