Most Japanese families swear by their own version of buta no kakuni or braised pork belly— every household has its own special recipe. The key to a delicious dish is in the softness of the pork belly—the best braised pork belly should melt in your mouth
- Yield: 4
- 14 1⁄3 oz (400 g) Cooked Japanese short grain rice
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 Nori seaweed sheets
- White radish (daikon) sprouts to garnish
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 7 oz (200 g) pork belly, cut into bite-size pieces
- 8 fl oz 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 1⁄3 fl oz (100 ml) Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1 2⁄3 fl oz (50 ml) Sake
- 10 cm (5-in) Ginger Knob, peeled and finely chopped
- Make braised pork belly. Heat oil in a pot and cook pork belly until slightly browned. Add water and bring to boil. Skim the surface with a slotted spoon to remove any impurities. Add sugar, soy sauce, sake and ginger. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To make onigiri, scoop one-quarter of rice into a bowl. Make a 2-cm (1-in) indentation in the rice with your fi nger and add 1–2 small pieces of pork belly. Spoon 1/4 tsp English mustard on top of pork belly.
- Wet your hands and spread a pinch of salt on your palms and fingers. Transfer the rice to your hands and gently press rice 2–3 times into your preferred shape. Make sure that the filling is completely covered with rice. Wrap nori around rice ball as desired and garnish with white radish sprouts. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.