Braised Pork Belly
- 1 1/4 pound pork belly
- 2 1/2 cups Awamori rice liqueur substitute sake
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
- 2 leeks white part only (1 halved lengthwise, 1 cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds)
- 1 cup dashi see recipe below
- 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar packed
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven, combine the pork belly with 1/2 cup awamori (sake), 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and drain away the cooking liquid.
- Return the pot to the heat and stir in 1 cup awamori, the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, the halved leek, ginger and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the pork is very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and transfer the pork to a cutting board; discard the cooking liquid and leek. Discard the skin, slice the pork into 2-inch squares and return the pork to the pot.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup awamori with the sliced leek, dashi, brown sugar and soy sauce and pour into the pot with the pork. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, turning the pork as needed, until the sauce is glossy and sticking to the pork, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the pork and leeks to a platter to serve.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 oz. kombu with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, discard kombu and stir in 1 oz. bonito flakes. Let the dashi stand for 5 minutes, then pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the bonito flakes. Let the dashi cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 3 days or until ready to use. Makes 4 1/2 cups