Lunchbreak: Roasted Chashu Pork

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Amarit Dulyapaibul, Partner of Ramen-san

New location: Ramen-san Streeterville at 165 E. Huron (opening 12/4/18)

Original location: Ramen-san River North at 59 W. Hubbard Street

Second location: Ramen-san Fulton Market at 219 N. Green Street


Ramen-san Roasted Chashu Pork

At Ramen-san, chashu pork – or roasted Berkshire pork belly – is the heart and soul of many of the dishes, including the signature Tonkotsu ramen, mantou buns and fried rice. Here, the unctuous meat is rubbed in a five-spice mixture containing star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed and Szechuan pepper, then oven-roasted for hours.


One 4–5-lb. boneless, skinless pork belly

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup five-spice powder or ground five-spice mix -- Ingredients are: five-spice mixture containing star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed and Szechuan pepper. 

1 cup hoisin sauce


  1. Place the pork belly fat side up on a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and five-spice mixture.
  2. Generously season the pork all over with the spice mixture, pressing to adhere. Spread the hoisin sauce all over the pork. Cover and chill, letting the pork marinate for at least 6 and up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place the marinated pork fat side up on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the pork for 1 hour. Lower the oven temperature to 250ºF and continue to roast for 2 more hour until the skin is golden-brown.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Slice pork lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide slices.
  5. Use the chashu pork in Tonkotsu ramen, mantou buns, fried rice and more.

Five-Spice Mixture

2– 3 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns

5-6 whole star anise (or 2 Tbsp. ground anise)

8 – 10 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp. ground cloves)

2 cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces (or 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon)

1 Tbsp. fennel seeds (or 1 Tbsp. ground fennel)


  1. In a small dry skillet over low heat, toast the spices, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  2. Place toasted spices into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until fine. Store five-spice mixture in an airtight container.

 Tonkotsu At-Home

To make a simplified version at home of Ramen-san's signature Tonkotsu Ramen (which is a 10-hour pork broth), combine store-bought pork stock with white miso and tare (seasoned soy) in a saucepan and heat until just boiling. Drop in fresh ramen noodles (look for Tokyo wavy noodles), bamboo shoots, a couple pieces of wakame (seaweed), a few slices of the roasted chashu pork, sliced scallions, fried garlic, sesame seeds and rayu (chili oil), then top with a molten (soft-cooked) egg.


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