Have you ever eaten pork belly so tender it melts in your mouth? I have.
Buta Kakuni is a Japanese dish which literally translates to “pork square simmered.” Buta Kakuni is a traditional Japanese dish prepared by cutting pork belly into squares and slowly braising it in soy sauce and dashi. The result is melt in your mouth pork belly with a perfectly balanced mix of sweet, sour, and salty, and a good dosage of umami. It is traditionally served with karashi, a type of mustard paste which provides the dish with spice and a hint of bitterness.
Buta Kakuni is said to have come from Chinese origins. It is close in flavor profile and preparation technique to Dongpo Pork which is square cut pork belly red-braised in soy sauce and Chinese fermented wine. This is also similar to the Filipino dish, Humba which is pork braised in soy sauce and aromatics.