I think the Okinawans got the slow food concept right on - this was one of my favorite dishes growing up...shoyu pork...eaten over rice, or on top of soba. The soy sauce-marinated, slow-cooked pork with just the right amount of sweet taste (imagine Okinawan brown sugar) is pretty close to perfect...
- whole pork belly : 1.5 pound
- soy sauce : 0.5 cup
- packed brown sugar : 0.5 cup
- water : 0.5 cup
- mirin (Japanese sweet wine) : 0.5 cup
- ground ginger : 2 tsp
- garlic, or to taste : 1 clove
Stages of cooking
Place pork belly into a large pot, and cover with water about 1-inch above the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard water and fill pot with fresh water about 1-inch above the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the pork begins to soften, about 1 hour.
Remove the pork from the water, and place on a cutting board. Allow pork to cool for a few minutes, then slice off the thick skin and discard. Cut the remaining pork meat into 1-inch wide slices. Set aside.
Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, 1/2 cup water, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sliced pork belly, then bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and place a sheet of aluminum foil directly over the meat and sauce. Simmer uncovered until the pork is tender, 30 to 45 minutes, turning the pork several times to cook evenly.