A couple of Sundays ago, Tan Hsueh Yun in her weekly food column Hunger Management (The Sunday Times, March 7, 2010), wrote about this belly pork from Japanese cook, Yoko Arimoto. Unlike the usual Hokkien Kong Bak which is braised in dark soya sauce with aromatic cinnamon bark, anise seed and cloves, this version is cooked with Japanese sake and whole garlics till meltingly tender.
I am not a lover of belly pork but what made me try this dish is the fact that it was cooked over two days. Day 1 is simply braising the parboiled sliced pork in cooking sake and water with a whole head of garlic for two hours. It is then left to cool and refrigerated overnight. On Day 2, Japanese shoyu and sugar is added to the pork and braised for a further 45 minutes.
The result? A very tender pork that is garlicky and 'sweet'. Not sweet sweet from the sugar but sweet from the condensed sake and the garlics. If you do not care for the taste of cinnamon etc from the Hokkien kong bak, then this Jap Style Belly Pork is for you.
Served with steam Leaf Buns