Braised Pork Belly

Tender and juicy braised pork belly slow cooked in a sweet and savory soy sauce based stock takes this pork belly to a whole new level.  This braised pork belly recipe, or Kakuni as it is known in Japan, is so melt-in-your-mouth good!

Braised pork belly served in a bowl topped with sliced ginger and green onions being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

It seems like almost every Asian culture has its own signature pork belly recipe and the braised pork belly, or kakuni as it is called in Japan is hands down in my top two!

My dad makes a Taiwanese version that is also very delicious, so it’s hard for  me to choose.

Japanese braised pork belly is typically slowly simmered for many hours in a liquid base that includes soy sauce, dashi, sugar, and ginger.

Of course, we kept the traditional ingredients as true as possible with the exception of subbing out the sugar for monkfruit.

Other than that, this keto braised pork belly tastes just like the traditional Japanese version, just without the carbs.

Now if you’re someone who’s usually short on time or prefer to make set it and forget type of recipes, this braised pork belly dish can easily be made in an instapot as well.  See below for instructions.

Braised pork belly served in a bowl topped with sliced ginger and green onions being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

What is Japanese braised pork belly?

Japanese braised pork belly is sliced or cubed pork belly slow simmered in a soy sauce based stock until it is very tender and the fat is rendered.  It has a slight sweetness to it adding an extra element of umami to the pork belly.

What kind of pork belly works best for this recipe?

I recommend  2 inch thick skinless pork belly strips cut into cubes.  The ones we use are from Costco.

Pork belly used to make a braised pork belly recipe on a cutting board.

Can I make this pork belly recipe in an instapot?

Yes absolutely!  Follow the cooking times below.  Just note that the color will be a little lighter since there is no reduction in an instapot.

  • 1 hour = 20 minutes high pressure
  • 30 minutes = 10 min
  • 15 minutes = 5 minutes high pressure

Were there any tips and tricks in making this braised pork belly recipe?

  • If you’re short on time, use an instapot (pressure cooker) to cut down cooking time to 1 hour.
  • If you’re sensitive to pork flavors, double the amount of ginger used to when boiling the pork belly the 1st time.  You can also add a little Japanese sake or vodka as well.
  • Use skinless pork belly that is around 2 inch thick.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice and a side of steamed veggies to make it a complete meal.
  • Make sure to pour the stock over the pork belly before serving to give it that restaurant quality glaze.

Pork belly used to make a braised pork belly recipe inside a instapot with sliced ginger and water.

Do you have any other pork belly recipes I can try?

Below are some of our tried and true pork belly recipes:

Now, let’s get making the Japanese style Braised Pork Belly recipe!

  • Prepping Time 15M
  • Cook Time 2H45M
  • Total Time 3H
  • Net Carb/Piece ~0.5g
  • Servings 8-10 pieces

Ingredients

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (3)

2) Fill stove top pot with enough water to completely submerge entire pork belly and bring to boil.

3) Cut 1 inch of ginger into thick slices.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (5)

4) Once the water is boiling, add pork belly and reduce to low/simmer heat.  Add sliced ginger from step 3), cover and cook for 1 hour.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (20)

5) In the meantime, make 4 cups of Dashi and set aside.

6) Take the remaining 1 inch ginger and cut julienne.  Set aside.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (7)

7) Make 2-4 hard boiled eggs.  Here are the directions if you are interested.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (1)

8) After 1 hour has passed, transfer pork belly to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch bite size width.  Discard liquid.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (8)

9) Bring Dashi from step 5) back to boil.  Once boiling, reduce to low-simmer, add vodka, Monkfruit Erythritol Blend, cut pork belly, hard-boiled eggs and ONLY 2 TBSP of Soy Sauce (if you do not add Soy Sauce in increments, it will be overly salty).  Mix well, cover and cook for an additional 1 hour.  Check water level periodically and add water to keep pork and eggs covered.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (21)

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (23)

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (15)

10) After an hour has passed, add another 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce and cover.  Cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (16)

11) After 30 minutes have passed, add the last tbsp of Soy Sauce and cook for 15 additional minutes.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (17)

12) After 15 minutes, pork should have a nice soft glaze.  Pull from stove top pot and transfer to plate.  Top with sliced ginger.

Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (35)

Hope you enjoy your Braised Pork Belly recipe!

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More Recipes

Braised pork belly served in a bowl topped with sliced ginger and green onions and served with a hard boiled egg and spinach.

 

Braised pork belly served in a bowl topped with sliced ginger and green onions and served with a hard boiled egg and spinach.

 

Braised pork belly served in a bowl topped with sliced ginger and green onions and served with a hard boiled egg and spinach.

Braised Pork Belly

Tender and juicy braised pork belly slow cooked in a sweet and savory soy sauce based stock takes this pork belly to a whole new level. This braised pork belly recipe, or Kakuni as it is known in Japan, is so melt-in-your-mouth good!
4.82 from 11 votes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: instapot pork belly recipe, pork belly recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8 pieces
Print Recipe
Calories: 557kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb Slice Pork Belly the Costco one is about 10" in length
  • 2 Inch Ginger
  • 4 Cups Dashi
  • 2-4 Hard Boiled Eggs link on how to make easy peel hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Monkfruit Erythritol Blend
  • 5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Vodka

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (3)
  • Fill stove top pot with enough water to completely submerge entire pork belly and bring to boil.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (4)
  • Cut 1 inch of ginger into thick slices.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (5)
  • Once the water is boiling, add pork belly and reduce to low/simmer heat. Add sliced ginger from step 3), cover and cook for 1 hour.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (20)
  • In the meantime, make 4 cups of Dashi and set aside.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (2)
  • Take the remaining 1 inch ginger and cut julienne. Set aside.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (7)
  • Make 2-4 hard boiled eggs. Here are the directions if you are interested.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (1)
  • After 1 hour has passed, transfer pork belly to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch bite size width. Discard liquid.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (8)
  • Bring Dashi from step 5) back to boil. Once boiling, reduce to low-simmer, add cut pork belly, vodka, Monkfruit Erythritol Blend, hard-boiled eggs and ONLY 2 TBSP of Soy Sauce (if you do not add Soy Sauce in increments, it will be overly salty). Mix well, cover and cook for an additional 1 hour. Check water level periodically and add water to keep pork and eggs covered.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (23)
  • After an hour has passed, add another 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce and cover. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes have passed, add the last tbsp of Soy Sauce and cook for 15 additional minutes.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (17)
  • After 15 minutes, pork should have a nice soft glaze. Pull from stove top pot and transfer to plate. Top with a couple of pieces of julienned ginger.
    Japanese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (35)

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 1060mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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