Chashu don is a hearty rice bowl dish that utilizes leftover ramen toppings like succulent braised pork (chashu) and silky soft-boiled eggs drizzled with mayonnaise and topped with shreds of green onion.
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What is Pork Chashu Donburi?
Chashu is a tender pork dish made by slow-cooking pork belly in a simple broth and then marinating it in soy sauce, sake, and mirin. It is most commonly served on ramen, but can also be used in other dishes such as donburi or fried rice (chahan).
While originally from Cantonese cuisine, Japanese Chashu is different in that it is braised and marinated with a teriyaki-like flavor.
Chashu is usually rolled before cooking which results in a beautiful swirl pattern when cut into slices. The end cuts are often used to make chashu don or fried rice, which are meals served exclusively to employees in ramen restaurants called “makanai meshi (まかない飯).” Some of these makanai dishes have gained popularity and made it onto menus across Japan, such as Omurice, Chicken Nanban, and Taiwan Ramen.
In other words, if you want to carry on the spirit of makai-meshi, it is recommended to use end cuts or crumbled pieces of chashu made for ramen as chashu donburi, instead of making chashu from scratch especially to make chashu don!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- End cuts or broken parts of leftover pork chashu – For a guide on making chashu pork, refer to my chashu pork recipe. If chicken is more to your liking, consider checking out the chicken chashu recipe instead. This recipe works best with homemade chashu.
- Japanese mayonnaise – Kewpie mayonnaise is the top choice for this, but other brands work just as well!
- Cooked Japanese short-grain rice – Short-grain Japanese rice is best used for donburi dishes. Recommended Japanese rice available in the U.S. and how to cook Japanese rice in a pot are explained in my How to Cook Japanese Rice Recipe.
- Green onion – The white part is utilized to prepare “shiraganegi.”
- Soft-boiled Eggs – These can be substituted with ramen egg (ajitama) for an alternative flavor!
- Chili threads – Although entirely optional, they lend a vibrant color to the dish.
- Leftover chashu marinade – If you have some marinade left from your chashu preparation, drizzle a bit over the top to enhance the dish’s flavor.
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Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make delicious ramen restaurant-style chashu donburi from scratch at home. To learn more about making chashu, check out my chashu recipe here.
For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Pierce a block of pork belly on both sides and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Starting with the thinnest side, roll it up tightly and secure with butchers string or a net.
Place the pork in a large pot and fill with cold water until submerged. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and scoop out any scum that floats to the top. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer.
To make a flavorful pork broth, add green onion, roughly chopped onion, thickly sliced fresh ginger, whole garlic cloves and a dash of rice vinegar. Place a drop lid on top and simmer for 2 hours, turning the pork over half way through.
Remove the pork from the pot and place in a ziplock bag. Transfer 250ml of the pork stock to a small saucepan.
Add sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar to the pork stock, boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
Once the marinade is cool to the touch, pour it into the ziplock bag and add soft-boiled eggs (optional). Marinate for 12 hours (ideally overnight).
Once the pork has finished marinating, heat a frying pan on medium-high and add the chashu and 100ml of the marinade. Fry until the marinade has thickened and turn the chashu occasionally until glazed all over.
Rest the chashu for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Typically the beautiful middle slices would be used for ramen and the end cuts would be used for donburi.
Take the white part of a green onion and cut horizontally to the middle. Separate each layer and lay them flat on the chopping board.
Thinly slice and place in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain and shake dry before using.
Divide cooked rice into each serving bowl and evenly distribute the chashu and halved ramen eggs. Top with shiraganegi, Japanese mayonnaise and chili threads (optional).
I don’t usually recommend storing assemled rice bowl dishes, but if you have chashu leftover, store it in the fridge or freezer.
Making homemade chashu takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. To keep it fresh, refrigerate or freeze it.
Refrigerated chashu can last up to 3 days in a Tupperware container, while frozen chashu should be sliced, wrapped in food-grade plastic wrap, placed in a zipper freezer bag, and have all air removed before being sealed and put in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy this simple chashu don recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
Other Dishes You’ll Love
Pork Chashu Donburi (Rice Bowl)
- Stainless Steel Drop Lid
- 50 ml sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 250 ml pork stock from part 1
- 150 ml soy sauce
- 30 g sugar
- 6 soft-boiled egg(s)
How to Make Chashu
- Pierce 700 g pork belly block on both sides with a fork, then roll it and secure it with string. Place in a pot and fill with cold water until submerged.
- Bring to a boil on a medium-high setting and scoop out any scum that floats to the top.
- Lower the heat to simmer and add 50 g green onion(s), 50 g fresh ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 100 g yellow onion(s) and 1 tsp rice vinegar. Place a drop lid on top and simmer on a low heat for 2 hours, turning half way through.
- Remove the pork from the pot and place in a ziplock bag.
- Transfer 250 ml pork stock from the chashu into a separate pan and add 50 ml sake, 1 tbsp mirin, 150 ml soy sauce and 30 g sugar. Boil for 1 minute and then leave to cool.
- Once cool to the touch, add the marinade to the ziplock bag along with 6 soft-boiled egg(s)s (optional) and seal. Marinate for 12 hours (ideally overnight).
- Heat a frying pan on medium-high and add the chashu. Add 100ml of leftover marinade and fry until thickened. Turn the pork occasionally to glaze all over.
- Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Typically the middle slices would be saved for ramen and the end cuts would be used for donburi.
- Cut the white part of a green onion(s) halfway through horizontally and separate each layer. Press each layer flat on a chopping board and thinly slice. This is called "shiraganegi" and is used to garnish.
- Soak the shiraganegi in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove any bitterness.
- Dish up 6 portions cooked Japanese short-grain rice and cut the ramen eggs into halves. Evenly distribute the chashu and eggs between each portion and top with Japanese mayonnaise, drained shiraganegi and chili threads (optional).