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5 from 8 votes
Yakibuta (Braised Pork) is a chunk of pork cooked in soy sauce flavoured sauce over a couple of hours. It takes time to cook but it is quite simple to make. The meat is so tender and flavoursome.
Yakibuta (Braised pork - Japanese Char Siu)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins

Yakibuta (Braised pork) is a chunk of pork cooked in soy flavoured sauce over a couple of hours. It takes time to cook but it is quite simple to make. The flavour penetrates into the meat and the meat is so tender and flavoursome. Slice thinly to serve as a main dish, appetiser at room temperature or cold. It is a popular topping for ramen.

Total time does not include time to marinate the meat after cooking.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Char Siu, pork recipe, ramen topping, Yakibuta
Serves: 4
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 950~1000 g (2.1~2.2lb) block of pork scotch fillet (also called pork neck/pork collar/pork butt) tied with butcher’s twine (note 1)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 stems shallots (scallions) cut into 2-3 pieces, then bruised (note 2)
  • 3 cm (1¼") cube ginger , sliced or crushed
  • 150 ml (5.1oz) sake
  • 300 ml (10.1oz) soy sauce
  • 80 g (2.8oz) sugar
  • 1000 ml (1.1qt) water
  1. Add oil in a frypan over high heat. Place pork in and brown all over including sides. (about 5 min).
  2. Transfer the pork to a deep pot, add the remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and boil for 2 hours. Depending on the thickness of the meat, the cooking time varies (note 3). When a bamboo skewer can get through the meat easily, it is ready.
  4. Cool down the pot slightly then transfer the meat to a large zip lock bag or a container which just fits the meat with sufficient height (note 4).

  5. Pour the sauce from the pot into the bag/container so that the sauce covers the meat completely (note 4). Leave it overnight in the fridge.
  6. Remove the meat from the bag/container onto a cutting board. Cut the string in several places and remove it gently.
  7. Slice the meat to your liking. I usually slice it into 7-10mm (¼ - ⅜”) thick pieces (note 5).
  8. Serve with vegetables on the side.
Recipe Notes

1. You can use a pork loin block or a sheet of pork belly. If using pork belly, roll the sheet to make a log, then tie it. To tie the meat, please see the photo steps at the end of the notes.

2. To bruise the shallots, press the white part of the stem with the side of the knife and crush.

3. I cooked 2 hours for about 1kg (2.2lb) meat. The thickness of the meat was about 10cm (4") in the middle before tied. If your meat is thinner or smaller, it will require slightly less time to get the meat tender. If the meat is larger/thicker, it will take longer. Check if a bamboo skewer can get through it easily.

When I cooked a pork belly which was about1.4kg (3lb)  and rolled into a log of 12cm (4½") diameter, it took 3 hours.

4. It is important to cover the meat with the sauce completely otherwise the part of the meat that did not get marinated will have less flavour.

If using a zip lock bag, try to remove the air in the bag as much as possible. To do this, fill the sink with water as deep as possible, seal the zip leaving 1cm unzipped, then place the bag in the sink. Due to the pressure under the water, the air inside the bag gets pushed to the top. Let go of the air as much as you can and seal the small opening of the zip.

If using a container, try to use a container which just fits in the meat but sufficient height to cover the height of the meat. With my meat, I could have used a large pickle bottle.

If you cannot cover completely, then I would recommend that you turn the meat over occasionally.

5. If I am using the yakibuta as ramen topping, I will slice it thinner.

6. If you can't consume yakibuta at once, you can freeze it after slicing. If you are likely to use frozen sliced yakibuta in small amount, I'd suggest that you place baking paper between the slices so that you can remove each slice easily.

How to Tie Meat

How to tie a block of meat.