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A Feast in Our House! Simmered Pork Belly (Buta no Kakuni)

A Feast in Our House! Simmered Pork Belly (Buta no Kakuni)

The pork belly is parboiled, so it's quite light tasting. I recommend this for elderly people or those who don't like strongly flavored meat.

Ingredients: 4 servings (500 g)

Pork belly block
500 g to 1 kg
Eggs
4 or more
Ginger
1 piece
The green part of a Japanese leek
2 stalks (optional)
○Sake
1/3 cup (66 ml)
○Mirin
1/3 cups (66 ml)
○Soy sauce
1/3 cup (66 ml)
Sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons
Water
3 cups (600 ml)

Steps

1. Put eggs in a pan with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes after it comes to a boil to make soft boiled eggs. Combine the ○ flavoring ingredients.
2. Brown the pork belly pieces in a non-stick pan. Wipe the rendered fat with paper towels.
3. Cut the browned pieces into chunks. (They'll shrink a little after simmering, so cut them on the large side.)
4. Put the pork chunks in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. Take the meat out, and throw away the water.
5. Put the parboiled pork chunks, ginger, and the green part of leek into the pot with sugar and 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Set the heat to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Add ○ ingredients, cover with a small lid or piece of aluminium foil that sits right on top of the pot contents (drop lid or otoshibuta) and simmer over low heat for 90 minutes to 2 hours. If the simmering liquid level drops too low, add more water. At the end of of the cooking period, the liquid level should be about 1/2 to 1/3 of the original amount, so adjust accordingly.
7. When the liquid has reduced to about 1/3, turn the heat off and leave to cool. When the cooking liquid has cooled down completely, add the boiled eggs to marinate. Reheat just before serving.

Story Behind this Recipe

My family loves simmered pork belly. After a lot of experimentation, I got to this method for making light tasting pork belly that elderly people can enjoy too. This is now our standard recipe. It takes some time, but the leftover simmering liquid can be used to cook vegetables the next day (see hints) so it's worth all the effort.