Buta Kimchi is a quick and easy stir fry recipe made with thinly sliced pork stir fried with garlic, ginger, onions and kimchi. Although it's super simple and quick, it's also delicious and packed with flavour!
What is Buta Kimuchi?
Buta kimuchi (豚キムチ) is a well loved Japanese pork stir fry dish based on a Korean dish called "Dwaejigogi-bokkeum".
As you can probably guess, the Japanese version is not so spicy. I'd actually say this dish is quite similar to "Shogayaki" ginger pork, but with kimchi.
The thinly sliced pork is lightly coated in flour and fried (to keep a good texture) and then onions and kimchi are added to the pan. I've added a few extra seasonings to make it extra special, but this recipe only requires a few ingredients, it's so easy!
This dish is usually served with rice, but it can also be enjoyed as a side dish.
The star of this dish, is of course, kimchi! Kimchi is a type of spicy pickled vegetable side dish that South Korea is famous for. It is often made with Chinese cabbage (also known as napa cabbage) but also comes in many other forms including radish and cucumber.
Despite kimchi being a Korean staple, it's also a well loved food in Japan. Japanese people love pickles after all!
What kind of kimchi should I buy?
I'd say that slightly sweet, cabbage kimchi works best for this recipe but the truth is, that there's no true answer to this question. Kimchi comes in a variety of different spice levels whilst also varying greatly in sweetness and sourness.
I personally like my kimchi to be quite spicy and a bit sour, but in the end, it all comes down to your personal preference.
As the kimchi is the main source of flavour in this "Buta Kimuchi" recipe, it's important to use good kimchi that you know you like. I always recommend trying the kimchi before using it in your cooking. I've been lucky and only had 1 bad experience with kimchi (I forgot the brand though), but it's always better to be safe and not ruin your efforts with one bad ingredient.
As for the type of kimchi, I used a slightly sweet napa cabbage kimchi. This is most commonly used and easy to find in any Asian supermarket too.
"Buta" (豚) means pork/pig in Japanese so as you can probably guess, this dish is always made with pork!
Although I use thinly sliced pork shoulder for this recipe, it's okay to use pork belly or even slightly thicker pork. I'd say just cut it as thin as you can.
If you want true Japanese style buta kimchi and can't access thinly sliced pork, you can try cutting it yourself. The easiest way to do this is to wrap your meat up and put it in the freezer, then cut it thinly with a sharp knife once it's cold and firm. You don't want it to be rock hard (otherwise you can't get the knife through!) I'd say 30 minutes per ½ lb (approx 225g) of meat.
I hope you enjoy this deliciously flavourful, quick and easy "buta kimuchi" pork and kimchi stir fry!