myFresha-licious: Japanese Braised Pork Belly (BUTA NO KAKUNI)

Japanese Braised Pork Belly (BUTA NO KAKUNI)

 © Fresha-licious:  Japanese Braised Pork Belly (BUTA NO KAKUNI)

I had braised pork belly Japanese style last Sunday.  And it was so good.  I’d be doing 1 or two more braised pork belly within the week  yehey! The husband is back in Manila, that’s the reason why I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to cook my favorite fatty pork while the “bully cat” is away (hehehe lab u Dear)
Frederick hates fatty and greasy dishes specially pork which is also a favorite of mine.  I love fatty and unctuous meats, may they be fish, chicken, beef, goat, lamb, specially pork.  I don’t find lean meat appetizing specially when it comes to pork.  Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t guzzle.  I still stick to my “diet” of eating pork just once or twice a week and that’s it, no more than that.  When Frederick is around I have to scrape off the oil and the fat L but since he’s in Manila, I get to enjoy it 😀
And yes, we are still on a diet break while we try to figure what to do with our weight woes
Going back to my Buta no Kakuni.  This is a tender and flavorful dish that is mouth-watering.  It has a salty-sweet taste that blended well with the spices used though I might have used to many star anise as the flavor is overwhelming.   That’s why I reduced the amount in the list of ingredients below, from 3 pcs to 1.
By the way, I based my recipe on Makiko’s Buta no Kakuni recipe which is found on her blog at (Thank you!)  Tweaked it a bit to fit my taste buds 🙂

 © Fresha-licious:  Japanese Braised Pork Belly (BUTA NO KAKUNI)



Pork Belly  – 300 g.
Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
Ginger, minced – 1/2 inch
Star Anise – 1 pc
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Mirin – 1 tsp
Soy Sauce (Kikkoman) – 2 tbsp
Sake – 1 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Canola Oil – 2 tsp

Cooking Procedure:

1. Pan fry the pork in oil until it turned brown on all sides. Remove browned pork and set aside

 © Fresha-licious:  Pan frying the cut porkbelly

2. In the same oil, sauté garlic until it is almost brown then add the ginger.  
3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Toss in the pork then transfer to a pressure cooker.  Bring the mixture to a boil under pressure for at least 30 to 40 minutes until the meat is tender.  Remove the lid of the cooker and let the mixture simmer until most of the liquids evaporated. 

If you have a slow cooker or if you have the time you can slow cook it for 2 to 3 hrs.

Serve with steamed red-white rice and boiled veggies of your choice.

 © Fresha-licious (17April2012)

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Makiko’s Buta no kakuni (Japanese braised pork belly)

posted at

See original recipe here

  • About 450g / 1 lb pork belly
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 piece of leek (about 6 inches / 15 cm long or so. You can use the green part too.)
  • 1 large piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. sake
  • 2 cups water

Cut the pork into cubes about 1 inch / 2cm or so square. If the skin is still on, leave it on. Heat up a large pot with a heavy bottom. Sauté the pork belly cubes, without any added fat (you don’t need it…) until browned.
When the meat is browned, scrape it to one side and put the sugar in the fat that’s accumulated on the bottom, and stir around until it’s a bit caramelized. Stir and toss so the meat gets coated by the sugar.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Put a lid on and let it simmer gently for about 3 hours, turning occasionally.
To serve, dredge the pieces carefully out of the very oily cooking liquid, and peel of the thick layer of fat that’s on the skin side of the meat. Drizzle a little bit of the cooking liquid over the cubes.