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Hero shot of Boiled Pork Belly with Vinegar-soy Sauce.
Boiled Pork Belly with Vinegar-soy Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Marinating Time
8 hrs
Total Time
9 hrs 10 mins

Thinly sliced Boiled Pork Belly with Vinegar-soy Sauce is a delicious dish. You can’t tell that it is just boiled pork. Chopped coriander/cilantro and green onion make the dish so appetising. (Watch the video)

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: boiled pork, pork belly recipe
Serves: 4
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 500-600g/1.1-1.3lb pork belly block without skin on (note 1)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100ml/3.4 fl oz cooking sake
  • 1 knob ginger (2.5cm/1” cube) thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions (green parts only), broken into 10-15cm/4-6" long pieces
  • Water to boil pork (note 2)
Vinegar-soy Sauce (note 3)
Toppings (note 4)
  • ½ cup green onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup coriander/cilantro finely chopped
Serving (optional)
  • Wasabi paste
  1. Halve the pork belly block lengthwise and place the pork pieces in a tray or a deep plate that can comfortably fit in the pork pieces.

  2. Coat the pork belly blocks with salt and sugar all around them evenly. Cover the tray with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight (salt and sugar tenderises the pork belly).

  3. Rinse the salt and sugar off the pork thoroughly, then place the pork pieces in a pot that can just fit the pork in.

  4. Add ginger and green onion pieces to the pot, then add water to completely cover the pork (note 2). Bring it to a boil over high heat.

  5. Remove the scum cleanly, reduce the heat to low and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour (note 5) with the lid on, allowing for a small amount of ventilation. Ensure that the pork pieces are submerged in hot water at all times (note 6).

  6. When a skewer can get through the pork easily, it is done.
  7. Turn the heat off and leave it to cool down, with the pork pieces in the broth.

  8. Mix the Vinegar-soy Sauce ingredients in a bowl or a jar.
  9. Transfer the pork pieces from the broth (note 7) to a cutting board and slice them into 5mm/3⁄16" thick pieces.

  10. Place the sliced pork on a serving plate. Scatter the coriander/cilantro and green onions over the pork.

  11. Pour the sauce over, leaving some sauce as a dipping sauce. Drop wasabi paste on the side of the serving plate if using.

Recipe Notes

1. Try to get a thick block of pork belly so that the cooked pork pieces look good when sliced. My pork was 535g/1.2lb and 3.5-4cm/1⅜-1½" thick. The size of the block was about 10cm x 15cm/4" x 6".

To enjoy the tenderness and juiciness of the boiled pork, I do not recommend using other cuts of pork. I tried this recipe with a piece of pork neck/butt and the meat was a bit dry. But if you can't eat pork belly, you can of course use other cuts of pork such as pork shoulder and pork neck/butt.

2. Depending on the dimension of the pork pieces and the size of the pot, the amount of water required varies.

3. The quantity of sauce is generous and more than is required to pour over the pork. The idea is to serve the remaining sauce as a dipping sauce.

Instead of Vinegar-soy Sauce, you can use gomadare (sesame sauce) if you wish. You can find the recipe for Gomadare in Japanese Dressings. But I must say I like the Vinegar-soy Sauce better as it makes the dish somewhat light.

4. You can have just one of them if you prefer.

5. The time required to cook the pork varies depending on the thickness of your pork. I cooked for 1 hour, and the pork was very tender. 50 minutes would have been OK too.

Be careful not to overcook it as the flesh breaks down when you slice the meat.

6. Pork pieces slightly curl up when heated, resulting in the top part of the pork appearing above water. Evaporation of the water also makes the pork appear above the water. If the water level becomes lower than the top of the piece of pork, add boiling water to submerge the pork in the water.

7. You will get a very good broth from boiling the pork, which is perfect for a ramen broth. It is very similar to the broth for Okinawa Soba (Sōki Soba).

I put the broth through a sieve to remove the vegetables and scum. Then chill it in the fridge to solidify the excess fat on the surface, so that you can remove the excess fat easily. You can of course retain some fat if you prefer a rich broth.

8. Boiled Pork Belly keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. It is best to store the pork in the broth and slice it at the time of serving. You can also freeze it (without broth) for few weeks.

9. Nutrition per serving, assuming that a half of the sauce is consumed. Total fat should be slightly lower than the figures below because some fat renders out to the boiling water.

serving: 193g calories: 725kcal fat: 68g (105%) saturated fat: 24g (120%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 7.6g monounsaturated fat: 32g cholesterol: 90mg (30%) sodium: 1453mg (61%) potassium: 644mg (18%) carbohydrates: 7.6g (3%) dietary fibre: 1.2g (5%) sugar: 2g protein: 14g vitamin a: 12% vitamin c: 76% calcium: 8.8% iron: 23%