We use this recipe in ramen, but you could use it anywhere a rich and flavorful slice of pork would raise up a dish.
1 to 1 1/2 lb. slab of pork belly, rolled with skin side facing out and tied in two places
4 scallions, or just use the greens from ramen if making
1 small onion (red or yellow), cut into eighths
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, cut in half
2 1/2-inch slices of fresh ginger (or 4 pieces of dried ginger from Penzey’s)
6-8 whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup low- or no-sodium chicken broth
Additional water as needed to come about halfway up the pork (this will depend on the size of the pot used).
1. The pork belly can be cooked either in the oven (at 275 degrees F) or in a heavy lidded pot on the stovetop over low heat.
2. Place the scallions, onion, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, mirin, soy sauce and chicken broth in a heavy pot with a lid, add the rolled pork belly to the center of the pot and heat on the stovetop over medium high heat until just boiling. Either transfer pot to the oven or reduce heat on the stovetop to low and cook for 2 to 3 hours until the fat has rendered and the meat is very, very tender. (Begin checking at about the 1 1/2 hour mark.)
3. Remove to a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes (and up to half an hour) before slicing.
4. Strain the vegetables and seasonings out of the liquid and spoon as much fat off the top as possible. Place the pot over high heat and reduce until the liquid becomes to a medium bodied sauce.
4. Serve as the centerpiece of ramen with just a drizzle of the sauce, or over rice with stir fried vegetables or any other way you feel with as much of the sauce as you like (but taste first as the sauce can be salty).