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Braised Pork Belly in Dashi

Braised Pork Belly in Dashi

From: Chef Sean O'Brien, Zinnia Restaurant, San Francisco. Yield: 24 servings.

Braised Pork Belly:

8 lb. pork belly

6 cups sake

3 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce

1 cup orange juice

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup honey

12 pieces star anise

4 10" cinnamon sticks

4 2" pieces ginger, cut in half


2 sheets kombu (seaweed)

10 cups bonito flakes

1⅔ cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce

1⅔ cups mirin

1⅔ cups sake


72 cups spinach

as needed, vegetable oil

For pork belly: Cut pork into 1½" cubes; remove excess fat. In large pot, combine pork, sake, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, honey, star anise, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to boil. Place a sheet of parchment paper directly onto surface of liquid; transfer pot to 300°F oven. Cook 2-3 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork; refrigerate, covered. Strain braising liquid; chill and remove solidified fat.

For dashi broth: In saucepan, bring 4 qt. water and kombu to a boil. Remove kombu immediately; add bonito flakes and boil 15 seconds. Strain through chinois or coffee filter. Add soy sauce, mirin and sake. Adjust seasoning to taste. Yields 24 cups.

For each serving, to order: Heat 4 cubes pork in a little braising liquid. Heat 1 cup dashi with 3 Tbsp. pork braising liquid. Saute 3 cups spinach in oil just until wilted; mound in shallow bowl. Arrange pork on top of spinach; pour broth around. (Broth may be added tableside, if desired.) Garnish with cubes of steamed butternut squash, micro chives/julienned green onions and enoki mushrooms, if desired.

TAGS: Food & Drink