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Buta Kabuni (pork belly and turnips)

This Buta Kabuni is a take on the Japanese pork belly dish Buta Kakuni. Made with pork belly, turnips simmered in a sweet soy sauce.
Course Entree, Soups & Stews
Cuisine Best, Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Pork
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb


  • 8 small niboshi
  • 5 rounds ginger (each 1/8-inch thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed with a heavy object)
  • 1 cup water
  • ΒΌ cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon evaporated cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound pork belly (cut into cubes 1")
  • 3 medium turnips (peeled and cut into cubes)


  • Wrap the niboshi in cheesecloth and tie the edges together with kitchen twine to make a little satchel. Add the satchel along with the ginger, garlic, water, mirin, sugar, sake, soy sauce, and kosher salt to a small dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid. Heat the pot over high heat until it comes to a boil, then turn down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the satchel of fish, then add the pork belly. Turn down the heat to low, cover, then simmer for 2 hours.
  • Add the turnip and cook until the turnip is tender and the pork belly falls apart when prodded with a fork (about another 30 minutes). Gently transfer the pork belly and turnips to a bowl, then skim all the fat off the braising liquid. Strain the liquid over the pork and turnips and serve with hot rice.