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.
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).
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