Pork Belly Simmered in Sake Broth

by tina


Recipe from “Japanese Farm Food” by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Nancy Singleton Hachisu calls this dish “Pork Belly Simmered in Okara (soybean pulp),” but I call this Pork Belly Simmered in Sake Broth!! I feel like this is quite the logical name to call this dish because the pork belly flavor comes from a broth that is heavily sake based.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical about the recipe when I tasted the broth before I started simmering… I thought I’d end up with severely drunken pork belly. But all is good, the dish turned out surprisingly superb! It has bumped up my faith in this book.

When I thought about it some more, this recipe is really genius. Simmering the pork belly first in okara is genius. It seems to take away pork odors and “cleans” the pork and pork fats.  All of my pork belly from now on shall be simmered in okara!


  • ~2 lbs of pork belly slab
  • 0.67 lbs of fresh okara (soybean pulp)
  • 1 1/2 cups sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 1 inch x 1/2 inch)
  • Japanese mustard for serving


Cut the pork into 12 cubes and place them in a pot that’s wide enough to fit all pieces at the bottom.  Make sure the pot is also tall enough for the water content.  Now add the cold water in to cover about 1 inch above the pieces.


Stir in the okara and cover.  Turn temperature to medium-high and wait for it to come to a simmer. Once it starts simmering, turn the heat down to low-medium and simmer slowly for up to 3 hours.


After it is done simmering, let it cool.  Once the pot has cooled down, place the pot in the refrigerator until the fat has solidified. (I started making this at night, so I just put the pot in the refrigerator overnight).


Gently remove the tender meat pieces from the solid fats and okara.  Place the meat in a strainer and rinse with warm water.

(You can either discard the fat, okara, and simmering juices, or save the simmering juices. The soup is actually quite tasty!  Just discard the fat and most of the okara at the bottom of the pot)


Now onto the simmering for some real flavors. Peel and slice the ginger into thin sheets.


Place the pork pieces into the smallest pot that will hold them well.  Add the sake, soy sauce, mirin, and ginger.

Leave the pot uncovered, over medium-high heat. Once it starts simmering, lower the heat to low-medium and cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.

Cool the meat in the broth for about 10-15 minutes to soak up more of the flavoring.


To serve, spoon the meat pieces with a little of the simmering broth.  Squeeze some japanese mustard on the side of the bowl.



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2 Comments to “Pork Belly Simmered in Sake Broth”

  1. That looks AMAZING! I have never tried stewing pork belly in sake and mirin before. Thanks for the inspiration and this lovely recipe! :)

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