Japanese Style Pork Belly

This is one of the most popular Japanese meat dishes called Buta no Kakuni (or stewed cubed pork). Boil the pork first with sake, ginger and spring onions to make the meat tender and draw fat away, before cooking again with seasonings. This cooking twice method makes the pork belly surprisingly light without compromising the taste.  It takes time but the result is worth the wait.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people


  • 800 g block of pork belly
  • 2-3 leek or spring onions green part only
  • 3 cm cube ginger sliced with skin on
  • ½ cup sake
  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • Take pork belly out of fridge and come to room temperature.
  • In a large sauce pan, place pork, leek and ginger. Pour sake and water just enough to cover the pork. Put a lid on and place on a medium heat. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 1 hour until you can insert a skewer into pork easily.
  • Discard leek and ginger slices and let it cool. When completely cool –put the whole sauce pan in fridge and chill for several hours or overnight. This makes the pork fat to set so it is easily removed.
  • Remove fat from the surface. Slice meat in portions and place the pan back on medium heat. Add sugar and soy sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.


Tip: You cam omit the process of chilling and removing fat.  Just skim excess fat from the surface of the boiling liquid and add seasoning to continue cooking straight away. The result will not be as light but some people prefer this a little more substantial meaty taste.
You can thicken the cooking liquid with corn flour to serve as sauce if desired. Traditionally people serve sharp Japanese mustard with this dish.
Keyword dairy free
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