Okinawa style noodle

Hitonari Tsuji

20th July, 2023

Okinawa is located in the south of Japan. Like Hawaii, this island is one of Japan's favourite summer destinations. 
The local speciality is rafute, a dish of pork belly stewed with awamori, the regional alcohol, soya and brown sugar.

Ingredients :
500 grams of pork belly
150 grams of awamori, or alternatively the same amount of sake
4 tablespoons sugar 
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 sachet Japanese stock (about 5 grams) or a teaspoon dried grated bonito
Okinawa noodles, or alternatively, Chinese noodles

You can accompany the dish with a little watercress and sliced leek seasoned with hot oil or sesame oil.

Cut 3 cm slices of pork belly with the rind and simmer for an hour in the water used to rinse the rice. Turn off the heat and set aside for another hour. Return to the boil and simmer for a further hour, then set aside for 30 minutes.
Once everything has cooled, strain the stock, wash the pan and put the meat back in. Add the awamori or sake and the sachet of stock, sugar and soy sauce. The pork belly should be completely submerged, so add more stock if necessary. Leave to simmer over a low heat for thirty minutes, add a cooked egg to taste, leave to cool and then set aside overnight in the fridge to allow the meat to absorb all the flavours.
Keep some of the cooking stock to garnish the noodles. Before serving, bring to the boil over a low heat, then turn up the heat to high until all the stock has evaporated. Cook the noodles.
Arrange a bed of noodles, a few slices of pork and coat with the sauce while cooking. You can sprinkle on a little roasted sesame seeds and you'll fall head over heels.

Enjoy your meal!

Hitonari Tsuji