Here comes another Trader Joe’s shortcut to making your dinner delicious in half the effort it would otherwise! Probably my favorite find since becoming a TJ’s fan has been their Fully Cooked Pork Belly. When you open the package, it appears unappetizing at best: vacuum sealed and covered in a gelatinous layer of fat. But once you rinse away the goo, slice it up and pan fry it, you’re in for a treat! It’s a great alternative to bacon for breakfast or in any place you’d normally use bacon.
Another place pork belly works well is in ramen- not the kind you pull from your cabinet when you’re down to your last dollar, but the highfalutin fancy kind you get from a ramen shop. I’ve yet to find a really great ramen place on the Island, so I’ve taken to recreating my favorite dish at home. This recipe is loosely based off of Serious Eats Chashu Pork recipe, though they do it the right way. In case you’re curious, Costco sells raw pork belly now, so go for it if you’re feeling adventurous. If you’re lazy like me however, read on.
Cheater Chashu Pork Belly Ramen
- 1 package Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Pork Belly
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp ground ginger (or fresh)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or mirin
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice pork belly into 1/2 inch slices.
- Combine marinade ingredients in shallow oven safe dish. Use these proportions as a starting point and feel free to adjust or omit to your taste. The most important components are the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and garlic.
- Place slices of pork belly in marinade in the dish. Cover with foil and place on middle oven rack for 1 hour. Turn slices every 15 minutes to ensure both sides are coated during the cooking process.
- When pork belly is tender and begins to take on a darker color, you’ll know it’s done!
- Prepare your favorite ramen and add a few slices of pork belly and the remaining broth to the bowl. Enjoy!