Meat lovers’ delight. Meltingly tender sweet & savoury Japanese braised pork belly. Kakuni literally means "square simmered". The eggs cooked with the pork gives the dish a lovely extent. Serve with spicy pickled courgette salad and steamed rice.
Take pork belly out of the fridge and come to room temperature.
In a large pot, place pork, spring onions and ginger. Pour sake and water just enough to cover the pork. Put a lid on and place on a medium heat. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 1 hour until you can insert a skewer into pork easily.
When completely cool – put the whole pot in the fridge and chill for several hours or overnight. This makes the pork fat to set so it is easily removed.
Remove fat from the surface. Discard spring onions and ginger. Add sugar and soy sauce to the pot. Cut the meat into 4-5 cm cubes, then return to the pot. Place the pot back on medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add eggs when you have 6 minutes left, so they soft boil.
To make the spicy pickled courgette: Slice courgettes in long thin ribbons and place in a heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan, mix vinegar, honey, water and mustard and bring to boil. Pour over the courgettes and combine well. Add garlic chives and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Peel boiled eggs and slice in halves. Serve Japanese Pork and Eggs accompanied by cool & spicy pickled courgettes salad and cooked rice.
Tip. You can omit the process of chilling and removing fat. Just skim excess fat from the surface of the boiling liquid and add seasoning to continue cooking straight away. The result will not be as light but some people prefer this a little more substantial meaty taste.