Awhile back I made rafute, the Okinawan version of braised pork belly, what the Japanese call buta no kakuni. For last night's dinner I made the Japanese version. This dish takes some time to prepare, but at least it isn't humid and you don't have to stand near the stove the whole time while it is cooking.
I thought this recipe that I found on the internet was interesting because it said it was purely Japanese but uses cinnamon.
Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it: Serves 4
translated from doron.allabout.co.jp
500g pork belly (about a pound)
1 leek (only the green part)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
5 tablespoons kurosu (dark vinegar)
4 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
700cc water (about 3.5 cups)
6.5 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 star anise
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
neri karashi (Japanese mustard)
1. Cut the pork into 1.5 inch wide pieces making sure to have some fat on top of each piece.
2. In a pot, put the water, ginger, vinegar, leek and sake. Add the pork and heat on medium heat for 20-30 minutes scraping off the scum that forms on the top.
3. Take out the leek and add the shoyu, sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick. Simmer for an hour or until the liquid evaporates to half.
4. Add the honey and turn heat to high, let caramelize.
5. Take out star anise and cinnamon stick. Serve with neri karashi and some steamed green veggies, like spinach and lots of rice (be sure to put some of the gravy onto your rice too).
NOTES: After adding the shoyu and other ingredients, I simmered the pork for about an hour and a half. This was really tender and delicious. Satoshi liked it also.
Monday morning when I opened the curtains this is what I saw. Doesn't it look like a whirlpool?