O-Ku’s Pork Belly Reaffirms Our Faith in Asian Fusion

O-Ku Pork Belly
Photo by Jamey Price

This isn’t the first time we’ve dived headlong down the Asian fusion rabbit hole only to find that the pork belly eclipses just about everything in Sushi Wonderland. This dish, Charlotte Asian cuisine seems to suggest, is one best served five-spice-braised and basted in tare sauce. O-Ku’s Pork Belly is at once an East-Asian inflection, but the meat itself is quintessentially Southern by its nature. We can’t get enough of that beautiful marriage. Call it a comfort zone, if you must. We call it an admirable effort by our city to re-embrace Southern food, if in a roundabout way. O-Ku seems to get it, at least: This gratuitously flavorful cube of melt-in-your-mouth, fatty meat is who we are, folks. Why deny it?