When we got pork belly (again!) and made simmered “Kakuni” pork 豚の角煮, I took some of the raw meat and thinly sliced it to make this dish (about 1/2 lb, I think). This is called three-layer pork or “sanmai-niku” 三枚肉, which is a fairly common cut in Japan and many dishes are made using this cut. Since I also had left over cabbage (1/2 of the inner portion after taking most of the outer leaves for coleslaw) and a bag of leftover watercress (which would not last too long), I came up with this dish. I was hoping the pork belly would come out more crispy. My wife suggested that if it was crispiness I wanted I should try using bacon next time. I served this with sweet vinegar pickles of cucumber and quail eggs.
This was not bad at all but if you are eating this much pork fat, however, Kakuni is still the best way to enjoy this deadly delight.
Ingredients for two servings as a drinking snack:
Pork belly, thinly sliced about 1/2 lb
Miso about 2 tsp
Garlic a small clove, crushed (or from a tube)
Cabbage 1/2 small inner portion, core removed and cut into 1/2 inch squares
Watercress two handfuls
Sake 2 tbs
Oyster sauce to taste
I first put the miso and garlic in a Ziploc bag and kneaded it to mix. I then put in the sliced pork belly and massaged to have the miso mixture coat the surface of each of the meat slices. I let it marinate several hours in the refrigerator.
I removed the slices from the bag and lined them up on the plate flat. I remove any large globs of miso if present. I cooked the meat on low heat in a non-stick frying pan with a mixture of olive oil and sesame oil turning once until the edges became crisp and the meat was cooked through (a few minutes on each side). I removed the meat and set it aside. Brown bits (mostly miso) were on the bottom of the pan. I added the cabbage to the same pan. After a few minutes of stirring, I deglazed the miso fond with sake releasing as much as possible from the bottom of the pan. I let this miso-sake combination cook until it became thick and coated the cabbage. I added the watercress and for good measure a small amount of oyster sauce (may not need it, optional) and stirred until the watercress wilted (30 seconds). I put the meat back in the pan, mixed and turned off the heat.
I thought about adding some sweetness (I was thinking of mirin) but, at the end, I did not. The miso and garlic flavor without sweetness made this dish perfect for drinking sake. We still prefer Kakuni pork belly but this is a good dish. The Japanese style sweet pickles really went well with this dish.