Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Buta Kabuni (Pork Belly & Turnips)

Buta Kabuni (Pork Belly & Turnips)

Recipe source : Adapted from  Marc Matsumoto's No Recipes

I used sengkuang as the closest alternative to turnips to make this Japanese dish. The rich aroma from the meat, turnips and the sauces wafted through my kitchen as they simmered in the pot. The cooking smelled so delicious that my salivary glands worked overtime, anticipating the great feast to come. 

We were not disappointed. The pork belly tasted wonderful, infused by the rich gravy from mirin and sake. The turnips were sweet and slightly crunchy and were infused by the rich gravy and sauces.

I really love the gravy which was so richly flavoured. In fact I like the gravy more than the meat itself! This is a wonderful Japanese dish!


2 tbsp niboshi or anchovies
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced into 1/4 inch thick
6 cloves garlic, crushed             ( original recipe used 2 cloves )
1 Chinese rice bowl water         ( original recipe used 1 cup )
1/4 cup mirin
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt

600g pork belly                       ( original recipe used 1 lb )
2 small turnips, peeled and cut into thick pieces  




1.  Cut pork belly into slices of 1 cm thick. ( original recipe instructed to cut the pork belly into thick chunks of 1 inch thick )
2.  Wrap anchovies in a piece of cheesecloth and tie to make a satchel.
3.  Add satchel along with ginger, garlic, water, mirin, sugar, salt, sake and soy sauce into a medium-sized pot.
4.  Heat pot over high heat until it comes to a boil, turn down heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
5.  Remove satchel of anchovies. Add in pork belly and cook for 15 minutes. 
6.  Add in turnips and cook until the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes.

Note :  

1) Original recipe simmered the thickly-cut  pork belly for 2 hours before adding turnips and cook for a further 30 minutes until the pork belly and turnips are tender. 
2) For my dish, I cut the pork belly into 1 cm slices, therefore cooking time was reduced to only 15 minutes before adding turnips to simmer for another 15 minutes. 
3) This is because I prefer some bite to the pork belly and I prefer the turnips to be slightly crunchy instead of tender. 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest  #1 Oct 2013 : Japan



  1. Hi Doris, never know that this is a Japanese dish as I used to cook this dish, minus the Japanese sauce. It's sure yummy :)

  2. Hi Ivy, Most Chinese, Japanese and Asian cookings are almost similar as I browsed through a few blogs. However, each uses its own sauces and I suppose that makes them unique which each country claims as its own!

  3. Hi Doris, I have also bookmarked a recipe for buta kakuni to cook this month too. YUM.


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