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Braised Pork Belly in Dashi

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Yield: 24 servings

kikkoman products used:


Braised Pork Belly:
8 pounds pork belly
6 cups sake
3 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 cup orange juice
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup honey
12 pieces star anise
4 (10-inch) cinnamon sticks
4 (2-inch) pieces ginger, cut in half

2 sheets kombu
10 cups bonito flakes
1 2/3 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 2/3 cups mirin
1 2/3 cups sake

3 cups spinach
Vegetable oil


To make Braised Pork Belly, cut pork into 1 1/2-inch cubes; remove excess fat. In large pot, combine pork, sake, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, honey, star anise, cinnamon and ginger; bring to a boil. Place a sheet of parchment paper directly onto surface of liquid; transfer pot to 300°F oven. Cook 2-3 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork; refrigerate, covered. Strain braising liquid; chill and remove solidified fat.

To make Dashi Broth, in saucepan, bring 4 quarts water and kombu to a boil. Remove kombu immediately; add bonito flakes and boil 15 seconds. Strain through chinois or coffee filter. Add soy sauce, mirin and sake. Adjust seasoning to taste. (Yield: 24 cups)

For each serving, to order, heat 4 cubes pork in a little braising liquid. Heat 1 cup Dashi with 3 tablespoons pork braising liquid. Sauté 3 cups spinach in oil just until wilted; mound in shallow bowl. Arrange pork on top of spinach; pour broth around. (Broth may be added tableside, if desired.)

Recipe by Chef Sean O’Brien, Zinnia Restaurant (San Francisco)


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.

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