Feed a crowd with Curtis’ tender chashu pork recipe, complete with tasty sides.
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Use a large sharp knife to remove the rind from the pork, in 2 halves, avoiding as much fat as possible. Place the rind, skin-side up, on a plate in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 1 hour to dry.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 135°C (115°C fan-forced). In a wide casserole pan, combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, spring onion, garlic, ginger, shallot and 1 cup (250ml) water. Add the pork and partially cover. Bake, turning pork occasionally, for 3½ hours or until pork is very tender.
Transfer the pork to a plate. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Discard the solids. Skim the fat from the surface and return the braising liquid to the pan over medium heat. Cook for 20 mins or until liquid is reduced by half.
While the braising liquid is reducing, preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut the pork rind crossways into 1cm-thick strips. Arrange, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking tray and season with salt. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool slightly.
To cook the sushi rice, place rice and 1¾ cups (435ml) water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 mins or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Set aside for 10 mins to steam. In a small bowl, stir vinegar, sugar and salt until sugar dissolves. Transfer rice to a large heatproof bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over the warm rice, stirring to coat. Break up any lumps. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins to cool.
To make cucumber salad, in a bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt and chilli flakes, if using. Add cucumbers and toss to coat.
Thinly slice the pork. Heat a greased barbecue flatplate on medium-high. Cook pork for 1-2 mins each side until caramelised. Brush with sauce in pan.
Divide rice among serving bowls. Top with sliced pork, cucumber salad, spring onions and pickled ginger. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pork crackling.