Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (2023)

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Chashu don is a delicious rice bowl dish made with succulent simmered pork, a perfectly soft boiled ramen egg and then drizzled with mayonnaise and topped with spring onion. It's a hearty, comforting dish and a perfect way to use leftovers after making ramen!

Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (1)

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Jump to:
  • What Is Japanese Braised Pork "Chashu"?
  • Chashu Donburi
  • Chashu ingredients
  • Cooking Process of Ramen Restaurant Style Chashu
  • Learn how to make Japanese Pork Chashu step by step
  • Ramen Eggs
  • Otoshibuta
  • Reusing the broth
  • FAQ
  • Step by step recipe

What Is Japanese Braised Pork "Chashu"?

Chashu is a delicious dish made by slow cooking pork until it's extremely tender and melt-in-mouth. It's flavoured with typical umami packed Japanese condiments such as soy sauce, sake and mirin.

Chashu is usually served on ramen, but you can also use it to make donburi or fried rice.

If you want to learn how to make a classic rolled chashu for ramen, check out my recipe here!

Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (2)

Cantonese Char Siu VS Japanaese Chashu

Japanese Chashu came from Cantonese cuisine originally without a doubt.

However, now there are a few differences between Cantonese Char Siu and Japanese Chashu, or at least Japanese Chashu you see in ramen restaurants.

The biggest difference would be that, while Cantonese Char Siu tends to be barbecued and roasted, the main cooking process of Japanese Chashu is braising or simmering.

While Cantonese cha siu has a barbecue flavour, Japanese chashu is marinated and has a bit more of a teriyaki flavour.

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What meat is used for Chashu?

For Japanese Chashu, the most common meat to use is pork belly block, but the following can also be used:

  • Pork loin
  • Pork shoulder
  • Chicken breast (鶏チャーシュー)

Chashu Donburi

So chashu is definitely an iconic feature for ramen, but what is chashu donburi rice bowl and where is it usually served?

As you can imagine, ramen restaurants make chashu in big batches every single day. The end cuts are not suitable for serving on ramen, but there's no need to waste it either!

That's why end cuts of chashu are often used to make chashu don or fried rice for the workers.

Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (4)

Makanai Meshi

Meals exclusively served to employees are called "makanai meshi" (まかない飯) and are usually made from offcuts of meat and leftover ingredients. Depending on the skills of the chef, some of these makanai dishes end up making the menu and gain popularity across Japan!

Here are a few examples of dishes that went from makanai meshi to well loved Japanese dishes:

  • Omurice (Omelette rice)
  • Chicken Nanban
  • Taiwan Ramen

Chashudon is a known dish and is served in some ramen restaurants, but primarily, it's a dish prepared for workers in the restaurant.

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Chashu ingredients

Making chashu is quite time consuming, but it's actually pretty easy to do. Not only that, but it's delicious and can be used for a number of different dishes!

The ingredients for simple Chashu would be:

  • Pork or chicken
  • Soy sauce
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Sugar
  • Garlic (Optional)
  • Ginger
  • White onion
  • Spring onion

That's all you need for a simple chashu!

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Cooking Process of Ramen Restaurant Style Chashu

1. Piercing and rolling (optional)

The most iconic type of chashu is rolled. We start by piercing the surfaces with a fork to tenderize it, and then roll it up and tie it with string. Rolling is optional and actually, rolled chashu takes longer to cook. If you don't roll it, it will be ready about 30mins.

2. Simmering

We place the pork in cold water and then bring it to a gentle simmer. Add some garlic, ginger, onion and spring onion, add a drop lid (see below) and leave it to simmer for 1.5-2 hours. It will need to be turned half way through.

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3. Marinating

The way chashu gets that amazing flavour is because it's marinated overnight. The marinade is made using some of the broth from simmering the pork mixed with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. (The marinade is boiled to cook off the alcohol.)

4. Frying

My last step is to use the marinade to create a teriyaki glaze for the chashu. Just add the pork to a frying pan with a few tbsp of the marinade and fry until it's thickened and coating the surface. The perfect finishing touch!

Learn how to make Japanese Pork Chashu step by step

Ramen Eggs

As well as the chashu itself, marinating boiled eggs in the same broth is very important. By placing soft boiled eggs in the marinate with the pork, you'll have delicious flavoured eggs that can be used for ramen and chashudon!

The broth flavours the eggs and creates a great taste and texture to the dish.

If you want to learn more about ramen eggs and how to perfectly soft boil an egg, check out my post here!

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Making chashu requires an "otoshibuta" drop lid to ensure even cooking.

Drop lids are usually made from wood, but stainless steal and silicone drop lids are also popular. The size of the steel ones can often be adjusted to fit different pans too!

Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (9)

You can also make a single use otoshibuta with baking paper, it's very easy and only takes a few minutes. Check out my post to learn how to make and use Japanese drop lids!

