pork belly and kabocha stew

September 22, 2009 |  Category:   recipes we ate this


One of my weaknesses if you don’t already know, is pork belly, in it’s many forms. I bought some while shopping at the Korean grocery the other day. In the past I have braised it, roasted it, braised it again, so I figured it might be time to try something different. Perhaps something a little bit less heavy? I ended up trying a Japanese stew of sorts, cooking the meat along with Kabocha squash in dashi. Tasty it was, but less heavy it was not (it put Jenna in a food coma). A “light pork belly entree” just might be the biggest culinary oxymoron of them all.

Pork Belly and Kabocha Stew (serves 6-8)

2 Tablespoons canola oil
2-1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into 3-inch squares
3 slices of fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
4 cups dashi
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot. Add the pork belly pieces, skin side down and cook on medium-high heat until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside. Remove all but a small amount of the oil from the pot. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for one minute. Add the squash and stir briefly. Return the pork belly to the pan, skin side up. Pour the dashi into the pot until it almost reaches the top of the pork belly pieces. Bring just to a boil, then transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, occasionally adding more liquid if it gets reduced too much. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes in the liquid. Remove the pork and kabocha from the liquid. Slice each piece of pork into thin slices, and serve with the kabocha, using a small amount of the cooking liquid as a sauce or soup.


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  • Uncle Beefy September 22, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Lord have mercy! Is that what we’re having for lunch? OMG that looks delicious! Swooning & drooling!

  • Lecia/A Day that is Dessert September 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    this looks amazing!

  • Perideau Designs September 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Delish! Where did you get the linens in the pictures from?

  • ptouche September 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Jenna ~ started reading your blog after Mark was featured on Design Sponge and must say that i LOVE the site! my husband and i both love to cook. since we’ve not done much Koren cooking, can you point me in a direction for dashi and the type of squash used (or suggest a substitution) – i live in the midwest near Indianapolis. this recipe is DEFINITELY on my list to make – YUMMMmmmm

    BTW – the peach blondies were a smashing success at an afternoon get-together a week ago – thanks for the inspiration!

  • linda September 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    wow – that looks so yummy!

  • Andrew Thornton September 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Looks so yummy!

  • Lani September 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    mmm. got leftovers?

  • Demara September 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    mmm everything looks good here but the pork…hehe

  • Alyson September 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’m new to pork belly, but what I have had, I have loved. There is a restaurant here in Nashville that makes a “belly ham” pizza with chilies and lots of fresh mozzarella. So yummy! Thanks for sharing this dish!

  • Pam September 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Mark, if you could read Chinese, I would forward you my mom’s delicious pork belly recipe. I’m going to try to translate it, but it’ll take me awhile as I don’t know the English word for one of the main ingredients and it’s one of those things (some cured vegetable leafy thing) you can only get at a Chinese grocery store. It’s delicious, but yes, heavy. I think you’re right there is no way to do pork belly lite, but, who would want to.

  • monica from hola!design September 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    yummy! I love pork so much! this look so delicious!

  • Jenna September 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Bridgett – the linen is just a half yard remnant I got off etsy.

  • lola September 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    o m g. can i become an au pair for M+C? My only requirement would be that I get to eat at the table. this seriously makes me wanna move back to ny. xo

  • claire September 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm