This Japanese inspired sous vide pork belly chashu is absolutely perfect for your homemade ramen. First off, sous vide pork belly is simply unbelievable. It is insanely tender and juicy. Then you marinade the pork belly with Japanese inspired flavors and you have the perfect ramen topping.
Do yourself a favor and make this recipe stat.
Pork Belly Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the pork belly chashu at 74C/165F for 10 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the pork in for 10 hours breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in an extremely tender belly. Also, cooking it at a temperature of 165F is the sweet spot for juicy, delicious pork belly. Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Sous Vide Machine – To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule. The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for 10 hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Japanese Pork Belly Chashu
- 2 - 3 lbs pork belly, skinless
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 knob ginger, minced
- 3 green onions, sliced
In a bowl, mix together sugar, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and green onions.
Truss the pork belly with butchers twine, and put it in a freezer bag with the marinade. Remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Put the bag in the fridge, and let the pork marinade for 10 - 24 hours (optional, but recommended).
Set sous vide machine to 74C/165F. Once the target temperature is reached, drop pork belly in the bath for 10 hours.
Remove bag from bath, and immediately transfer bag to an ice bath to cool down the pork belly. Once cooled, take pork belly out and pat dry.
Heat a large skillet on high and add oil. Sear for 60 seconds on each side. Remove from pan, cut off the twine and place on plate to rest.
Slice the chashu into 1/4-inch slices. When ready to eat, sear both sides of the chashu on a hot pan for 1 minute a side, or until browned.