Buta no Kakuni (Braised Pork Belly)


Buta no kakuni is a Japanese dish of braised pork belly. The pork belly is slowly cooked in a sweet and savory sauce until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. It is often served with rice and vegetables, and makes a delicious and hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb) pork belly
  • 1 cup dashi or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Cut the pork belly into 2-3 cm (1-inch) cubes.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Add the pork belly and stir to coat.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until the pork belly is cooked through and very tender.
  4. Serve with rice and vegetables.

Potential changes & improvements

You can adjust the amount of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to taste. If you want a richer flavor, you can add a few tablespoons of sake or white wine. For a spicier dish, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a small piece of fresh chili pepper.

What other food it works well with

Buta no kakuni goes well with rice and steamed vegetables. It also makes a delicious filling for onigiri (rice balls).

Common Mistakes

One common mistake is to overcook the pork belly. If you cook it for too long, the fat will render out and the meat will become dry and tough. Another mistake is to not cook the pork belly long enough. If the pork belly is not cooked through, it will be chewy and hard to eat.

Nutritional Information

Buta no kakuni is a high-fat, high-calorie dish. A serving of pork belly (100 g or 3.5 oz) has approximately:

  • 300 calories
  • 25 g fat
  • 10 g saturated fat
  • 80 mg cholesterol

Allergens

This dish contains soy, wheat, and pork. It may also contain traces of egg, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.


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