Hey, Yuto here from @sudachi.recipes. Today’s recipe is a delicious and hearty dish called Charshudon.
What Is Japanese Braised Pork “Chashu”?
Cantonese Char Siu VS Japanaese Chashu
Japanese Chashu came from Cantonese cuisine originally without a doubt.
However, now there are a few differences between Cantonese Char Siu and Japanese Chashu, or at least Japanese Chashu you see in ramen restaurants.
The biggest difference would be that, while Cantonese Char Siu tends to be barbecued and roasted, the main cooking process of Japanese Chashu is braising.
Also usually Chashu doesn’t have barbecue flavour as well.
Pork belly is preferred but other parts and chicken is also used
For Japanese Chashu, the most common meat to use is pork belly block.
- Pork loin
- Pork shoulder
- Chicken breast (鶏チャーシュー)
Chashu Donburi (チャーシュー丼) as side dish in ramen restaurants
So chashu is definitely an iconic feature for ramen.
But what is chashu donburi rice bowl and where is it usually served?
As you can imagine, ramen restaurants make chashu in big batches every single day.
In ramen restaurants, a lot of places offer chashu donburi (chashu served on a bed of white fluffy rice) as side dish and it’s another way for them to consume big batches of chashu they make every morning.
Also, chashu donburi is also popular meal prepared for restaurant staff (まかない) as well.
Cooking Process of Ramen Restaurant Style Chashu
Cooking Chashu tends to be a big hassle, but the cooking process is actually quite easy (it just takes a bit of time…)
The ingredients for simple Chashu would be:
- Pork or chicken
- Soy sauce
- Garlic (Optional)
- Spring onion
That’s all you need for simple Chashu!
2 Cooking processes
1. Sealing the block of meat
Like when you make roast dishes, sealing the meat beforehand in a frying pan is preferred.
2. Braising in a pot
This braising process is the part that takes a long time, but all you need to do is wait for it to simmer.
Boiled eggs are essential for Chashu donburi
As well as chashu itself, when it comes to chashu donburi, cooking boiled eggs in the same broth is very important.
The broth flavours the eggs and creates a great taste and texture to the dish.
The broth is reusable
So at the end of cooking, you will have a broth from the braising process.
But don’t throw it away once you finish making Chashu because it’s reusable for many purposes!
A lot of ramen restaurants actually keep using old broth by replenishing.
Obviously, we’re not ramen restaurants so we don’t have to go that far but you can still use the leftover broth for:
- Another batch of Chashu (Maybe using different meats?)
- Braising boiled eggs
- You can also use this as a condiment instead of soy sauce (More flavour than normal soy sauce!)…etc
So the big batch of broth won’t be a waste!
Frequently Asked Questions
What cut of meat is Chashu?
Mostly pork belly but some places use pork shoulder or even chicken breast!
Is Chashu Chinese or Japanese?
There’s no doubt that the origin is from Chinese Char Siu. It travelled to Japan, then Japanese people found their own way to cook it.
What do you eat Chashu with?
It’s usually served with Ramen but sometimes on rice bowls, some izakayas (JapaneseTapas-style restaurant) serves Chashu on its own as a beer snack.Print
How to make Japanese Braised Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl
For the broth
- 150g Pork shoulder or belly block
- 2 Boiled and peeled eggs (optional)
- 1 tsp Lard (or vegetable oil)
- 250ml Soy sauce
- 500ml Cold water
- 100ml Sake
- 25ml Mirin
- 50g Sugar
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 pieces of Ginger
- 1 Spring onion (Green bit only)
Assembling the donburi
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 300g Cooked rice (See how to make Japanese style rice here)
- 4 tbsp Finely chopped spring onion
- First, heat up a frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tsp of lard OR 1 tsp vegetable oil.
- Seal the meat by frying the edges in the frying pan, this will keep the juices in.
- When the surface of the meat is sealed all over, transfer the meat to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- In a large pot, pour in 250ml of soy sauce, 500ml of cold water, 100ml of sake, 25ml of mirin and 50g sugar.
- Add the sealed pork, 2 boiled and peeled eggs along with 2 cloves of garlic and 2 pieces of ginger both with the skin on. Also add one spring onion with the white part cut off (green part only).
- Put the lid on the pot and heat with medium-high heat, bring to the boil.
- Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat to a low setting.
- For the next step, we used a “drop lid”. This is a piece of foil that has been scrunched up, pierced in the middle to make a 1cm hole and then pushed down onto the soup, touching the surface. This helps to saturate the food with minimum amount of broth and evenly cook.
- Simmer for 30 minutes on a low heat.
- After 30 mins, turn the pork over and simmer for another 30 minutes again with the drop lid.
- Turn off the heat and remove the drop lid, leave for 10 minutes.
- Dish up the rice into two bowls.
- Pour around 2 tbsp worth of the broth you used to cook the chashu onto each bowl of rice.
- Take out the pork and cut into fine slices.
- Arrange on top of the rice.
- Drizzle with mayonnaise and garnish with finely chopped spring onions.
- If you want to increase the serving number for this recipe, you only need to increase the amount of meat, eggs and rice (as long as the meat is fully immersed in the broth, you don’t need make extra broth)
- You can use the broth over and over. Remove the ginger, spring onion and garlic at the end and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or 1 month in the freezer.
- You can soak boiled and peeled eggs in the broth to use for your next dish.
- If you want stronger flavour you can simmer for longer, the broth will be reduced more.
- Category: Japanese
- Method: Braise
- Cuisine: Japanese
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