Porchetta: An Italian Odyssey of Flavor

Porchetta Pork Belly

Listen, you don’t just make porchetta, okay? You embark on a journey, a culinary pilgrimage that transforms a humble pork belly into a gastronomic masterpiece. This is a dish with roots deep in the Italian countryside, a testament to the beautiful simplicity of rural cooking. You’re not just preparing food – you’re participating in a time-honoured tradition.

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and pay homage to the rich tapestry of Italian cuisine.

Porchetta: The Recipe


  • One 5-pound(2.26kg) piece of pork belly, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped rosemary, sage, or thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Pork Prep Procedure

  1. Toasting the Spices: Take your fennel seeds and toast them lightly in a dry pan over medium heat. You’re looking for a light golden color and a fragrance that makes you want to book a one-way ticket to Rome.
  2. Preparing the Rub: In a mortar, combine the toasted fennel seeds, chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest. Pound it all together with a pestle until you have a coarse paste. You’re not just making a spice rub here, you’re crafting an aromatic tribute to the Italian countryside.
  3. Scoring the Belly: Lay your pork belly skin-side up on a clean work surface. Take a sharp knife and score the skin in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. This isn’t just for show – it’s going to help the fat render out and give you a gloriously crisp skin.
  4. Rubbing the Pork: Turn your pork belly skin-side down and season it generously with salt and pepper. Then take your spice paste and massage it into every nook and cranny of the meat.
  5. Roll and Tie the Belly: Now comes the fun part. Roll the pork belly up tightly, like you’re rolling a cigar that’s about to explode with flavor. Then tie it up with butcher’s twine at regular intervals. By this point, you should be starting to see the potential for greatness in this humble roll of pork.
  6. Optional Overnight Alchemy: Time for some culinary wizardry. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Sprinkle it over your swine masterpiece. Wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge overnight. You’ve just initiated a science-backed flavor festival. (This step is optional if you’re in a hurry)

Let’s Roast this Little Piggy

  1. Slow and Steady: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Unwrap the pork belly, place it on a rack in a roasting pan, and slide it into the oven. Let it cook low and slow for about 3 hours. Trust me, good things come to those who wait.
  2. Crisping Finale: Alright, it’s showtime. Crank up the oven to 500°F (260°C) for an additional 10-15 minutes. Keep a hawk eye on it; we’re looking for a golden, crunchy armor, not a battlefield.
  3. Rest and Feast: Let your porchetta rest for at least 20 minutes before you carve into it. It’s about more than self-restraint – it’s about letting the juices redistribute. Now, slice that beauty up and reward yourself for a job well done.
Oven Roasted Porchetta
Oven Roasted Porchetta

That’s it. That’s Porchetta.

It’s not just a dish, it’s a journey. And like any good journey, it’ll leave you changed – and hungry for more.

Buon appetito, my friends. Enjoy your meal and savor every bite, because that’s what good food, good cooking, and good living are all about.

The Definitive Porchetta by Antica Porchetteria Granieri since 1916 with chef Paolo Trippini

Ramen in Akasaka: Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan

Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant

Ramen in Akasaka Tucked Away

Nestled on an unassuming corner of Tokyo’s vibrant Akasaka neighborhood, you’ll find a tiny culinary gem that goes by the name of Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant. From the outside, it might appear like just another ramen shop in Tokyo’s sprawling gastronomic landscape. But step inside, and you’re welcomed into a warm cocoon, a charming world that makes the hustle and bustle outside seem like a distant dream.

Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant
Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant –Ramen in Akasaka

The place is small, seating no more than 15 people. Yet, there’s something profoundly intimate about the close quarters. You’re not just a patron here – you’re part of the Ittenbari family. The sounds of simmering broth, clinking chopsticks, and the rhythmic slurping of noodles intermingle to form a symphony of authentic Japanese charm.

Ittenbari: A Haven for Ramen Lovers

Ramen in Akasaka
Ramen in Akasaka

The spicy ramen at Ittenbari is a revelation. The broth, simmered for hours, embraces every strand of noodle, delivering a punch of flavor that is at once rich and comforting. It warms you from within, each spoonful is like a comforting hug. The slices of tender, succulent chashu pork melt in your mouth, offering an irresistible contrast to the fiery broth.

But what’s ramen without a sidekick? The dumplings, Gyoza, are a marvel – crispy on the outside, juicy and packed with flavor on the inside. Each bite is an affirmation of Ittenbari’s commitment to creating a memorable dining experience.

Ramen in Akasaka: A Toast to Ittenbari

The Yebisu beer, served frosty cold, is the perfect foil to the spicy ramen. There’s something incredibly satisfying about washing down a mouthful of piping hot noodles with a gulp of refreshing beer – it’s a symphony of contrasts that somehow works beautifully.

The Hangover Cure

And if you’ve had a heavy night out in Tokyo, like I did, Ittenbari turns out to be the ultimate hangover cure. Whether it’s the restorative powers of the spicy ramen broth, the comfort of the dumplings, or the chill of the beer, Ittenbari is the soothing balm you need to get back on your feet and ready for another adventure.

In Conclusion: Ittenbari is Akasaka’s Ramen Gem

For those in search of authentic ramen in Akasaka, Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant is a must-visit. It’s a reminder of the transformative power of food – how a simple bowl of noodles can turn into an unforgettable experience. So, take a seat, grab your chopsticks, and dive headfirst into a bowl of Ittenbari’s spicy ramen. You’ll leave with a full stomach, a warm heart, and an appreciation for the magic of Japanese cuisine.

Ittenbari Ramen & Chahan Restaurant
Address: Japan, 〒107-0052 Tokyo, Minato City, Akasaka, 3 Chome−7−9 赤坂一点張ビル 1F

A Ramen with RICH MISO and a FRIED RICE that’s JUST DELICIOUS! in Tokyo Japan, Akasaka Ittenbari