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Japanese Char Siu (Plus Deluxe Shoyu Tamago)

I have been meaning to share this super easy and super delicious Japanese char siu recipe for the longest time.

You know why the delay? Because I was super lazy to buy some kitchen string and tie my pork belly into pretty looking round bundle.

The extra step doesn’t do anything to improve the taste, the recipe is awesome as is, but it does give you the look of char siu sold in ramen shops.

But… if I keep waiting for that to happen, I don’t know when that will happen, so here goes.

Japanese Char Siu
Japanese Char Siu

Pork belly, to tie or not to tie

To get the most traditional ramen shop char siu look, you need to start with a slab of pork belly, and not the ones already cut into smaller strips/chunks like the one I use. But either you use a slab or strips/chunks, just make sure you use pork belly.

If you do get yourself a nice slab or pork belly, you can go ahead and tie it into a round log (think pretty looking pork served in Christmas!). A quick Google with ‘how to roll and tie pork belly’ should give you plenty of instructional videos :)

Japanese Char Siu
Japanese Char Siu

Shoyu based broth

The next most important thing to prepare once you have your pork belly is to prepare the broth. This is a soy sauce (shoyu) base broth, and you do need plenty of it.

For 1 kilogram meat, I use 6 cups low sodium soy sauce, 1 cup sake, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 onions, 1 bulb garlic, 4 scallions, 2" ginger, and 1 cup carrot.

I love this broth so much, and once you are done cooking the char siu, don’t throw the broth away.

Note that I am using low sodium soy sauce and not regular soy sauce. Regular soy sauce will make the dish too salty, so please be aware of this.

If you only have regular soy sauce, use 3 cups of regular soy sauce + 3 cups of water instead of 6 cups of low sodium soy sauce.

Japanese Char Siu
Japanese Char Siu

Deluxe shoyu tamago

This super delicious soy sauce based broth is perfect for making shoyu tamago! So prepare some soft boiled eggs, and once the broth is cool (or at room temperature), gently drop peeled eggs into the broth.

I really like shoyu tamago prepared with this broth compared to the traditional recipe since the broth has so much depth from cooking the char siu. If you look at my picture, it is clear that the broth can be used for even 2 dozens egg!

Deluxe Shoyu Tamago
Deluxe Shoyu Tamago

Japanese Char Siu (Plus Deluxe Shoyu Tamago)

5.0 from 4 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 6 cups low sodium soy sauce (Note 1)
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 kilogram (~ 2.2 lbs.) pork belly
  • 2 onion, cut each into 8 pieces
  • 1 bulb garlic, bruise each clove
  • 4 scallions
  • 2" ginger
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1-2 dozens soft boiled eggs, peeled


  1. Place soy sauce, sake, and brown sugar in a soup pot, mix well. Add pork belly, onion, garlic, scallions, ginger, and carrot into the pot. Bring to a boil, the quickly reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 90 minutes.
  2. Gently remove the pork belly from the broth and set aside.
  3. Once the broth is around room temperature, gently drop the eggs into the broth to marinate. Even an hour of soaking time is enough to make delicious shoyu tamago.


  • (1) If you use regular soy sauce, use 3 cups regular soy sauce + 3 cups water.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Jasline (Foodie Baker) Jasline (Foodie Baker) says:

    I never bother rolling up my pork belly for Japanese char siu as well haha. The char siu and tamago will be soooo good in a big bowl of ramen!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I thought I am the only one who's lazy rolling up my pork belly. Yay, glad to know I have like minded friend :)

  • Iain Shaw Iain Shaw says:

    Does anyone know where Anita has gone. Sudden silence.

    • Anita Anita says:

      I'm still alive, haha. I was busy with moving half way across the country. Most of my cooking stuff and photography equipments are still on their way to my new place, so... please be patience :) I promise I will definitely get back to cooking and blogging real soon, like definitely before December (fingers crossed) :)

  • Klozet Kapağı Klozet Kapağı says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I will try it out soon.

  • Li Li says:

    Hi Anita, I can't wait to try this recipe. Is it best to use sake? or can we use alternative? Thank you for your recipes!! I love them.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Li, since it's a Japanese dish, it is best if you can use Japanese sake, even if all you have it Japanese cooking sake and not drinking sake. The best alternative is if you have Chinese rice wine. And since sake has clear color, I try to substitute with mi jiu (the one with clear color) and not with Shaoxing.

  • GARY GARY says:

    Exactly 6 minutes in simmering water is perfect for a jammy soft boiled egg. Also, they will float and not completely be covered to fully marinate unless you weigh them down, which I don't recommend. You can either put a paper towel over them and occasionally turn and baste. Or you can put them in a small or large resealable bag and squeeze all the air out to fully coat them. Agreed, just a few hours is enough. I learned that overnight/24 hours is way too long and they become tough.

  • Caroline Caroline says:

    My mother makes it in fall, I always wondered how to make this differently because fat that comes off pork belly makes hard to make sauce and I noted most of us in my family like sauce versus excess fat? Is there another method of cooking it? She uses frozen pork belly defrosted.

    what other form of onion could she use? She also uses potato? Are there other vegetables that work with it?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Caroline, the easiest way to remove the excess fat in the sauce would be to chill the sauce in the fridge. Once the fat floats to the top and form a rather solid layer, you can be easily scoop it out with a spoon. I usually use yellow onions, you can use red onions too if you want. For extra vegetables, I think leeks would go well too on top of potatoes.

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