Also known as "Chashu Don," is a delicious and satisfying Japanese rice bowl dish that features tender slices of marinated and braised pork belly (chashu) served over a bed of steamed rice.
Chashu is the star of this dish. It consists of succulent, thinly sliced pork belly that has been marinated in a flavorful sauce, typically made from soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet rice wine), sugar, and aromatics like garlic and ginger. The pork belly is then slow-cooked or braised until it becomes incredibly tender and infused with rich, savory flavors. The result is tender, melt-in-your-mouth slices of pork with a slightly sweet and savory taste.
A generous portion of steamed Japanese short-grain rice serves as the base of the dish. The rice is typically cooked to perfection, with a slightly sticky and fluffy texture that pairs beautifully with the savory chashu.
A drizzle of the chashu's cooking sauce or a specially prepared tare (seasoning sauce) is often poured over the pork and rice to infuse the dish with additional flavor. This sauce can vary but typically contains a mix of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.
Depending on personal preferences and regional variations, you may find additional toppings such as pickled vegetables, soft-boiled eggs (ajitsuke tamago), or a splash of hot chili oil (rayu) to add spice and complexity to the dish.
Pork Cha Shu Don is a hearty and comforting dish, loved for its combination of tender, flavorful pork and the simplicity of steamed rice. It strikes a balance between sweet and savory flavors, making it a satisfying and popular choice in Japanese cuisine. It's a prime example of how Japanese cuisine values the art of slow-cooking and flavor balance.