Umami Pork

>> Thursday 20 March 2014

I swear, I am not trying to be pretentious with the name of this post, it is just that I could not think of a name for the dish. The word umami seemed to fit based on the combination of ingredients in the marinade and the final taste. There are other names I considered, but, you know… some things should just remain in your head.

Browned Pork photo brownedpork4_zps270ac9c4.jpg

This pork dish is something I threw together a couple of weeks ago. I had gone to the market on a Friday after my class and the butcher brought out some fresh pork. There was a pre-cut 2-pound slab of pork flap/pork belly sitting there saying, "take me home with you." What? You didn't know meat could talk?! (laugh).

There are no exacting measurements for this dish, it is all based on individual taste. Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl, whisk together and taste adjusting to suit your taste. Don't worry if you have more marinade than you need. Save the excess in a bottle in the refrigerator for baked chicken or pork.

I cooked the meat in a pressure cooker so by the time I was finishing dilly-dallying around the house this was done. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can make this on the stovetop in a heavy-bottomed pan or pot with a tight lid.


  • 2 pounds pork flap/pork belly or pork shoulder/butt
  • Regular soy sauce 
  • Oyster sauce 
  • Kecap Manis - Indonesian sweet soy sauce (the ABC brand I think is the best)
  • Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar. Substitute with balsamic or malt vinegar or dry sherry)
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Salt (taste the marinade before adding salt as it my not be necessary for additional salt)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water


  1. Cut the meat into 1 to 1 1/2" cubes.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients to make a marinade. You want a little more than 1/2 cup of marinade.
  3. Pour the marinade over the pork and let it marinate for about 20 - 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Add the oil to your pressure pot and place on medium heat until very hot.
  5. Add the meat and juices to the pot and spread in an even layer. Let it brown for about 2 - 3 minutes, do not turn it before. At the end of the 2 - 3 minutes, give it a good turn/toss and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the hot water and using your spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck bits. Cover the cooker and let it come up to pressure. When it comes up to pressure at the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 22 - 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the cooker from the heat and release the pressure. If there is any liquid other than the oil in the pot, return the pot to the heat and let cook until the liquid has dried out.
  8. Remove the meat from the pot, garnish with sliced green onions and serve with rice, mashed ground provision, buttered noodles or make sandwiches or wraps.


  • Reserve the oil from the cooked meat to roast potatoes. So good!
  • If using a regular pot or pan, you will need 1+ 1/2 cups of hot water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to low and let cook for 40 - 45 minutes until meat is tender. Remove lid, raise heat to high and let cook until all the liquid has dried out.

Browned Pork2 photo brownedpork10_zps97ea0eae.jpg

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