Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pressure Cooker Pork Belly

Buta no kakuni (豚の角煮)DSC_0061

Our newspaper (The Oregonian) issues a section called  FOODDAY every Tuesday. In the January 11th edition I read an interesting article about ‘IN’ and ‘OUT’ of foods for 2011 .  ‘Pork Belly is in the ‘OUT’ list. Ooo Kei, I’m against trend without realizing it. The article said “…think of this as our culinary wish list of things we’d love to see happening in the kitchen in 2011.” I’m curious; who gets decide what’s IN and what’s OUT? Is there a committee for this? If so how many members in it?

Here is Oregonian FOODDAY’s OUT list with my take on them:

  • Pork belly-I agree somewhat. The use of bacon went too far. One time experience of eating a bacon donut is enough for me.
  • Energy drinks-I don’t drink so I have no comment.
  • Smoked paprika-I didn’t know that existed. I am perfectly satisfied with regular paprika.
  • Food reality shows on TV- My favorite cooking show is Iron Chef America but the voice over on old Iron Chef is funny too.
  • Stunt food-I still have not tried KFC’s Double Down and again I seldom go to fast food places.
  • Vague, watered-down labels- I’m sucker for label  like ‘local’ or ‘free range’  I thought I was supporting local farmers.
  • Cupcakes- I just started warming up to the cuteness of cupcakes last month and now it’s OUT?  I purchased  lots of cupcake cases and I ‘m not afraid to use them.

Thanks to electric pressure cooker, this meat is incredibly soft, like melt-in-your-mouth kind. I used to have a stove top pressure cooker but I can’t find it. Probably buried deep in the freezer.

My husband bought this Cuisinart electric pressure cooker. Easier to use than stove top one. I recommend this to everyone.DSC_0042

Ingredients serve 2 to 4

  • Pork belly 800g- try to cut in big square chunks (kaku means square/rectangle) . Do not separate meat from fat.
  • Sake 2 cups
  • Ginger 80g skin and slice
  • Water 1 cup
  • 1 long green onion stalk
  • Brown sugar 3-4 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce 3-4 tablespoon
  • Small green onion thinly slice length wise then put in ice cold water for few minutes



  1. In electric pressure cooker, brown meat using the  ‘Browning‘ mode
  2. Add sake, water and ginger then cook on high pressure for a few minutes then cook using the low pressure setting for another 45 minutes. Turn off cooker. Let it cool (do not skip this step). This allows the flavor to penetrate the meat.DSC_0048
  3. After cool down, add brown sugar and soy sauce and pressure cook on low pressure for about 15 minutes.
  4. Put the iced green onion on top of pork and serve

Steamed vegetables and cooked rice complete this meal.DSC_0060

I guess I should list FOODDAY’s ‘IN’ food list here too:

  • Meatballs
  • Spices, flavor/health connection-Spices don’t just make food taste better. They have powerful healing properties that may help fight illness.
  • Korean flavors- Yes to bibmibap and bulgogi!
  • Real cooking on TV-They recommending “Avec Eric”
  • Unusual grains and seeds-ancient grains farro and spelt. Also sprouted seeds like cashews and chia.
  • Homemade pie

In the end I have to say “whatever”. Whether its trendy or not, I just cook what I want to make in the moment (I do try to buy produce in season though) and hopefully I make someone happy along with myself.


  1. Seriously, we have to be trend conscious with everything else we do. When it's time to eat why not just eat what tastes good? Good, healthy food is always in as far as I'm concerned. The pork belly looks so good! I want to make it right now.

  2. I think what's in and what's out in terms of food trends varies from person to person so whatever list there is will never be a general consensus. Pork belly will never be out for me. I love it. I like the way you cooked yours. Long slow cooking makes it meltingly tender and full of flavour.

  3. The pork belly is perfect. I've never seen a recipe for it. I'm so excited.

  4. あ〜〜! コメントがかけるかな??


  5. Pork belly is one of my favorite food. Yours looks really delicious!

  6. Jacob, Thank you for your wise remarks. I forgot to mention but a little Japanese mustard is good with the dish.

    Adora, Damaris & Alison, your blogs are inspiring and makes me hungry. Thanks for the comments.

    ちびかーちゃん、Blog とても面白いです。読者が多くてうらやましいなあ。

  7. I'm going to try your recipe. I tried one last weekend that was Korean style pork belly done in a pressure cooker and it was a nuclear bomb. The Korean chile powder in which the pork was first marinated was far too hot for my or my guests' liking. I will never, ever make it again.

    And what is Japanese mustard? How does it differ from American mustard? Do I find it in the Asian food mart?

  8. I just visited your blog. Funny! This recipe is rather sweet. Momofuku pork belly was really salty. You should try both. Japanese mustard is more spicy than regular mustard. And yes available in Asian market and come in small tube in a box. Choose one with no color added. Japanese name is 'neri karashi'

  9. just visited your blog. Funny! This recipe is rather sweet. Momofuku pork belly was really salty. You should try both. Japanese mustard is more spicy than regular mustard. And yes available in Asian market and come in small
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  10. I'll try this recipe as soon as I get my pressure cooker fixed. This looks like a delicious meal to cook.

  11. Pressure cooker pork belly is shown on the post here. Have a look at it

  12. I rarely eat pork belly but I love buta no kakuni. Am I confused you a bit? Thanks for the recipe.

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