Buta no Kakuni (Japanese Braised Pork Belly)

Japanese Braised Pork Belly (Buta no Kakuni)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 700 grams pork belly
  • two-inch knob ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 packet dashi granules
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • slices scallions to garnish
  • 3 to 4 hard-boiled eggs shelled and cut in into halves


  • Cut the pork belly into chunks. Two-inch cube would be a good size; cut them smaller if you want a shorter cooking time.
  • Peel and slice the ginger.
  • Lightly pound the garlic.
  • Heat a wide shallow pan and pour in the cooking oil. Add the pork belly pieces and cook over high heat, turning them occasionally, until browned.
  • Scoop out the pork and transfer to a plate. Keep warm.
  • You'll have more oil in the pan at this point because the cooking oil would have gotten mixed with rendered pork fat. If you have more than a tablespoonful of fat in the pan, pour off the excess.
  • Heat the fat and sauté the ginger, garlic and star anise until aromatic.
  • Pour in the mirin. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Put the browned pork back into the pan. Pour in the soy sauce. Add the dashi granules and sugar. Pour in enough water to cover the pork. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the pork is so tender that when poked with a fork, the meat breaks apart.
  • Serve Japanese braised pork belly over rice, sprinkled with sliced scallions and with a hard-boiled egg on the side.