Sous Vide Pork Shoulder Chashu Recipe

This recipe uses precise temperature control to yield soft, juicy, and flavorful slices of pork shoulder chashu that still have some bite.

Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Curing the pork for 24 hours enhances the texture of the meat and improves moisture retention.
  • Cooking the pork with flavorful liquid in the sealed bag seasons the exterior of the meat.
  • Cooking the pork at a low temperature for an extended period of time produces tender meat that still retains some bite.
  • Using an ice bath to rapidly chill the meat makes it much easier to slice clean serving portions.

Chashu, the roasted or braised pork typically used to top bowls of ramen, is just as delicious when made from pork shoulder as when it's made from belly. In fact, many people prefer chashu that's made from pork shoulder, since it's a meatier cut.

The shoulder can be tied and braised in the same way as the pork belly in Kenji's braised-chashu recipe, but it can also be cooked sous vide, which gives the cook total control over what temperature the pork is cooked to. This recipe recommends cooking the pork to 145°F (63°C).

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 hrs
Serves: 10 servings

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  • 1/2 ounce (14g) kosher salt (see notes)

  • 1/2 ounce (14g) granulated sugar (see notes)

  • 1 pork shoulder roast (about 2 pounds; 900g)

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) mirin


  1. Combine salt and sugar in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

  2. Place pork shoulder roast in a zip-top bag. Pour salt-sugar mixture into bag and massage mixture evenly into meat. Seal bag, trying to avoid leaving much air inside. Place bag in refrigerator for 24 hours. Roughly every 8 hours, massage bag and flip it over to ensure even distribution of the cure.

  3. Set up an immersion circulator and preheat a water bath to 145°F (63°C).

  4. Remove roast from zip-top bag and place on a cutting board. Discard liquid in bag and blot roast completely dry. Using kitchen twine, tie roast at 1/2-inch intervals to form a neat cylinder.

  5. Place roast back in zip-top bag and add soy sauce and mirin. Seal bag using the water-displacement method. Alternatively, if using a vacuum sealer, transfer the roast to a sealable vacuum bag, add soy sauce and mirin, and seal.

  6. Place bagged roast in water bath and cook for 20 hours.

  7. Remove bag and place in an ice bath to chill roast thoroughly. Remove roast from bag and blot dry.

  8. If Finishing Under the Broiler: Place roast on a rimmed baking sheet. Adjust oven rack so that the roast will be about 1 inch away from the broiler element. Preheat broiler to high. When broiler is hot, place roast under broiler, turning frequently, until exterior is charred, about 5 minutes.

  9. If Finishing With a Handheld Torch: Turn on torch and char exterior of roast on all sides.

  10. The roast can be sliced and served immediately, or sliced and stored for future use (see Make-Ahead and Storage, below).

Special equipment

Immersion circulator, kitchen twine, rimmed baking sheet or handheld torch


The amount of salt-sugar cure should be adjusted if you're using a pork roast that's slightly larger or slightly smaller than 2 pounds. Use 3% of the weight of the pork roast in salt-sugar cure mixture.

If you'd like to cook the pork to a different temperature, the cooking time will have to be adjusted accordingly. As a general rule, if you're using a lower temperature, the pork must cook for a longer time; if you're using a higher temperature, the pork will cook for a shorter time.

Make-Ahead and Storage

Once cooked, sous vide chashu that has been tightly wrapped in plastic will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. If sliced into portions, tightly wrapped, and placed in a freezer bag, sous vide chashu will keep for 3 months, with only slight degradation in quality.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
273 Calories
19g Fat
2g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 693mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 303mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)