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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Konbucha but not Kombucha? Japanese Chashu

One of the cooking ingredients that i was planned to buy during the trip to Japan is Konbucha, after saw Nami (Just One Cookbook ) introduced of this seasoning to be added when making Japanese Chashu. According to her, Konbu-cha is from Konbu/kombu seaweed and it is full of konbu glutamine and asparagine umami deliciousness. 

After several visits to departmental store like Daimaru and Isetan in Kyoto and Osaka, I still failed to get Konbucha. I decided to asked the staff (i think i was in Isetan) and shown her the picture of Konbucha, and she brought me to tea section and shown me Kombucha, she said Kombucha is same as Konbucha. This was what i bought back, Kombucha.


After i went back to hotel, i re-checked what Nami wrote on Konbucha and realized that Konbucha is not Kombucha, just one letter difference "n and m"...Now i don't know what to do with Kombucha?
I did not give up, I went to look Konbucha by myself after my hubby went for meeting on our 1st day in Osaka. I copied down the address (but at this moment i forgot where i got the shop address at that time, memory loss ) and went to took subway alone and started my adventure in big city of Osaka and heading to the place where to get Konbucha.

This is the real Konbucha i got from Osaka...the same brand that Nami is using..


I thought with the address with 天王寺, so i just stopped at 天王寺 station, but when i double confirmed with the staff stationed at the subway. They were so friendly, took out the detail map and checked the address i gave them, and they told me i have to switch two difference stations with two difference subway lines..At that moment, i was thinking whether i should proceed this Konbucha adventure since i was totally new to their subway system. At last, i still decided to proceed and later i found their subway is not that difficult once you understand how it works.
After came out from the subway station, i started to look for the shop, walked for quite far still could not locate the place. Luckily this Japanese uncle came approached me and he was so kind personally brought me to the shop. The 1st picture as per above were all the goods that they are selling. They were quite surprised a girl all the way from Malaysia to their Osaka shop to just purchase this Konbucha, so they gave me discounted price, hehehe..

Special Thanks to this Japanese uncle for his kind help. You can see the green signage behind him was the shop that i went.. Actually this uncle was on his way by walking to 天王寺 which take about 30mins..


After came back home, i started my 1st Japanese chashu making. I always like this thin slices of round chashu in Ramen soup.


I did not recorded down the exact ingredients this time, recipe largely adapted from Nami @ Just one cookbook's chashu recipe, but i made to the usual round chasu shape with some minor changes..

1. Leave the skin of belly pork this way...

2. Sprinkle Konbucha on the meat

3. Roll up the meat

4. Tie with string

5. Cook in the water, sake, soy sauce, sugar, spring onion, shallot and ginger mixture for several hours till cooked. I use speedy version as i cooked using a pressure cooker which only took me 25mins.

6. Japanese Chashu is ready. I keep in the fridge overnight before slice it as to firm it up so easy to slice.

I served this Japanese chasu in a bowl of miso Ramen soup, yummy! If you were asked me how Konbucha taste, i would say it taste 甘甜..(i think this was what Nami meant umami )

As usual, i bought extra Konbucha. I have one bottle to give out to someone who loves Japanese foods (limited to Malaysia and Singapore readers only). This time there will be no lucky draw but you have to convince me by leaving a comment in this post telling how much you love Japanese foods. I will be the one decide who to give ^-^

Here is addres of this shop:-
543-0023, 大阪市天王寺区味原町6番9号
Tel: (06) 6761-7331

Latest update on 20th July 2012- few readers commented that Konbucha is same as Kombucha because the pronounciation issue. I decided to open the Kombucha and taste it, and i found Konbucha has stronger kombu taste than Kombucha, both are seasonings powder. Kombucha is in fine powder form whereas Konbucha is slightly in coarse powder form. If you still confuse what Kombucha or Konbucha is, to simplify it, it is similar like those chicken stock seasonings powder that we usually use, but this is with Kombu 昆布 flavour.
I still need Nami to further clarify whether are the the same..Nami, please help..

Thanks to Nami for further explained this, and it is concluded that Konbucha and Kombucha, they are the same thing.  I just added Kombucha when i stir fry green veggie, and it actually add flavours to the veggie , similar like the MSG i use to add in when stir fry veggie.

Updated on 26th Aug 2012- Thank your for participated in this giveaway. I have chosen the winners (i actually gave away 2 bottles) , and the winners have received my notification via email..
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