The last thing (almost) that you need to make before we start cooking noodles is the charsiu, that magically melting version of bacon. You will need:


2 pork bellies, bones removed (about 3 lbs.)
1 t. garlic, minced
1 t. ginger, minced
3 T. light soy sauce (usukuchi)
3 T. mirin


Spread half of the garlic and ginger over the meat side of the bellies, then combine the remainder with the soy and mirin.


Roll the bellies skin side out, then tie with butchers’ twine. Place each belly into a cryovac pouch (seal-a-meal)


and add half of the soy mixture to each pouch.


Seal on the wet setting with the meat hanging over the edge of the counter to keep the liquid in the pouch. Hit the seal button as soon as the air is removed but before the liquid makes its way out. I usually seal twice to ensure a good seal.


Process with an immersion circulator at 78 C. (172.5 F.)


for 12 hours, then cool and refrigerate.


You are almost ready to enjoy heaven in a bowl… Next up the Tare and the tamago.

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.