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Soy & Five-Spice Pork Belly Bao

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Yield: 1 serving

kikkoman products used:


1 clamshell bao bun
2 pieces soy-braised pork belly (recipe below)
2 pieces pickled cucumber (recipe below)
Spicy mayo, as needed (recipe below)
Steam bao bun. Place pork belly and pickled cucumber in bun and garnish with spicy mayo.

Soy-Braised Pork Belly
7 cups cold water
1 cup rock candy or ¼ pound dark brown sugar
2/3 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
1-inch piece ginger, smashed
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 3 to 4-inch segments
3 pounds skin-on pork belly, preferably including the ribs


Pickled Cucumbers
2-3 Japanese cucumbers (enough to yield 2 cups sliced)
Kosher salt, as needed
1 cup Kikkoman Rice Vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste


Spicy Mayo
2 quarts Kewpie mayonnaise
17 ounces Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
10 tablespoons shichimi togarashi
1 ½ ounces yuzu kosho


In a pan wide enough to hold pork belly in one layer, combine water, sugar, soy sauce, wine, ginger and scallions. Add pork belly, skin side down, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover pan and braise for 30 minutes.

Turn pork belly skin side up, cover and braise for 3 hours more. (The pork should be immersed in liquid about halfway.) The liquid should be reduced by about half by the end of cooking time. Cool pork belly in liquid overnight and cut into 4 x ½-inch pieces. Before serving, simmer pork belly in cooking liquid to reheat.


Pickled Cucumbers
Slice cucumbers on a mandolin. Cover generously with salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain well. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring vinegar, water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Cool. Place cucumbers in a bowl and pour vinegar mixture over. Allow to stand at least 1 hour. Drain off excess vinegar mixture before using and season cucumbers with salt and pepper.


Spicy Mayo
Whisk together all ingredients and transfer to a squeeze bottle.


Chef Jet Tila


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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