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Kakuni (Japanese Braised Pork Belly)

I looooove Pork Belly, and I especially love roasted pork belly as it makes THE most amazing crackling. But I do enjoy pushing the boat out every now and again and doing something different – and a lovely alternative is… Kakuni!

It’s Japanese Braised Pork Belly – which literally means “squared simmered” and this dish makes the pork belly wonderfully tender and is cooked in a beautiful sweet, sticky sauce and is served with green onions and eggs. It’s pretty simple really, but just need a little patience if you’re using a slow cooker to cook your pork. But it can be sped up by using a pressure cooker like I do in the recipe video! However you make it though, it really is worth it!


Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 45 mins to 3 hours


  • For the pork:
  • 500g Pork Belly
  • 3 x Onions
  • 250ml - 500ml Dashi
  • For the sauce:
  • 100ml Soy Sauce
  • 100ml Sake or Mirin
  • 100ml Dashi
  • 75g Sugar
  • Fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • Plus:
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • Spring Onions (or Japanese Green Onions)



Finely slice your onions and place into a slow cooker or pressure cooker.


Cut your pork belly into four approximately 2 inch thick strips and place on top of your onions.


Pour the dashi over your pork belly and onions - if you're using a slow cooker, use around 500ml, or if you're using a pressure cooker then you'll need only 250ml.


Place the lid on and if you're using a slow cooker, then leave to cook away for around 3 hours. If you're using a pressure cooker, then you'll need only 30 minutes!


Once your pork belly is soft and tender, remove from the pot and leave to rest for 5 minutes and then cut into nice 2 inch chunks.


Before starting on our frying, boil the three eggs so they're just soft boiled.


Place a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil - sunflower oil or sesame oil will be fine.


Trim your spring/green onions and fry in the pan until they're wilted down and softened, and then place on a plate for later.


Add the pork belly in and cook on one side for 1 -2 minutes until nicely browned.


Turn the pork over and add in the ginger and fry for a minute.


Add in the soy sauce, sake (or mirin), dashi and sugar and stir together.


Add the eggs into the pan into the sauce and cook for about 6 minutes.


Remove the eggs from the pan, and leave the sauce to bubble away for another 4 to 6 minutes until it's become a lovely, sticky sauce.


Serve the pork with the eggs (halved) and onions with the rest of the sauce drizzled over the top.

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