I love the way the pork falls apart after bubbling for ages in the aromatic stock. In an izakaya you would get a small plate to share, but at home I like to make a large batch and serve it with a salad and some steamed rice. The mustard adds a kick at the end, contrasting nicely with the sweetness of the sauce.
1kg/2lb pork belly, cut into 7-8cm cubes
2½ tbsp soft dark-brown sugar
1 leek, sliced
1½ tbsp chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp mirin
150ml/¼ pint sake
2 sliced spring onions
Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pork and brown it on all sides. Don't worry about adding any oil to the pan – the fat from the pork will start rendering as you brown it.
When the meat is browned, add the sugar and stir to coat the pork. Cook stirring for 1 to 2 minutes then add the remaining ingredients and enough water to cover the meat.
Bring to the boil, then simmer very gently for about 3 hours, turning occasionally and adding more water if needed, until the pork is meltingly tender. Strain, collecting the sauce into a separate pan, then boil down the sauce until thick and syrupy.
Serve the pork pieces with some sauce and a scattering of spring onions. As you eat, add a little mustard to the sauce, if you like.
Life & Style blogs
A roundup of the latest property news
Plus, do energy saving measures boost house prices?
The spring menswear season has only just begun, but I've already started to get deep and meaningful....
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria
iJobs Food & Drink
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working for this company will give you a ch...
£40000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£18000 - £35000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits & Uncapped Comm: Flight Cen...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Cruise Ship Seasonal W...