The popularity of bacon is not lost on different cultures around the world. While it is typically enjoyed crispy alongside eggs and toast, in Asian cultures the pork belly is treated differently and savored with entrees. Known as chashu, the soy sauce based, succulent pork belly is a staple in Japanese ramen but surprisingly came from China.
Barbecued Chinese pork, known as Char Siu, is prepared differently from the ramen noodle topping chashu. It is first marinated in soy sauce, five-spice powder, and other ingredients before it is roasted or barbecued. Japanese chashu is different because it is braized at a low temperature with soy sauce, sake, and sugar.
If you are in the mood to try it on your own, there are some things to remember when trying a ramen chashu pork recipe. Most chashu is created by rolling the pork belly into a log shape. This serves to both maintain moisture and produce the characteristic shape. This can be skipped though because when buying pork belly, especially from specialty supermarkets, they are not long enough to allow for this step. To begin, searing the meat is important to both give it color and seal in the juices. Brown the pork belly and then braize it in a soy sauce based seasoning mixture for 1 hour over low heat. Once the sauce has thickened, it is ready to enjoy! Finish it with a propane torch to add smokiness and a charred exterior. Great on ramen, noodle dishes or with fried rice, homemade chashu is easier than you might think to make.
An even easier step to enjoying delicious chashu is to visit Noddle Bar in Phoenix. Skip the messy kitchen and patience necessary to make it on your own and savor the various noodle dishes offered. Finding ramen in Phoenix is easier than you think.