Miso butter sauce is a fantastically rich salty, sour, sweet and umami packed sauce that goes brilliantly with a number of dishes. The miso itself (fermented soy bean paste) is what lends the dish a sweet, salty, savoury flavour packed full of umami, while vinegar and sugar add the sweet and sour components of the sauce. The butter also adds an extra dimension of richness. Because this is a slow cooked dish and the pork belly is such a richly flavoured cut of meat, you will find that the sauce actually becomes quite subtle once the dish is cooked.
The other great thing about this recipe is the fact the the miso butter sauce is very quick and easy to make and while the pork takes 2.5-3 hours to cook, you can pretty much forget about it and let your oven do all of the work for you.
For this miso butter sauce recipe I used Shiro miso, which is a young rice miso that is sweet and subtle in flavour and works absolutely brilliantly in this recipe. Make sure you don’t use any dark miso for this recipe as you won’t get such great results and will have to use far less so as not to make it too salty.
Miso Butter Sauce and Pork Belly Ingredients (serves 3):
300g pork belly
1 cup water or stock
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp shiro miso
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (you can also use mirin vinegar and not add any sugar)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Miso Butter Sauce and Pork Belly Method:
In a small sauce pan add the 1 cup water or stock, Shiro miso, butter, rice wine vinegar (or miring and no sugar), sugar, soy sauce. Bring to the boil and slowly simmer for at least 5 minutes until all the butter and miso has melted into the sauce.
Wrap the pork belly in aluminium cooking foil and pour over the miso butter sauce. Make sure the pork belly is properly wrapped so none of the sauce can escape. Put into an oven heated to 90°C and cook for 2.5-3 hours.
By this time the pork will be tender and juicy. The miso butter sauce will be reduced and have covered the pork. Some of it will be burnt so just scrape any off that looks too black. Serve with rice and thinly sliced veges or with the delicious miso butter eggplant.