Reusing the broth

So at the end of cooking, you will have a pork broth leftover from simmering the chashu. Don't throw it away because you can use this to make soups or broths for ramen!

If you don't plan to use your pork broth soon, you can strain out the bits and store it in the freezer for 2-3 months!

You can also use the leftover marinade to make a delicious ramen restaurant style "fried rice".

We hate waste and try and find a way to use everything up!

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What cuts of meat are used for Chashu?

Mostly pork belly is used, but some places use pork shoulder or even chicken breast!

Is Chashu Chinese or Japanese?

There's no doubt that the origin is from Chinese Char Siu. It travelled to Japan, then Japanese people found their own way to cook it.

What do you eat Chashu with?

It's usually served with Ramen but sometimes on rice bowls, some izakayas (Japanese Tapas-style restaurant) serves Chashu on its own as a beer snack.


Step by step recipe

Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (11)

Braised Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Portions 1x
Print Recipe


How to make Japanese Simmered Pork "Chashu Donburi" Rice Bowl from scratch!



Part 1

  • 700gPork belly
  • 50gSpring oniongreen part
  • 50gFresh ginger
  • 3cloves Garlic
  • ½White onion
  • 1 tsprice vinegar

Part 2

  • 50ml Sake
  • 1 tbspMirin
  • 250ml Pork stock (from part 1)
  • 150ml Soy sauce
  • 30gSugar
  • 4-6 Soft boiled eggs

Making the donburi

  • 2 tbsp Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 6 portions Cooked rice (See how to make Japanese style rice here)
  • White part of spring onion to make "shiraganegi"
  • Chili threads (optional)


Part 1

  1. Roughly cut half an onion and slice 50g of fresh ginger. (It's fine to leave the skin on the ginger, just make sure it's washed before you cut it.)

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  2. Take your pork belly block and pierce both sides with a fork.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (13)

  3. Dry the pork belly with a paper towel and roll. Optional: Start with the thinnest side and roll it up, secure with string or meat netting. (See video)

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  4. Place the pork into a deep pot, fill with cold water until the pork is just about submerged. (It's okay if the highest part is slightly poking out the top.)

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  5. Turn the heat on a medium-high setting and bring the water to a boil. If there's scum floating on the top, scoop it out.

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  6. Once it's boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and add the spring onion, onion, ginger, garlic and 1 tsp of rice vinegar.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (17)

  7. Place a drop lid on top (see post for how to make your own drop lid) and then allow to simmer on a low heat for 1 hour if it's rolled, or 45 minutes unrolled.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (18)

  8. Once the time has passed, peel back the drop lid, carefully flip the pork over onto the other side and put the drop lid back into position. Simmer for another 1 hour (rolled) or 45 mins (unrolled).

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  9. After the time is up, turn off the heat, remove the pork and place it in a large ziplock bag.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (20)

Part 2

  1. In a smaller pot or pan, add 50ml of sake and 1 tbsp mirin. Heat on medium high and bring it to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute to burn off the alcohol.

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  2. Add 250ml of the pork stock from part 1 with 150ml soy sauce and 30g sugar.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (22)

  3. Mix well and bring to the boil once more.

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (23)

  4. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
  5. Once it's cool enough, pour it into the ziplock bag with the pork belly inside, along with 4-6 soft boiled eggs. (optional)

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  6. Seal the ziplock bag and place it upright in the fridge. (You can place the ziplock bag in a tray or bowl to prevent any leaks.)
  7. Rest the pork in the liquid for 12 hours or overnight.

Part 3

  1. Heat a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the pork belly to the pan. (No need to add any oil.)

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  2. Add 100ml of the liquid from the ziplock bag to the pan and move the pork around the pan to glaze it.

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  3. Once the pork is glazed and slightly charred on the outside, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Cut the white part of a spring onion into thin strips and soak in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes. This is called "shiraganegi".

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (27)

  5. Dish up the rice, cut the ramen eggs into halves and then cut the chashu into slices.
  6. Place the slices of chashu on top of the rice with 2 egg halves per bowl.

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  7. Drizzle the chashu with mayonnaise and top with the shiraganegi onion slices. Add some chili threads (optional) and serve.
  8. Enjoy your delicious homemade chashu don from scratch!

    Chashu Donburi Rice Bowl (チャーシュー丼) - Sudachi Recipes (29)


You can make this dish with leftover chashu instead of making it all from scratch.

The chashu can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week, or 3-4 weeks in the freezer. (I recommend cutting it into slices before freezing.)

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Japanese
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: How to make Japanese Chashu pork,Chashu pork for Ramen,Japanese braised chashu pork recipe,Chashu Ramen,What cut is chashu,What is Chashu,Is Chashu Chinese or Japanese,Chashu meaning,How to make Japanese style pork for ramen,Japanese Chashudon,Chashu donburi,Char siu donburi,Charsiu Rice Bowl

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