Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi (Buta kimchi)

Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi (Buta Kimchi) is a very popular staple dish in Japan. Many Izakayas (Japanese tapa bars) serve buta kimchi because it goes down nicely with a cold drink. Many people make it at home as well. I like to make this dish about once a month. My daughter doesn’t like her food too spicy, so my recipe includes extra cabbage, which helps tone down the heat.

Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi, also known as buta kimchi, may look like it comes from Korea. Buta kimchi is commonly eaten in Japan as well. It is traditional Japanese comfort food, although it features kimchi, which is often thought of as an exclusively Korean delicacy. This simple one pot pork and kimchi stir fry is absolutely delicious. It takes just a few minutes to prepare. Kimchi is very popular in Japan. You can find it in any supermarket and in many Japanese dishes as well. Kimchi Fried Rice is another dish that can be commonly found in Japan. Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi is a very popular dish in Japan. Most isakayas (Japanese tapa bars) include Buta kimchi on their menu. Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, is a fermented vegetable dish made with chili, salt, onions, and spices. Kimchi is made with a wide variety of vegetables such as cabbage, radish, eggplant, cucumbers, etc.

There are many, many variations of kimchi and it’s important to find one that you like to best enjoy this dish. A friend from Korea once told me that every family has their own recipe that has been handed down over the generations. There are some commercial brands of kimchi that are commonly available. It may require some looking to find the one that you like best. Buta Kimchi uses very thinly sliced pork tenderloin- in Japan it’s called Shabu Shabu pork. Shabu Shabu pork can be boiled, it can be used for pork veggie rollups, or it can be used in stir fries like this one.  You can usually find it at the supermarket, but if not, ask your butcher to slice you up some. Buta kimchi can be served with white or brown rice. The rice goes perfectly with the dish. Mix it together with the rice to further decrease the heat. If you like this savory Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi recipe, you may also want to try this yummy minced meat curry.

Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi (Buta kimchi) (豚キムチ)

Stir-fried Pork and Kimchi is made with pork tenderloin, kimchi, cabbage and onion. It can be served by itself or over rice. Although kimchi can be very spicy, this is a family friendly dish. The spice level can be adjusted to your taste. See the note, below, for some ideas how to do this.

30 mins 4 servings
COOKING 30 mins
YIELD 4 servings


  • 1/2 lb thin sliced pork (225g)
  • 1/2 lb prepared napa cabbage kimchi (225g)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage (90g)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil


  • Sauté: Sauté onion in a wok or large frypan on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in pork and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes until browned. Use a wooden spoon to break meat apart while cooking.

  • Add cabbage: Add in cabbage and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes until softened.


  • Add kimchi: Add in kimchi and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes so the ingredients are well combined and hot.


  • Cook: Turn heat to low, cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.  Serve with white or brown rice.


  • Extra cabbage is added to reduce the spice level.  Shredded cabbage does a great job of absorbing the spices in the kimchi and adds texture to the dish.  Kimchi comes in a number of varieties – some are spicy and others are sweet.  Pick the one that best works for you and adjust the amount of shredded cabbage that you add to personalize this recipe.
  • I recommend using kimchi made with napa cabbage for this recipe.  This give the dish a consistent texture because the pork and the cabbage are both thinly sliced strips.

Related Recipes

Leave a Reply