Pork Belly over Rice

Pork Belly over Rice

I love pork belly.  I love it plain, marinated, sauteed with kimchi, any which way I can have pork belly, it's always delicious.

Today I made soy sauce marinated pork belly and ate it over rice, similar to chashu that you make for ramen.  I adapted the recipe from a Korean TV show, and the minute I watched it, I knew I had to make it myself.  This recipe involves using a blowtorch, and I'm not ashamed to admit I immediately ordered one from Amazon to make this dish.  Although I try to avoid buying unnecessary kitchen gadgets, I bought the Iwatani brand that Amazon sells for about $20.  In the words of great Julia Childs, "Every woman should have a blowtorch in the kitchen."  Amen.

These are the ingredients (about 2 servings):

  • A block of pork belly, about 1 pound. I bought mine pre-packaged at a Japanese supermarket
  • 6-8 cups of anchovy broth, recipe to follow
  • 2 stalks of dae-pa, or Korean green onion, which is similar to Japanese negi (optional, read below)
  • 1/4 of Korean radish, about 1/3 pound, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-3 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
  • An egg per serving
  • Cooked rice
  • Pickled ginger (optional)

First, cut dae-pa into thin strips and put in a bowl of water while you cook.  This takes the edge off the Korean green onion so that you can eat it raw (otherwise it's too strong and it will make your eyes water!).  Dae-pa looks just like a giant green onion, similar to leeks, but even bigger.  If you prefer, you can omit dae-pa altogether, since you will be adding chopped green onion on top later on.  It might be a little too much if you're not used to eating dae-pa, which is even stronger than the green onion we are used to.

Second, start making anchovy broth, which is the basis for most Korean cooking.  In a pot of water (6-8 cups), add 10-15 dried anchovies.  Add a few pieces of kelp (dashima) and the Korean radish.  Boil for about 20 minutes, discard dashima and anchovies, but keep the radish.

Third, sear the pork belly.  Add a little oil in the pan and sear for a few minutes on each side. Be careful since the oil might splatter!

Next, add the seared piece of meat into the anchovy broth, and add onion, soy sauce, sake, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, ginger, and garlic.  Boil for about 30 minutes.

After about 30 minutes, remove from the pot and let it rest for a few minutes.  While it's resting, make the sauce.  Ladle some of the soy sauce based broth into a smaller saucepan, place on medium heat, and thicken by adding the cornstarch.  If you like it thicker, add a little more cornstarch.  This is the sauce you can pour on the pork belly when the dish is done.

Now you are ready for the blowtorch!  Slice the porkbelly and place on a fire proof surface.  Although I didn't use aluminum foil the first time, I recommend using it (don't be like me).  I have to admit, it was kinda scary since I have bad memories of playing with matches when I was little (don't ask), but it gets easier after you get used to it.  I tried pork belly without the extra sear from a blowtorch, and it does taste better when there is the extra char.

If using, drain the dae-pa.

In a bowl of rice, place strips of dae-pa all over the rice.

Add the pork belly slices and cooked radish pieces.

Eggs can be cooked in different ways.  The original recipe calls for raw egg yolk, but since many people in US do not feel comfortable eating raw egg, I recommend either poaching it or lightly frying it, whatever you like.  I cooked my eggs by boiling water and then turning off the heat.  I then placed the eggs in the hot water and let it sit, covered, for about 8-9 minutes.  This method allowed me to have a very lightly cooked egg that maintained the shape of the yolk but was runny when I broke into it.

Add chopped green onion, pour some of the sauce on top of the pork belly slices, sprinkle sesame seeds, and add ginger. Now you are ready to eat!  Break the egg yolk and mix it with the sauce and rice, and it is dee-licious.  I know people say bacon makes everything better, but to me, thick cuts of pork belly is truly mouth-watering and absolutely satisfying. Enjoy!


  1. Dried anchovies for soups are sold in Korean supermarkets. In a pinch, you can just use dashi broth, or even chicken broth.  If using chicken broth, you can probably just use 1 can of chicken broth and add it to water to make a total of about 6 cups of liquid.
  2. Cooked radish is delicious, so don't forget to try it if you make this dish!
  3. If dae-pa is difficult to find, you can omit it and just add more green onion on top.
  4. The exact recipe is flexible. The basic flavors are soy sauce, sugar, and sake. The rest of the ingredients enhance the taste, but it's not crucial.
  5. You end up with leftover soy sauce broth that you can use to make marinated boiled eggs, cook different meats, or just eat with rice.  If you have any other suggestions, please share!
  6. Be careful with the blowtorch!

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