Friday, September 9, 2011

Buta no Kakuni, Japanese Braised Pork Belly

You know how you know that you are getting older?  When the only time you “drop it like it’s hot” is when you are doing jump squats when working out.  And the only “grinding” that you are doing is coffee beans in the morning.  Ok maybe those are extreme examples, but recently a couple of my friends and I started our Sunday Cooking club as a way for us to hang out (goodbye clubbing and bar hopping days?)  Each month we are going to pick a theme and each person is going to bring a dish/ingredients in.  Our first theme as Asian Cuisine! 

In recent years pork belly has appeared in almost every restaurant, but long before it became the appetizer du jour, it has been a staple in Asian cuisine.  This is one of the Japanese classic recipes that I made recently when my friends and I all got together.  My friend MC taught us all how to make Buta no Kakuni!   While this dish takes a while to make, it is definitely worth the wait.   The pork falls apart in your mouth and it sooo good!  Oh and she just started her own blog too!  It’s Slow Carb focused, check it out here!


Buta no Kakuni
from MC

1 lb pork belly (choose a piece with the skin still on if possible)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 large Tokyo green onion, cut into 6 inch pieces
1 large piece ginger
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cooking sake
2 cups water
4 medium boiled eggs *optional
daikon *optional

1,  Cut the pork into large cubes.  Turn the burner on medium-high and using a heavy bottom pot to brown the pork.  Brown the pork on all sides.  *No need to put oil in the pan, start with the fat side down.*


2.  Once pork is browned, push the pork to the outer edges of the pan and add sugar to the fat in the middle of the pan and stir until caramelized. Coat pork with this substance.

3.  Add all other ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer.  Cover and let cook for 3 hours. 

Optional:  During the last hour you can add large peeled pieces of daikon to the pan.  And a couple minutes before serving you can add the medium boiled eggs to the pan, allowing the eggs to soak up some sauce. *Careful not to let it soak too long or the egg will cook all the way through.*


So yummy this just melted in our mouths!  I need to make this again soon!!  The Korean Sushi was also a part of our feast that Sunday and I have one more dish that I will share with you as well!  Up for next time is a Crab Boil!