Okinawa-style Braised Kombu Kelp and Pork (Kubu Irichii)

One of the classic Okinawan recipes. Okinawa produces a large amount of sugarcane. So, it is common to use brown sugar for cooking.

Okinawa-style Braised Kombu Kelp and Pork (Kubu Irichii)
Photographed by Seiichi Suzuki

Recipe by
Ayao Okumura






Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 150 g pork belly (thinly sliced)
  • 30 g kombu kelp (shredded; dried)
  • 30 g kiriboshi daikon
  • 20 g carrot
  • 1 handful skipjack shavings (15-20 g)
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar

    If raw sugar is unavailable, use 1 1/2 sugar.

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce



Rinse the shredded kombu and drain. Soak the kiriboshi daikon in a generous amount of water and rub to wash. Drain and squeeze out the excess moisture. Cut the carrot into 4 cm long thin shreds.


Cut the pork into 2-3 cm strips. Blanch the pork in a generous amount of boiling water to remove excess oil and drain.


Place the skipjack shavings in a nonwoven spice bag. Heat one tablespoon of sesame oil in a pot and lightly stir-fry the pork, kombu and kiriboshi daikon. Add the raw sugar to the pot. As it won't melt easily, mix it thoroughly with the pork. Add the spice bag and 300 ml of water and bring to a boil. Add two tablespoons of soy sauce and reduce the heat to low. Cover with a drop lid. Simmer for around 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced to 1/5.


Take out the spice bag and add the carrots. Stir and simmer for about 30 seconds.


In Okinawa, kubu means kombu, and irichii is to braise.