Chanpuru is a traditional stir fry dish from Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost tropical islands. The word “chanpuru” means “something mixed” in Okinawan dialect and comes from the Malay or Indonesian word “campur,” meaning “mix.” In addition to being the name of the food dish, chanpuru is also used to describe the mix of cultures in Okinawa. Historically, Okinawa has received influence from China, mainland Japan, Southeast Asia, and North America, resulting in a vibrant and distinct regional cuisine.
Common chanpuru ingredients include tofu, luncheon meat, egg, bean sprouts, and bitter melon, but our variation uses mozuku udon noodles, green cabbage, and sliced pork belly for a quick and comforting meal. As chanpuru is a highly versatile dish, feel free to mix and match ingredients to create your perfect combination!
To make chanpuru, start by preparing your noodles according to the package instructions, but reduce the cooking time by two minutes to ensure that the noodles don’t overcook while stir-frying later on. In our recipe, we use mozuku udon noodles, a unique local udon that is made from mozuku (brown seaweed) harvested around Iheya Island and wheat flour produced in Hokkaido. Found only in Okinawa, mozuku imparts a delicious smooth and chewy texture to the udon noodles. Next, stir fry your thinly-sliced pork belly and cabbage. If you are using extra ingredients, add them in during this step. Once all the ingredients are cooked through, add the noodles and seasonings to the pan and stir to combine over high heat. For a spicy kick, serve with a dash of Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil.
Servings: 1 serving
- 100g mozuku udon noodles
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 50g cabbage (cut into 3cm pieces)
- 60g pork belly (thinly sliced into 3cm pieces)
- ½ tsp soda bushi dashi powder*
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Dash of Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil (optional)
- Prepare the somen noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage and pork belly. Stir until the pork has cooked through.
- Add the noodles, dashi, salt and black pepper. Stir over high heat to combine all the ingredients.
- Serve with a dash of Iwai’s sesame chili oil if desired.
*Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining “Wa” Care Package
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.